Ecommerce Personalization: An Eye-Opening Guide for 2022
March 29, 2022
Admit it — for the last two years you’ve spent way more time online. You’re not alone, as it seems everyone is spending increased time (and money) online.
With so much money on the line, it’s no wonder that competition in the ecommerce space is heating up.
But here’s the thing: even in a fiercely competitive market, you can still stand out from the pack – if you offer your customers a personalized shopping experience.
Nearly 75% of consumers transitioned to a new way of shopping during the pandemic, with many opting to shop online. This is great news for ecommerce businesses, but it also means offering a personalized experience is more important than ever.
After all, as competition intensifies, shoppers are going to be looking for any advantage they can get. And that’s where ecommerce personalization comes in.
By offering a personalized experience, you can make sure that each and every one of your customers feels like they’re the most important person in the world. You can give them a shopping experience that’s tailored to their specific needs and wants.
Ready to get personal?
We’re going to break everything down for you, including:
- What is ecommerce personalization?
- How it benefits your business
- Creating a personal customer experience
- Best practices and tools for this strategy
E-commerce Personalization In a Nutshell
Ecommerce personalization is the process of tailoring a shopper’s online experience based on their individual needs and preferences. This can include things like customized product recommendations, targeted ads, and personalized landing pages.
We all love a personal touch, which is why building personal customer experiences is a powerful marketing strategy for ecommerce stores.
First, it makes shoppers feel valued and appreciated. This can encourage them to return to your store again in the future, as well as recommend your business to their friends and family.
Personalized shopping experiences also increase customer engagement, and build a loyal customer base for your brand. A whopping 45% of site visitors are more likely to shop on a site that offers personal recommendations!
And where there are sales, there is revenue growth. Brands that achieve this top level of personalization have seen their revenue grow by 38%.
By understanding which products and services appeal to each individual shopper, you can better tailor your offerings to meet their needs. This leads to increased conversion rates and ultimately boosts your revenue stream.
The Benefits of Investing In Personalization
Ecommerce personalization leads buyers through the customer journey, by enhancing brand awareness, aiding product discovery, and building a trusted brand that has customers coming back again and again.
Companies that focus their efforts on catering to the personal needs of their customers have seen an increase in ROI by as much as 300%.
So how do companies use personalization to their benefit? Let’s take a look at the now famous Coca-Cola campaign “Share a Coke.”
The campaign was targeted at millenials, and stamped the most popular names of that generation on their bottles. Suddenly, people who weren’t even frequent Coke drinkers were buying the drinks simply to have the collectible can with their name on it.
That is just one example of how personalization can be used to capture attention and increase sales. Amazon also does something similar, by amassing personalized product recommendations on their homepage. People love to feel that something is exclusive to them!
How To Start With E-Commerce Personalization
Many companies are trying to figure out how to personalize their marketing strategy, but oftentimes they get it wrong.
Up to 71% of customers now expect a personally catered shopping experience, and are more likely to become frustrated if they don’t get it. This makes it critical for your business to get personalization down pat.
There are some critical prerequisites that must be in place before investing in ecommerce personalization, and it requires rigorous market research to be executed properly.
Answering The Main Three Questions: What – Where – How
To build a personalized experience for your shoppers, you must start by clearly defining your goals and touchpoints, as well as which personalization tools will be necessary to create a personal experience.
Start by asking yourself exactly what you are looking to achieve.
What are the goals of your campaign? What are your customers’ needs? What are the best methods of contact?
To do this, you need to have a robust market research strategy in place. You need to know who your target customer is, what their needs and wants are, and what they’re looking for in a product or service.
Use any and all customer data you have access to. Look into customer purchase history, and returning customers, and start formulating clear customer personalities based on this behavior.
Consider investing in an ecommerce marketing tool with real-time data capture and advanced analytics reporting, as well as A/B testing. These features are invaluable when it comes to understanding your customer base.
One of the most important steps in this entire process is determining where to market your products. After all, we all have different online behaviors and shopping habits, so you must expand your reach to be everywhere your customers are.
Is it better to reach your customers through email marketing? Or are they more likely to browse similar product recommendations after viewing a product page?
For example, if you’re selling to businesses, then you’ll need to focus on business-to-business (B2B) marketing channels. This could include things like trade shows, online directories, and email campaigns.
If you’re selling to consumers, then you’ll need to focus on consumer-facing channels like social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and online advertising.
To learn more about where and when to connect with your customers, read through our tips on the best times to send cart abandonment emails.
