As the current retail industry grows and changes dynamically, eCommerce personalization has now become a crucial part of many store owners’ business strategies.
When buying from an online brand, customers don’t just look for a sole monetary exchange like they used to. What started as simply a way to sell your products on the Internet has now evolved into a more complex relationship between shoppers and brands. Personalization plays the role of enhancing that relationship and keeping customers happy.
But for businesses selling on multiple online platforms, how do you effectively practice this tactic? In this article, we will guide you through the world of eCommerce personalization for multi-channel businesses and how it can help you optimize your selling strategy.
Let’s take a look!
What Is eCommerce Personalization?
Ecommerce personalization refers to the process of customizing the shopping experience of your online store's visitors based on their individual preferences. These preferences can be determined through data collection of customers’ website activities, which are then interpreted into more specific behavioral patterns.
The scope of eCommerce customization may vary based on the kind of experience you want your customers to have. Common tailored areas include product recommendations, email marketing, or targeted advertising.
Where do you get data for eCommerce personalization use?
Sure enough, personalization needs data to be practical. However, customer data is not always available for immediate use. Sales reports may help you identify the overall trend but not each customer's different preferences and activities.
Thus, data from your customers can be collected for eCommerce personalization using these suggested methods:
- Ask customers to provide data through surveys or satisfaction ratings.
- Take advantage of customers' wishlists or abandoned carts to determine what type of products they're interested in and why they're not making purchases yet.
- Utilize viewed products, not just added-to-carts.
- Measure the engagement rate of website elements that directly affect conversion, such as pop-ups, ad blocks, etc.
As a multi-channel business, you may need to gather a different data set for each channel you own. The reason is evident — customer experience will naturally shift depending on the channel they’re on.
Why is eCommerce personalization important?
With their expectations constantly changing, customer experience now plays an even more prominent role in determining your business’s success. Thus, eCommerce personalization has proven to be one of the most effective marketing tools for store owners.
Personalization helps ensure that all information on your customers’ feeds is relevant. When seeing products and content that feels engaging and relevant, customers tend to stick around your website longer.
On the other hand, if customers feel that they can't ‘relate’ to your brand, there’s a high chance that they'd choose a competitor who matches their preferences better. And you surely don’t want that to happen.
With personalization, you can provide the experience a customer wants before they know they want it.
How To Implement eCommerce Personalization As A Multi-Channel Business
Here are some of our suggested tactics to help multi-channel businesses make the best use of eCommerce personalization:
1. Segment your audience.
Using the collected data, you can deliver a better experience to your target audience by building customer personas.
Creating customer profiles gives you a more accurate understanding of what customers want. At the same time, it enables a more effective segmentation strategy for each of your selling channels.
There are three different ways to segment your customers: by their demographic, psychographic, or behavioral characteristics:
- Demographic Profiling: With demographic profiling, you can divide your customers into groups based on their age, gender, location, and income. This is handy when creating content that appeals to those with such traits.
- Psychographic Profiling: This is the method of segmenting your audience based on their hobbies, interests, and lifestyles. Although it requires more research on customer insights, this type of profiling helps you understand how they think and what kind of product they will be interested in.
- Behavioral Profiling: Finally, this profiling technique helps you personalize the customer experience by using their online behavior. The way the audience interacts with products, navigation bars, or pop-ups may indicate the type of content they care about most on your site.
2. Give personalized product recommendations.
Once you've created customer personas corresponding to each of your eCommerce channels, it's time to put them into practice.
If you’ve shopped online before, you’ve probably noticed that most stores will show you “recommended products” that they think you will also be interested in. These are not randomly suggested items — they are suggestions that have been personalized based on your browsing history or past purchases.
Product suggestion is a commonly used eCommerce personalization strategy, as it’s both simple to implement and effective in increasing order value.
According to a report conducted by Segment, 49% of consumers admitted that they had purchased a product they didn’t intend to buy after receiving a personalized suggestion.
Make sure that the products suggested are relevant to your customers' search. In addition, a catchy title is needed to grab the customer’s attention. Adding social proof elements in your title, such as “Others also bought” and “Most popular products this week," can help increase your conversion rate.
If you are using an eCommerce platform that doesn’t provide useful features for suggesting relevant products, don’t hesitate to deploy cart-to-cart migration with experts to improve user experience on your site instantly. The platform you choose should have a built-in “Related Items” feature that allows you to upsell related products.
Another aspect of eCommerce personalization that plays a crucial role in increasing your conversions is email marketing. By offering curated promotions and product suggestions that cater to the right customer segment, your emails are more engaging in the eye of your audience. Thus, you can build a better relationship with your email subscribers using this marketing method.
