1. What is eCommerce Personalization?
2. 4 Key Benefits That Mean the Right Time to Personalize Is Now
3. eCommerce Personalization Examples
4. Set Yourself Up for Personalization Success
5. 4 Fundamental Steps to Personalize your eCommerce Experience
Personalization. If you’re an eCommerce business owner, you’ve likely encountered many a marketer evangelizing this Thor’s hammer of customer engagement - and for good reason.
It’s one of the most powerful ways to capture a customer’s attention and compel them to keep coming back.
While personalization for eCommerce has been a key industry topic for some time, its benefits and the best way to actually go about it might still be as fuzzy as a ready-to-eat peach.
Thinking about dipping your toes into this ocean of opportunity? This post is for you. Today good things come in...sets of 4.
We’ll lay out 4 reasons why personalization in eCommerce wields such power, 4 different outfits personalization can wear, and 4 steps to harness it and become your very own Norse retail hero.
Ready to turn myth into reality? Let’s get into the nuts and bolts.
eCommerce personalization is the strategy of using segmentation to craft and deliver real-time customized shopping experiences to each visitor.
These tailored experiences span the entire user journey in a dynamic way, showing the right individualized content to the right customer - at the right time.
Personalized content approaches can take the shape of product recommendations, cart abandonment emails, unique offers, onboarding quizzes and more.
Each unique eCommerce website experience is defined by the specific segment the customer falls into. This enables the experience to be as relevant as possible for each customer, and help them find what they’re looking for faster.
The gas behind this powerful engine?
Data - but we’ll get into that more later.
First let’s have a look at why Christmas comes early with personalization - that is, the benefits your business will enjoy.
In a pandemic world rife with lockdowns, shoppers are turning their eye to the digital screen more than ever. They’re also willing to shift to new brands in a way that is shattering brand loyalty as we know it.
For the eCommerce business owner this means an explosion of opportunity - at the same time, it is more critical than ever to absolutely nail the online shopping experience.
Thoughtfully executed eCommerce personalization helps you get it right, and you’ll see the benefits in several ways.
That’s what data is for!
Okay, now you may be wondering what this can actually look like in practice. We’ve pulled together a few examples for you below - keep in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg in the personalization opportunity ocean!
Recommendations of products that are similar to current browsed products or shopping cart items can be quite effective, and facilitate shoppers hopping to other complementary categories. Bandier does a great job with this.
When browsing long sleeve shirts, visitors have the option to shop for the whole look - shoes, leggings, or the complete kit.
A great way to guide customers along your sales funnel is to offer exclusive discounts or promotions based on visitor behavior. This can be done in a tiered manner to drive up average order value (AOV).
It's also a great way to draw potential customers back in if they're about to abandon their shopping carts.
True Vintage implements this by offering a 10% discount to first time visitors who are browsing products.
What’s one of the best ways to find out what products and content are most relevant for your visitors? Ask them! Vanity Planet offers a curated skincare product selection based on evaluated user input.
Changing the homepage and navigation based on visitor interests can provide a compelling individualized experience. ASOS took me straight to the women’s section on my second visit, since I had looked at women’s products before.
So, as you can see - there are some pretty cool ways to bring your visitors along your funnels.
Itching to get started?
Ready, set, personalize!
...not so fast. We’re not going to put the cart before the horse here.
Before you jump into personalization itself, it’s important to first make sure you’ve focused on creating a seamless website user experience that is optimized for conversions.
Would you take your driver’s test without learning how to drive a car first?
Sure, perhaps if you’re the wizard Gandalf - he probably wouldn’t need driving lessons. For most of us mere mortals, though, it doesn’t make sense to run before we walk.
If your website doesn’t give users a smooth, enjoyable experience, personalization will just be a waste of your time and efforts.
A cumbersome, difficult-to-navigate website won’t get a leg up from customers seeing content that is just for them if they’ve already decided that your website isn’t even for them.
This means making sure all your ducks are in a row when it comes to your website optimization:
Are you optimized and ready to personalize? Let’s dive into how to do it.
Our 4 step process today is based on Forrester’s POST methodology to build a personalization program - but don’t worry, the only mail you’ll be dealing with here is more sales flowing into your inbox.
The approach focuses on People, Objectives, Strategy, and Technology.
In order to start personalizing your eCommerce experience, you need to understand your audience and focus on where to start. This means collecting meaningful data that will power your personalization.
Key segmentation areas include:
Once you’ve analyzed your data and segmentation, identify your most valuable customer segments. You can do this based on demographics, in the classic style.
Other approaches like psychographic profiling focus on psychological traits like values, motivations, interests, and goals. Use this data to then generate profiles that include the relevant information.
Great, now you know who you’re aiming for and you have a sense of where they are. Where do you want to take them? The next step is to determine your personalization goals.
On which media do you want to focus your personalization? Will you start with a couple channels or design an omnichannel approach (combining social media, email, web, and more)?
Regardless of your approach, you’ll want to be sure you create a unified experience across all the channels you choose.
Let’s say you want to become a better cyclist.
Do you want to ride longer distances? If so, how far?
Do you want to ride faster? If so, what speed?
Do you want to ride more difficult terrain? If so, what types?
You won’t be able to track your progress if you don’t define what success looks like. Your personalization for your eCommerce business is no different.
Key performance indicators you can track include:
Let’s say you’ve defined your goal to become a better cyclist by riding a 50 mile race that happens in 2 months. Great!
You’ve decided your training plan is to watch documentaries about cycling for 6 weeks, then ride your 20 year old rusty mountain bike 45 miles the week before the race.
If you currently ride 10 milers, you probably wouldn’t be setting yourself up for success.
Hey, visualization is a powerful tool, but it’s not magic - it won’t save your couch potato bum.
The third step of your personalization journey is to ensure you’re not a “couch-to-45-miler” cyclist. Build the foundation of your personalization process - your strategy. Suggested points of focus:
A Phillips screwdriver won’t get the job done when you need a flathead - no matter how many people with strong forearms you throw at it.
The bottom line: when you assess your technology toolbox it’s important to choose the right tool for the right job.
In the sea of personalization providers out there, your specific goals are your lighthouse. They will inform the solutions you need and the additional areas you may want to expand into in the future.
When evaluating a possible technology offering, consider whether it will support your needs in all necessary channels and touchpoints.
General features worth taking into consideration:
Personalization in eCommerce has become the norm - not the exception - when it comes to competing in the market.
From intelligent product recommendations to behaviorally triggered offers to onboarding quizzes to personalized website layouts - the world is your personalization playground.
It's time to get started - which awesome benefit are you looking forward to most?
If you build out your strategy purposefully, allot proper resources, and choose your technology carefully, you’ll be well on your way to creating meaningful, seamless, relevant customer experiences that will drive up conversions, sales, loyalty, and AOVs.
If you’re not sure how to start the personalization process for your eCommerce business, Xanevo is here! We help you show the right message to the right customer, at the right time - generating the differentiated content you need.
For all kinds of different customer segments, whether they’re first time visitors, returning customers, discerning product comparers, and more, Xanevo has you covered. Intrigued? Book a free consultation call with Xanevo today to jumpstart your personalization path.
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