Personalized product recommendations aren’t the results of a lucky guess.
Ecommerce personalization is all about tracking data from each individual visitor and matching them to their corresponding micro-segments to make well-informed recommendations on the basis of visitors’ online behaviors, browsing history and a mapping of their tastes and needs.
With proper analysis, ecommerce stores can use data insights to offer targeted products to the right customers, at the right time.
This is inherently more likely to be successful, which means personalized product recommendations can have a great impact on overall conversion rates. However, the benefits don’t stop there. Apart from increasing your conversion rates and online sales, with ecommerce personalization you get to from a bond with your customers, that would have been otherwise impossible through a screen. Over time, ecommerce personalization techniques will help businesses create a streamlined online store, which serves customers exactly how they expect in the digital age. You will have the power to know exactly what your customers are looking for each time they visit your online store, and that’s exactly why they’ll keep coming back.
This will give customers freedom to decide what they want, yet also make it easier to guide them through your conversion funnel. That’s why it’s more than fair to say that ecommerce personalization is actually a crucial part of an efficient UX strategy.
How to Enhance the User Experience with Ecommerce Personalization
Personalized product recommendations form the foundation of success for major online companies such as Amazon and Netflix.
Many ecommerce companies can learn a lot from these giants, employing various techniques throughout their online stores to make the buyer’s journey more engaging and enjoyable.
Here are ten techniques you can use to improve the user experience through better ecommerce personalization:
- Use Smart Offers to Welcome Visitors
Remarkably, about 97% of site visitors will leave your store without buying anything, simply because the first product that appeared was one they weren’t interested in. By using smart offers, ecommerce stores can ensure that every visitor receives personalized product recommendations that cater to their needs and interests.
- Offer Best Sellers on Category Pages
The primary purpose of having category pages on any website is to improve the user experience. It just makes it easier for visitors to navigate your site.
In ecommerce, it saves the customer time and effort, allowing them to complete the journey to check-out faster. To create a high-converting category page, offer the best selling products as recommendations in order to give visitors a chance to buy the popular items that are already highly-reviewed by their peers.
- Show Recommendations Above the Fold
60% of site visitors won’t bother scrolling down. That means any personalized product recommendations below the fold will go to waste 40% of the time.
Although that ratio can vary with smartphone users, the concept remains the same: Show your recommendations as early as possible.
The key is to land the eye instantly, so that visitors identify with a potential purchase within a few seconds of arriving on your site.
- Optimize All Site Pages
Most retailers make the mistake of just adding personalization on their product and checkout pages. However, these pages typically account for less than half of all online shopping sessions, leaving a lot of the website underutilized.
Studies prove that when more than 80% of the site pages are personalized, online sales can grow by up to 20%.
- Remember Returning Visitors
Isn’t it nice when you return to a store and the staff remember your face, or even your name? It’s even better when they remember what you’ve bought before so they can show you new products you might want to buy today.
When visitors come back to your site, it makes for a great experience if you can use personalization strategies to streamline the shopping process, such as showing:
- Targeted discounts on recently viewed products
- Products based on categories the user has recently viewed or purchased from
- Popular products from previously browsed categories
- Offer More at Checkout
Customers are never readier to buy than when they are at the checkout page. As they are already warm, offering recommendations at this touchpoint is a clever way to boost average order value. By using ecommerce personalization at the checkout page, you can recommend products related to the contents of their cart, knowing that customers are already in the buying frame of mind.
Research on 300 ecommerce stores has proven that this technique is one of the best ways of using personalized product recommendations.
- Recommend Accessories
Ecommerce personalization relies on the brilliance of machine learning. With widgets that analyze your store catalogue, it’s easy for the system to provide accessories for products that customers already have in their cart.
Offering a phone case or better charger is a smart way to add to the user experience, while also increasing AOV. This makes recommending accessories a valuable type of personalization for both the customer and the seller.
- Display Items Frequently Bought Together
Showing customers products that are closely related to the ones they are already buying or interested in is a familiar tactic in ecommerce.
Have you ever noticed that the user interface of Netflix is a little different depending on the platform you’re on? This is an example of their A/B testing, where they try to see what works best in terms of offering popular items based of the data of other viewers.
It is highly-effective in getting customers to stay longer on Netflix, or in other ecommerce stores, it leads to repeat business or higher value carts.
- Collaborative Filtering
Amazon has been using collaborative filtering since 1999, gathering data on a vast number of users to then offer very refined recommendations suitable to each micro-segment of their audience.
You might see it displayed as something like, “Customers who bought/viewed this, also bought this…”.
This technique leverages peer pressure, therefore encouraging more online sales as people don’t want to miss out.
- Rescue Sales from 404 Pages
When a customer reaches a 404 page, it shouldn’t automatically spell the end of their time on your site.
In these cases, providing personalized product recommendations can get them back on track, before they exit.
Simply adding a search box will improve the user experience and allow customers to find what they actually want.
Ecommerce Personalization Fosters Trust and Loyalty
Being able to use data to improve the user experience is a powerful tool in the digital age. Ecommerce stores can continually adjust and adapt, learning more with every new visitor and every sale. Over time, by making more accurate personalized product recommendations at every touchpoint of the buyer’s journey, businesses can foster trust and loyalty with their audience. Customer satisfaction will increase, and with that, the AOV and profit margins will benefit.