Next, make sure you have the right technology and tools in place. There are a number of different platforms and software programs that can help you collect data and then use it to create personalized experiences.
As mentioned above, look into a customer recovery and retargeting tool, as these platforms are specifically designed to understand and monitor customer behavior.
Finally, ecommerce personalization is not something you can set and forget. It’s an ongoing process that requires regular monitoring and adjustments. As your customer base changes and grows, so too will their needs and wants.
Make sure you keep up with the latest trends and adjust your ecommerce personalization strategy accordingly.
The Proper Tools And Platforms for Ecommerce Personalization
Personalized shopping experiences drive customer loyalty and increase customer retention. But if you want to be sure to get the highest ROI, it’s best to get technology working for you.
In order to properly execute personalization, you need to have the right tools and platforms in place. While it’s not absolutely necessary, it can be highly beneficial and convenient to have a tool or platform that helps you manage your ecommerce site’s user experience.
Here are some great tools to help you personalize your ecommerce user experience:
- CartStack: CartStack is an all-in-one customer recovery and remarketing tool. This tool collects real-time data on your customer’s buying habits, which allows you to create personalized email, push and SMS notifications. Also includes options for checkout optimization, A/B testing, and drag and drop builders for easy customization.
- Segment: This is a powerful platform that helps you collect, control, and act on customer data. Segment helps you understand exactly how customers interact with your site, giving you the power to make their shopping experience more personal.
- OptinMonster: OptinMonster is a great tool for creating personalized marketing campaigns that will make your visitors buy. With OptinMonster, you can create exit-intent popups, floating headers, and irresistible offer Lead Magnets based on visitor behavior.
By using these tools, you can create a more personalized ecommerce user experience that will keep customers coming back for more.
Making Use Of Data Collection Strategies
Though many online retailers collect personal data on their customers, they lack the proper tools and strategies to make proper use of it.
Remember — the goal is to learn as much about your customers as possible, without being creepy.
So what are some of the best ways to do this?
There are several approaches to collecting effective customer data, which include:
- Surveys, Forms & Wishlists: It’s so simple you might overlook it, but a great way to learn about your customers is to ask them! This can be done by sending out email surveys, using onsite pop-ups for form responses, or offering wish list building.
- Capture Browsing History: While many ecommerce brands use past purchases as a basis for new product recommendations, it is important to also have tools in place that monitor browsing behavior. Look into using a tool with browse abandonment features and real-time data capture, like CartStack.
- Tracking Appropriate Metrics: Most ecommerce platforms come with some form of analytics monitoring, but are you tracking the right stuff? Website traffic is a great indicator of overall performance, but it doesn’t tell you much about your customers personal needs. To understand your customers’ buying habits, track metrics like engagement, conversions and repeat purchases.
E-Commerce Personalization: Tactics & Tech To Use
By understanding and utilizing the different tactics and technologies available, your business can create highly personalized experiences that drive conversions and keep customers coming back for more.
However, it’s important to note that not all personalization tactics are created equal. Some are far more effective than others, and the key to success is finding the right mix of tactics that work best for your business and your audience.
Creating & Understanding Customer Profiles
Customer profiles, or buyer personas, are in-depth personalities marketers create to better understand their target audience.
Creating a buyer persona begins with market research. You’ll want to look at demographic information like age, gender, location, and income level, as well as psychographic information like interests, hobbies, values, and lifestyle.
You can gather this information through surveys, interviews, and online research. Once you have all of this data, you can start to build out your persona.
Some things you might want to include are:
- A name for your persona
- A description of your persona’s demographics (age, gender, location, income level, etc.)
- A description of your persona’s interests, values, and lifestyle
- Your persona’s goals and challenges
- Your persona’s buying journey
- The type of content your persona would find helpful or interesting
Intelligent Search With Semantic Understanding
Semantic search is one application of semantic intelligence. It is a way of searching for information on the internet that takes account of the meaning of the words used in the search query.
There are many benefits to semantic intelligence and semantic search. For example, it can be used to improve the accuracy of online searches and data collection.
Semantic search is an important tool for personalization. By understanding what your customers are searching for, you’ll be better able to provide a customized experience for their specific needs.
Semantic intelligence also helps search engines understand the meaning of the words used on your site. This is crucial for SEO (search engine optimization), which is the process of improving the ranking of a website on search engines such as Google.
The higher your website ranks on a search engine, the more likely it is to end up in front of your ideal customers the first-time they search for a product.
