A Comprehensive Look at Ecommerce Personalization

Ecommerce is more competitive now than ever before and there are no signs that will change anytime soon. In fact, you can expect competition to intensify in the years to come as more businesses enter just about every industry and new technologies/platforms help them better market themselves.
This is why now is the time to begin leveraging personalization for your ecommerce website. As it becomes progressively more important to differentiate your business from the competition, this will be one of the most important ways of doing so.

6 Examples of Ecommerce Personalization in Practice 

There are countless ways you can utilize personalization on your ecommerce website. More seem to appear almost every day. However, to get you started with thinking about how you can begin leveraging personalization right away, here are six options.

1. Site Navigation

If site navigation isn’t already a priority for your company, it definitely should be.
That said, don’t forget to implement personalization when modifying your current site. When a potential customer visits, it should react with a custom display based on previous visits.
For every unique visitor, there is an ideal path. Some will need to read through your “About Us” page before they trust you enough with their business. Others will want to see the product they’re interested in right away, so they can make a purchase and move on.
Whatever the case, your website should respond like a seasoned maitre d’, recognizing the visitor and escorting them through their experience based on what they know about their unique preferences.

2. Featured Brands, Products, and Services

Another take on this could be with the products you recommend visitors.
For example, say someone already purchased a product from your website. Now, a month later, they’ve returned for something entirely different. Your website should be able to recognize the unique visitor and reference their purchasing history so it can display products other than the one they’ve already bought.
Clearly, the visitor already knows all about the product they’ve purchased, so even if they plan on buying the same thing again, there’s no point in wasting potential marketing space by showing them the same thing twice.

3. Category Recommendations

Ecommerce personalization isn’t always about products, either. Many companies are successfully using this tactic to recommend categories of their site to visitors.
Instead of using a static list for everyone, they present categories based on the unique visitor. This could refer to anything from the different pages they show on their homepage to the categories of posts they show on their blog.
Netflix may be one of the best examples of this form of personalization. When someone arrives on the site, Netflix immediately begins recommending show and movie categories based on past behaviors.

4. Search Bar

If you have a search bar on your website, your visitors will make it easy for you to understand what they want. Still, you can take this a step further by ensuring that searches auto-complete for them based on what they’ve searched for in the past.

5. List Sorting

Then, instead of providing users with the same search results you would show anyone else, use personalization to sort it.
This is especially helpful if you have a large inventory. Many shoppers may not stick around long enough to scroll through your entire list before they decide to check with a competitor, so it will make a big difference if you can show them relevant results right away.

6. Email

As we mentioned earlier, personalization isn’t just for ecommerce websites. There are plenty of other ways it can be leveraged, as well.
Email marketing continues to be a powerful way for companies to connect with leads and former customers to keep driving sales.
Yet, strangely enough, the vast majority of companies don’t bother using personalization with such an important channel.
This was true as recently as 2013, when the 2013 Experian Email Marketing Study was published. The results of the study showed that, while most companies made sure to ask their customers for personal information, a full 70% of them never bothered actually using this data to personalize their emails. So, as far as their email marketing efforts went, this information didn’t even exist.
Some of you may think that this is actually proof that ecommerce personalization isn’t always an effective tool. However, that same study also showed that, when compared with generic messages, personalized emails:

  • Were opened 29% more often
  • Received 41% more unique clicks
  • Were 26% more likely to get opened just for having a personalized subject line

Continuously Testing Ecommerce Personalization 

As with any component of your overall ecommerce strategy, you need to test your personalization efforts again and again. The tactic has almost unlimited potential, so the more you test and find ways to refine it, the better you can expect it to do.

Ecommerce Personalization Must Exist Outside of Your Website

Putting personalization to use on your website will produce huge benefits, but don’t stop there. Any time you interact with your market, look for opportunities to use this tactic.
The Importance of Ecommerce Personalization After Purchases
Don’t forget that personalization can take place long after a purchase is made, as well. In the case of emails, you can send these out to customers based on their buying decisions. If you create a new and improved version of the product they’ve already bought, let them know about it right away by emailing them directly.
That’s not all.
Say someone purchases a product from you to help with their back pain. Going forward, you could send them links to blog posts you’ve done on the subject and interviews you’ve held with chiropractors and personal trainers. All of these things will not just help your customer but also help them better understand that your company is a reliable source for the kinds of solutions they need.

Getting Started with Ecommerce Personalization

If you haven’t yet invested in ecommerce personalization, the above information may feel a bit overwhelming.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be. Contact Segmentify and we’ll walk you through the many ways we can help yours leverage personalization to improve your customers’ experiences and your company’s bottom line.