Here are a few other product personalization techniques to implement:
- Product suggestions based on a customer's location
- Product suggestions based on wishlists or viewed items
- Product suggestions based on abandoned carts
3. Optimize your eCommerce display.
Undoubtedly, website satisfaction is an essential factor in the customer experience. If their feeling towards your site is positive, shoppers will stick around longer, browse more products, and eventually convert into customers.
As mentioned, different channels will already create different customer browsing experiences without personalizing. Therefore, optimizing the display for multi-channel selling is as important as personalizing each channel. Designs on your channels should be synchronized yet customized enough to make them relevant to viewers.
For instance, with individual visitors, you can show them more specific content that suits their interests using segmentation. Suggestions based on past purchases or special promotions on their birthday might result in higher engagement and an increase in conversion rate.
In addition, mobile-friendliness should be highly considered.
According to Statista, mobile eCommerce sales made up 73% of all online purchases in 2021. Out of convenience, more people are choosing mobile devices to browse eCommerce websites and place orders. You are missing out on many potential customers without a responsive eCommerce website display or mobile shopping options.
4. Take advantage of customers' searches.
Knowing what your customers usually look for on search engines will help you create content that matches their search intention and behavioral pattern.
Data from search inquiries is a powerful source of information to curate product suggestions. They allow you to make more accurate predictions of what customers might buy in the future.
For instance, if a potential lead is searching for information about pregnancy, then they’re more likely to convert when baby products are suggested.
Moreover, search inquiries will assist you in drawing a more detailed customer journey. Since customer experience doesn’t just stop at successful acquisitions, post-purchase interactions are no less important. With the right predictions using search information, you can continue delivering relatable content and keep loyal customers around longer.
How eCommerce Personalization Can Benefit Your Business
Now that you know how to implement personalization into your multi-channel eCommerce business, let’s dive into why you should consider doing so at all.
There’s no doubt that putting products on more than one channel will increase your online presence. With multi-channel selling solutions to help you manage sales performance across different platforms, this selling strategy has become more accessible and profitable than ever.
However, with eCommerce personalization, you can increase sales potential by giving customers exactly what they’re looking for. When customers know that visiting your store can solve their need for specific products or services, they are more inclined to make purchases.
By showing the right recommendations at the right time to the right customer segment, you’re increasing the rate of successful purchases.
Strengthen Customer Loyalty
With personalization, the relationship between businesses and their audience becomes stronger. By letting your customers know that you can consistently provide them with the experience they want across all of your channels, they will continue shopping at your brand longer.
This bond is not limited to just doing business.
When customers shop online, they have to provide some personal information. In return, they expect to be treated as individuals with unique interests and personalities. Shoppers wish to receive product suggestions, communications, and offers that are relevant to them on an individual level.
If you can cater to this need, you can create a long-lasting impression on your customers.
Once a personal bond is built, customers tend to embrace the brand as part of their identity. Thus, customers tend to be more loyal to your brand because they feel they belong to a community.
One other benefit of increasing loyalty with eCommerce personalization is that customers are more likely to purchase from you again in the future. With high customer retention, you no longer have to spend as much time and money as you do when trying to convert new leads into sales.
In addition, personalization can assist you in optimizing your business strategy. By knowing your customers' preferences, you will gradually learn which products are popular and which categories you should stop manufacturing.
Boost Customer Satisfaction
To put eCommerce personalization to optimal use, you must understand your customers. With accurate information about what your customers like and don’t like about the products or services you offer, you can undoubtedly provide a more satisfactory experience.
At the same time, customer satisfaction also comes from being treated the way they want. Personalization helps brands remember their customers' preferences better. By showing them the things they like to see or giving them the exact information they need, you are improving the quality of their experience.
Enhance Brand Awareness
As a result of your brand gaining better customer loyalty and satisfaction from eCommerce personalization, brand awareness is also enhanced. Personalization invites customers to engage with your store and create meaningful interactions. Therefore, they are more likely to share their positive experience with your brand with others.
Moreover, eCommerce personalization allows you to differentiate yourself from competitors. If you provide a unique shopping experience they cannot find anywhere else, buyers are more likely to advocate your brand and stay with you longer.
Online retailers are learning the potential of eCommerce personalization. Not only is it a key to making a memorable shopping experience, but it can also help you optimize your business strategy and profitability. Using data collected from past purchases and interactions, you can create targeted experiences to match your customers’ preferences and stand out from other competitors on the market.
For multi-channel business owners, it might feel troublesome having to create a personalized experience on each of your platforms. However, after reading this article, we hope it will help you decide the best practices for your store and receive the benefits that personalization can bring.