The pandemic might have had a negative impact worldwide, but it actually helped in boosting eCommerce sales like crazy! Overall eCommerce sales grew over $430 billion in the US alone, in 2020.
However, it is not all hunky-dory in the global eCommerce sector. There is cut-throat competition to acquire new customers and the best way to beat it is through eCommerce personalization across the customer journey. Enhance the customer experience, delight new customers, build customer loyalty, and rake in the benefits.
In this blog, we will discuss everything most eCommerce platforms should know about personalization so they can race ahead of their competitors’ user-generated content and convert more customers.
So, let's get started!
What is eCommerce Personalization?
eCommerce personalization (also called website personalization) aims at providing a distinctive user experience tailored to the needs of existing and potential customers. Online stores planning to boost eCommerce personalization use different customer data sources like purchase history, user behavior, browsing history, geographic location, user-generated content, and so on, to build a unique customer experience.
To put it simply, eCommerce personalization is all about displaying what customers want to see and exactly when they want it. There are different ways to leverage website personalization, and here are a few:
- Personalized content and landing pages
- Personalized product recommendations
- Personalized product pages
- Personalized offers and deals
- Personalized emails
- Personalized search results
And so on…
The success of eCommerce personalization depends on your data sources. Even until a few years ago, personalization was all about adding a customer’s first name to emails. But with the advent of AI-based personalization software, online retailers have come a long way!
Online shoppers now look for relevant recommendations that actually resonate with their preferences. That's why it's time for online stores to start taking eCommerce personalization seriously and delight valuable customers. In this article, we'll take a look at why it's so important and what the benefits are and an eCommerce personalization example or two.
What are the Top Benefits of eCommerce Personalization?
eCommerce personalization comes with some significant benefits in the case of retaining existing customers. Here are a few to begin with:
Increase eCommerce conversion rate
A great benefit of personalization in eCommerce is an increased conversion rate. Marketers have noticed an average sales growth of 20% with personalization strategies. Personalized shopping experiences allow you to display relevant product recommendations to customers, specific to their needs. Thus, customers spend less time searching and more on selecting items they are most likely to buy.
Are you looking for a simpler way to boost the conversion rate of your Shopify store? Here is a guide to help you out - Improving Shopify Conversion rate: All You Need To Know
Build a seamless buyer’s journey
As of 2020, the average eCommerce conversion rate in the US was 2.63%. This clearly reveals a massive gap between the total number of shopping sessions on an eCommerce platform and the number of sessions that actually convert.
This means massive shopping cart abandonment, lower Average Order Value (AOV), and several other roadblocks. eCommerce personalization can bridge this gap to a great extent. eCommerce stores can add elements of personalization across different customer touchpoints and simplify the shopping experience for customers by providing what they want.
Boost customer loyalty and retention rate
Acquiring new customers is not the sole focus of eCommerce stores. To survive in the overly competitive eCommerce industry, it is mandatory that eCommerce stores put efforts into converting more repeat visits. That’s because it is the returning visitors who are 3X more likely to shop from your store as compared to first-time site visitors.
eCommerce personalization is key to creating more loyalty. It introduces credibility and helps you win the trust of customers pretty quickly. As a result, eCommerce stores can easily build customer loyalty.
5 eCommerce Personalization Strategies and Tactics for your Store
Now that we've spoken about eCommerce personalization, let's look at some tried and tested strategies:
Add personalized product recommendations
When designing Shopify product pages, don’t forget to add personalized up-sell/cross-sell recommendations. It’s the key to creating more repeat customers. Research by Barilliance shows that product recommendations can reduce cart abandonment by 4.35%.
Instead of trying to do this manually, an online store can get a personalized recommendation engine like Argoid. It helps eCommerce stores display recommendations based on user data like previous purchases, browsing history,etc. Online retailers can easily boost their Average Order Value (AOV) with such dynamic content and personalized recommendations.
Focus on behavioral targeting and profiling
Remember how offline retail staff could pick up your needs and preferences after the first 2-3 visits and then keep offering relevant items that you couldn't say no to?
Well, eCommerce personalization is about taking the same approach online. With highly advanced technologies by your side, you can now do much more than just note down customers’ preferences and offer them the same products again and again.
With AI and Machine Learning always backing you, it has become easier to predict customers’ future requirements and display their favorite products to boost conversion. All you have to do is match customers’ intent with your real-time inventory. It may sound tricky but AI and Machine Learning can do it within seconds.
The key to delivering personalized experiences for eCommerce customers is in data-driven targeting and profiling. The more you know about each customer, the better it is for you to predict their activities.
With AI-powered targeting, it is possible to capture relevant customer data across all data points and build a profile for each buyer’s journey. When that’s done, making eCommerce personalization successful is easier and very effective.
