eCommerce has been searching for the holy grail of personalization for a long time: a consistent, cross-channel experience that adapts to customer wants and goals in real-time.
These technologies have arrived, which is fantastic news for eCommerce.
The bad news is that because there are so many of these tools, each of which offers varying levels of personalization, it’s difficult to know what building individualized user experiences in eCommerce entails and how to do it. Join me as I break down e-commerce personalization: 5 steps to success.
What is eCommerce Personalization?
eCommerce personalization is the practice of dynamically displaying content, product recommendations, and specific offers on eCommerce sites based on prior actions, browsing activity, purchase history, demographics, and other personal information.
Personalization is becoming increasingly crucial for retailers looking to enhance not only engagement, but also repeat purchases, revenue, and conversion.
It can take various forms, including personalized product recommendations on a retailer’s homepage or product detail page, cart abandonment marketing emails, and onboarding quizzes that give customers a personalized showroom of items, among other things.
Personalization Starts with Data Collection
It’s critical to build the foundation of personalization: data collecting, before we go on to the practical deployment of a customized experience.
Data collection is the foundation for personalizing any step in your consumers’ journey, from discovery to purchase and repeat purchase.
The following are important data collecting points for e-commerce personalization:
- Type of device.
- Time zone.
- Items abandoned in shopping carts.
- Recently viewed products.
- Wish list.
- Past purchases.
- Frequency of visiting the web store.
- Purchasing frequency.
- Average order volume.
- Social media interactions with the company.
- On-site interactions (category and product page visits).
- Personal Data.
- Paid Media Pixels (both social and search).
It is also vital to understand:
- What data points to track.
- Who you are tracking.
- When you track data – which most often is in real-time.
- How you track i.e. the tools and platforms to use.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning power all best-in-class personalization technologies, which track on-site and customer data points in real-time and then give a unique individualized experience to each site visitor (whether window shoppers or customers).
After you’ve set up the infrastructure to collect data in real-time swiftly and reliably, the next step is to develop a personalization plan tailored to your specific demands and company size.
The size of your customer base, the number of sales your store generates, and the methods you use to execute personalization will all influence your personalized shopping approach.
eCommerce Personalization Technologies and Tactics
When it comes to personalization, one of the biggest challenges that digital businesses confront is that there is no single approach that defines it, and each type of technology has its own set of constraints.
Personalization isn’t defined by a single strategy.
It’s not as straightforward as saying, “We performed an A/B test, and now we’re personalized.”
There are numerous technologies to consider, and developing your personalization roadmap necessitates developing your own recipe for how much, or how little, you will rely on each.
The table below lists some of the most frequent strategies employed in both B2C and B2B eCommerce, with each technology falling somewhere along the personalization spectrum. Combining these technologies to create a holistic intelligence around user intent is the way to go.
To bring your visitors to their current goal, you must first understand them and then adapt your experience to them on every level that these technologies provide.
Real-time personalization necessitates observing how a visitor’s conduct differs or aligns with their regular behavior, determining their present goal based on their own behavior and that of similar users, and utilizing insights from all levels of technology to assist them in achieving this goal.
[Personalization Tactic #1]: Understanding Audience:
Personalization begins with a thorough understanding of each customer’s requirements. To meet that need, you’ll need a combination of the correct technology and the know-how to apply it.
You may compile indications from how they joined your site to establish why they came to you, whether it’s a new visitor or a returning customer. You can reduce their customer journey and improve their experience if you recognize their goal right away.
Did they come via a social media advertisement? Did they use a search engine to look for a certain product or service? Did they find you through a news story?
[Personalization Tactic #2]: Understanding of Personalized Search
The lack of tailored search is a major opportunity, as people who use search convert at 1.8 times the rate of the average visitor.
On any website, the search box is the most valuable real estate. Unfortunately, many of today’s search features may create more harm than good by focusing on keywords rather than the meaning of those words in context.
It’s not easy to conduct a search. Accurate search results might be difficult to come by due to spelling errors, the use of broad phrases, and variances in how people describe the same goods. It’s the difference between dumb and clever search on a practical level. Most marketing tools still only look for words, which is a surefire way to fail.
A customer looking for a “cheap black laptop” is most likely looking for a black, low-cost PC. A keyword search, on the other hand, might return a page of low-cost black laptop accessories.
An intelligent, semantic search, on the other hand, considers the words in context, exactly like a human sales clerk would.
[Personalization Tactic #3]: Targeting & Profiling
You can virtually accompany your visitors as they peruse your site, similar to how a car salesman might stroll around a showroom with a customer.
A competent salesman picks up indications along the road about what kind of automobile matches his customers, what color they prefer, how much they can spend, and how quickly they want the vehicle. Knowing the inventory at the dealership, he may then show them a vehicle that meets their requirements.
You can employ a similar strategy online, and you can even use a technique that vehicle sellers can’t: you can remain completely invisible while doing so. Allowing machine learning to process all of that data and compare it against your inventory in real-time is critical to making this work.
Not only can machine learning guide people at breakneck rates, but it can also provide possibilities that a person might overlook by analyzing trends in the visitor’s previous activity or connecting them with a group of purchasers who have similar qualities. Your system may even discover totally new client categories that your team was unaware of.
[Personalization Tactic #4]: 1:1 Personalization
1:1 personalization in eCommerce is effective when you have a large amount of data about your clients and can use that data to drastically alter the products you offer them. Rapid data collecting and analysis, cross-channel deployment, and machine learning optimization are all required. Due to a lack of data, 1:1 personalization might be difficult for the vast majority of businesses.
Marketers and merchandisers may leverage this deep level of data to enable 1:1 personalization through search, browse, layout, and content with the correct personalization solutions.
How to Get Started with Ecommerce Personalization
[Step 1] Decide where and how you want to tailor your site for your visitors. This selection should also be based on where personalization will have the most impact on revenue.
[Step 2] Research the many eCommerce personalization technologies and tools available and choose a couple to get started with.
[Step three] Make sure the project has enough resources. Determine who will be in charge of the project and how the results will be measured.
[Step 4] Establish a long-term personalization strategy and methodology.
[Phase 5] Begin segmenting and personalizing your website. Determine which parts of your site would benefit the most from personalization.
[Section 6] Maintain a close eye on the outcomes of your strategy. Wherever possible, improve the process.
[Step 7] Once you’re satisfied with your plan, start scaling it across channels.
Because there are so many products and each one needs to be shown to the correct client, on-site customization is critical for every Ecommerce firm. Otherwise, the goods inventory will remain intact without ever reaching the individual who requires it.
Instead of delivering a single, broad experience across the whole product range, Ecommerce Personalization enables each consumer to have a unique, personalized experience based on their preferences and needs.
On-site personalization will play a huge role in the future of eCommerce, and without it, eCommerce businesses may fail to know and comprehend what their customers really want.
Why is eCommerce merchandising so important?
In unprecedented times like these, it is more important than ever to invest in a well-functioning eCommerce site. Today’s competitive eCommerce landscape demands marketers to provide a unique shopping experience for their customers. Creating effective and differentiated customer experiences may not only increase conversion rates, but also create a long-lasting brand image that will keep customers coming back on a reoccurring basis.
Ecommerce merchandising can also help businesses achieve their strategic business goals. Marketing campaigns can be implemented directly into the site through ads, banners, and targeted content.
The Importance of Ecommerce Merchandising
This way of displaying products isn’t just about making the website look neat and accessible, it’s also important for converting site visitors into paying customers. With a CTA (call to action) strategically placed, reminders for abandoned shopping carts, and “order again” buttons, ecommerce merchandising can influence buying habits of consumers.