Segmenting, Targeting, Profiling
There are three different types of audience profiling: demographic, psychographic, and behavioral. Each type of profiling can be used to create more personalized experiences for your customers.
Demographic profiling is the process of segmenting your audience by their age, gender, location, and income level. This type of profiling is useful for understanding your target customer and creating content that appeals to them.
Psychographic profiling is the process of segmenting your audience by their interests, values, and lifestyle. This type of profiling can help you understand how your target customer thinks and what they care about.
Behavioral profiling is the process of segmenting your audience by their online behavior. This type of profiling can help you understand how your target customer interacts with your website and what kind of content they are most interested in.
All three types of profiling can be used to create more personalized experiences for your customers.
Highly Flexible Personalized Content
One of the biggest benefits of building in-depth buyer personas is that you can create highly flexible personalized content. Understanding your target customer allows you to create content that appeals to them specifically, and flexibly update that content as their shopping trends change.
The easiest way to do this, is to create personalized templates for your content. Using templates is a quick and easy way to launch new personalized marketing campaigns.
Just be careful to find an email marketing tool that allows for template building and customization. Marketers commonly run into issues with templates that are not flexible enough to meet their creative needs, and they have to resort to editing the code or building their own templates.
You can avoid this problem with a tool that enables customization of email templates. For example, CartStack comes with a drag and drop builder that makes it easy to customize the pre-built templates included with the software.
Check out this round-up of high-converting email templates for some inspiration for how CartStack can help you build email templates for your ecommerce website.
Improve Customer Website Experience
It’s no secret that a positive website experience is important for customers. It can encourage them to stick around, learn more about your business, and even convert into leads. But what many businesses don’t realize is how personalization can significantly tie in with website experience.
For example, if you know a customer’s name, you can greet them personally when they visit your site. You can also offer them recommendations based on their past purchases or show them content that’s relevant to their interests. This helps create a more personalized experience for each individual visitor, which can result in better engagement and more conversions.
Another thing to keep in mind is the importance of having a mobile-friendly website. More and more people are using their mobile devices to browse the web, so it’s important that your site is optimized for these users. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you could be missing out on a lot of potential leads.
Go For Omnichannel or Multichannel Support
Both omnichannel and multichannel support have their own advantages and disadvantages. But if you want to improve your customer website experience, they’re both worth considering. Let’s look into the benefits and characteristics of each.
Multichannel support refers to using multiple channels to reach your customers, such as email, social media, phone, and live chat. Omnichannel support takes it a step further by integrating these channels so they work together seamlessly.
For example, if a customer starts a chat on your website and then switches to email, their conversation should be picked up in the email thread. Or if they send you a message on social media, you should be able to see that message in your CRM.
|Data is centralized and streamlinedThere is a consistent message across channelsThe customer has a seamless experience
|Data is fragmented and siloedEach channel has its own messageThe customer may have a disjointed experience
E-Commerce Personalization With Artificial Intelligence
As artificial intelligence and machine learning continue to evolve, they are starting to have a bigger impact on E-commerce.
For example, these technologies can be used to personalize the shopping experience for each individual customer. This can be done by analyzing the customer’s past behavior and using that data to make recommendations for products or services.
This is just one example of how AI and ML are changing E-commerce. There are many other ways in which these technologies are helping to improve the online shopping experience. For example, they can be used to improve the checkout process, to detect fraudulent activity, and to recommend products based on the customer’s preferences.
AI and ML are also having an impact on the way businesses operate. For example, they are being used to improve the efficiency of supply chains and to optimize logistics.
The bottom line is that AI and ML are changing E-commerce in a big way, and the impact of these technologies is only going to increase in the future. If you want your business to stay ahead of the curve, make sure you keep an eye on these technologies and how they can benefit you.
E-commerce personalization is one of the most effective ways to improve your website experience. By using data collected from past purchases and other interactions, you can create a personalized experience that will increase both new customers, and returning visitors.
Remember, building a personalized shopping experience starts with understanding your customers wants and needs. Build robust buyer personas in order to better understand and target your ideal audience, and use this information to guide your ecommerce personalization strategy.
Finally, make sure you’re using the right tools to get the job done. There are a number of great platforms out there that can help you automate and optimize your ecommerce personalization efforts.
If you’re looking for a platform that can help you with ecommerce personalization, be sure to check out Carstack.
Carstack is a powerful tool that can help you segment your customers, create targeted campaigns, and track results. With Carstack, you can be sure you’re making the most of your ecommerce personalization efforts. Contact us today to start your free 7-day trial, and learn more about how we can help you grow your business.
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