Create personalized pop-ups
Pop-ups play a key role in boosting customer engagement. An online store generally uses these pop-ups in different stages of the customer journey to offer the customers different perks and benefits. The purpose of these pop-ups is to expedite the possibilities of conversion.
eCommerce stores can reap the benefits by displaying the right pop-ups at the right time; again,a significant part of eCommerce personalization. Many eCommerce stores make the mistake of displaying pop-ups as soon as a customer enters your store.
But that’s not the right strategy from an eCommerce personalization perspective. That’s because, for first-time visitors, you don’t have enough data. Thus, offering an entry pop-up might not do much for the store, and may even end up as a bounced visit. In fact, on average, the conversion rate for entry pop-ups is only 3.09%.
An eCommerce website should rather wait until they have enough data about a certain customer and focus on creating personalized pop-ups. For instance, you observe that a customer visited your store 2-3 times. You have enough data from their browsing history and user behavior for the returning visitors. So now, you can give them a personalized offer in the form of pop-up. The chances of conversion are much higher here.
Don’t forget about the post-purchase experience
eCommerce personalization doesn’t stop after delivering the products at customers’ doorsteps. In fact, it is just the beginning. If you want to convert one-time customers into loyal customers, it is a must that you focus on improving post-purchase shopping experience.
An Online shopper may not expect an eCommerce website to woo them even after purchase is completed. However, with the right set of eCommerce personalization strategies and customer segments, it is possible to impress the customers post-purchase and make them feel valued. That’s exactly how you create loyal customers.
There are various ways to woo your customer base with a delightful post-purchase experience. These include:
- Offering visually attractive packaging
- Adding a personalized handwritten note
- Seamless return and refund process
All these can help in building a long-term, emotional relationship with the customers and encourage the customers to purchase again from your store.
Personalized search for your online store
Personalized search is one of the key elements of eCommerce personalization. An eCommerce site should provide maximum focus on customizing the search boxes. In fact, store visitors that use the search box are 1.8 times more likely to convert.
Customer searches are not always appropriate. They can be full of typos, improper descriptions and broad search terms. However, an eCommerce store that uses personalized search can still identify the search queries and display relevant items to the users.
So, what’s the way out here? eCommerce stores should go for an intelligent, personalized search option. Use Argoid’s personalized search feature to experience the following:
- Highly tailored, precise search results
- Numerically wiser, smart word-driven search bar that shows that captures typos and broad terms
- Built-in Predictive Query Suggestions (PQS)
With a similar personalized search bar, the possibilities of conversion are much higher for eCommerce stores.
3 eCommerce Personalization Examples for eCommerce Stores
Is the concept of eCommerce personalization clear yet? If not, here are a few examples to help you further:
Example 1: Amazon
Amazon is a powerhouse when it comes to eCommerce personalization. As soon as you enter Amazon, you’ll notice how your home page, product pages, and cart page are completely personalized with relevant product recommendations. Amazon captures and leverages customer data like search history, previous purchases, geolocation, user behavior etc. to provide distinctive product recommendations.
In fact, it prefers to stay one step ahead of its competitors by predicting a customer’s upcoming purchases. Amazon has mastered eCommerce personalization and enjoys a conversion rate of 9.87%.
Example 2: Sephora
When it comes to personalized product recommendations, Sephora is a significant name. This beauty brand provides each customer with a personalized in-store assistant that helps your customer base to enjoy a personalized shopping experience. This is again a great eCommerce personalization example.
Like Amazon, Sephora also collects datasets from different customer data points like beauty campaigns, email subscriber lists, insider programs, etc. The Sephora application also comes with a personalized search bar to ease user experience.
Example 3: Forever 21
Forever 21, one of the biggest fashion retailers, is an eCommerce personalization example that has leveraged customer preferences to its advantage for a long time. This brand introduced an AI-powered visual search feature to its application to create unique a customer experience, enabling shoppers to look for different items like dresses, tops, pants etc. within seconds. Personalization is the cornerstone of Forever 21’s immense success all over the world.
eCommerce marketing is changing at a robust rate. With the popularity of AI-powered tools, there is hardly any room left for the one-size-fits-all framework. If you want to offer customers a hassle-free shopping experience, you need to switch to eCommerce personalization.
Website personalization can open doors to create a repeat customer base and satisfy each customer segment based on their individual preferences. We hope this guide will help you enhance your eCommerce conversion rates through the appropriate implementation of eCommerce personalization strategies.
A tool that can help you in this journey is - Argoid.
- Argoid is an AI-driven product recommendation tool that boosts conversion rate, increases retention rate and reduces churn rate.
- Argoid applies 1:1 personalized recommendation in practice to provide relevant product suggestions across each customer touchpoint
- Argoid is a no-code platform that doesn’t require any extra efforts to set-up and get started.
Want to explore further? Talk to us!