In an era when machine learning, AI and robotics are rising, the landscape of ecommerce is changing in ways we could only have imagined before.
And yet, despite the move towards to a digital future underpinned by automation and data insights, it is more important than ever to make your business more personal.
With competition across all industries more fierce than ever, ecommerce personalization can no longer be ignored.
The reality is that people have less patience for all the noise that doesn’t interest them.
Research by Accenture indicates that almost 40% of shoppers have left an online store because they were simply frustrated at the barrage of irrelevant options and content that didn’t cater to their interests.
And where do they go?
They go straight to one of your competitors, of course.
In its simplest terms, ecommerce personalization is how effective your website is at meeting the precise needs of your customer. The more efficient your business becomes at this, the easier it will be to connect with your target audience.
Ultimately, this can have a massive impact on your ROI.
It’s no surprise that 94% of marketers agree that ecommerce personalization is critical to the success of their business.
Which begs the question, how do you personalize for better results?
Build the Relationship with a Personal Touch
You are searching for a new outfit for your friend’s wedding. After a couple of shops that offered little more than pushy sales of items you don’t like, you walk out. Walking into the last shop, you are greeted with a smile and the assistant strikes up conversation with you, not about their products, but simply about you.
Upon learning about the wedding, she asks a little more, getting a feel for your usual style at formal events. Soon after, she measures you up and helps you pick out some great options. She even matches ties to your eye color!
Needless to say, you enjoy the experience and buy a suit there and then. Over the next year, you return multiple times. You sign up for their membership card and every email they send has an offer that interests you.
In ecommerce, personalization like this goes a long way.
Over 70% of people get frustrated with websites when their browsing experience is interrupted by content, promotional offers and ads that have nothing to do with their interests. Just like the experience at the mall, you may get impatient and leave.
Many marketers believe that personalization is the future.
And yet, many ecommerce sites are making the mistake of ignoring it.
Poor Personalization is Bad for Business
A report by Accenture on ecommerce personalization showed some damning results. Businesses lost a staggering $756 billion in 2017, as over 40% of customers decided to switch companies because of poor personalization.
Most ecommerce businesses use paid ads to drive traffic to their websites.
The problem is that they fail to harness this traffic. They offer the wrong products and don’t analyze the data correctly. In the end, their ROI suffers as the paid traffic yields little in terms of loyal customers and online sales.
When ecommerce personalization is done correctly, businesses can enjoy a host of benefits.
The Benefits of Ecommerce Personalization
By using the wealth of data and power of analytics, you can learn more about your customers, from the moment they first visit your site, to their first purchase and beyond.
This provides wins for both you and your customers.
Saves the customer time
Customizing messages based on where your customers are in the sales funnel will improve their experience. You can use data insights to personalize their experience, saving them time. In the end this will help drive them to the buying stage in a shorter space of time.
Boosts conversion rate
When Avon experimented with personalized content, they recorded a soaring growth in conversion rate, to the tune of 96%. A solid approach to ecommerce personalization can contribute to more sign-ups, improved lead generation, and significantly higher sales volume.
Improves your customer interaction
By learning more about your customers, you can speak directly to their needs, interests and desires. Personalized messages will lead to more meaningful interactions, which boosts your company reputation. There’s no denying that personalization allows businesses to advance their customer relationships.
Attracts qualified leads
Ecommerce personalization doesn’t just nurture relationships with existing customers. It can also attract new ones who are ready to buy. HubSpot research found that calls-to-action targeted to the user resulted in a 42% higher view-to-submission rate compared to generalized calls-to-action.
Generates accurate product recommendations
The clothes company ASOS has a very effective system for product recommendations. By gathering a lot of data, businesses like ASOS are able to learn a lot about the visitor. This makes it easier to associate behaviors and preferences with certain products.
The Right Time to Get Personal
The time is now.
In 2017, nine out of ten consumers said that ecommerce personalization was a major factor in their purchasing decisions.
But before you put all your eggs in one basket, consider the advice of ecommerce giant, Shopify. While it is important to personalize the customer experience, it should never be done at the expense of other key aspects.
For example, your website should be optimized with:
- Great copywriting
- Attractive images
- Easy-access and smooth, speedy navigation
Paid traffic that targets a very specific audience is great, so long as you then use the data to customize the user experience in the future. This will enable you to differentiate your company.
Getting the fundamental elements of your web design right first is vital, after which you can look to personalize things.
In doing so, you can engage visitors at a different level by offering relevant content, products and offers. This will enhance an already enjoyable experience, boosting customer satisfaction.
In the end, getting to know your customers will allow for better ecommerce personalization, which will have massive impact on your ROI.
Knowledge is power.