ecommerce personalisation

by Amba Wilkes

91 percent of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that recognise them and offer personalised shopping experiences. Although personalisation isn’t exactly breaking news to marketers, many still struggle to implement an effective, impactful strategy. When done well, personalisation can make a customer feel valued, creating a connection that translates into loyal customers with higher conversion rates.

Customer expectations are at an all-time high. Fast technology, countless brands to choose from, online reviews and tech-savvy shoppers make it harder to attract and retain customers. 91 percent of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands who recognise them and offer personalised shopping experiences. But yet, 36 percent of shoppers still say retailers need to do more to offer this personalisation.

Although personalisation isn’t exactly breaking news to marketers, many still struggle to implement an effective, impactful strategy. When done well, personalisation can make a customer feel valued, creating a connection that translates into loyal customers with higher conversion rates.

Whatever personalisation struggles you may have faced, or even if you’re planning to try this strategy for the first time, we’re sharing our top-performing personalisation tips to help you drive more conversions.

Why does personalisation matter to eCommerce?

Imagine visiting your favourite retail store. You walk through the door and you’re already familiar with the environment - the layout, the scents, the products. In some cases, the employees may even recognise you, they have an idea of what you’ve already purchased and what you may like, allowing them to enhance your shopping experience.

Removing the human element that many of us love from a shopping trip, you can quickly lose the personal touch. But personalisation can still be applied to your eCommerce store, and the stats show that online shoppers actually expect it. How? Let us tell you.

1) Leverage your data.

Personalisation simply won’t work if you don’t know who your customers are. Focus on collecting accurate data. The more you can gather, the easier it will become to create a detailed and true image of who they are.

As your relationship continues to develop with a customer, you can delve deeper into who they are and what they like, taking personalisation to new heights. It’s important to be transparent over how this personal data will be used. More than 50 percent of shoppers are willing to share their personal details, but they want to see tangible benefits in return such as personalised discounts and offers.

You leverage customer data from many sources including:

  • Previous orders
  • The channel they have accessed your site through
  • Information provided from the customer account (age, gender etc.)
  • Location/IP address
  • Previous searches on your website
  • Average order value
  • Account connections to social platforms

2) Segment your audience.

When your website is generic to every user who visits, the impact weakens which can reduce conversions. Collecting customer data allows you to segment your audience based on their individual needs, allowing you to craft a tailored experience based on the stage of their shopping journey.

These personas should be created from a combination of customer data, competitor research, surveys and website analytics and can be used in a number of ways. For example, use cookies to know whether a customer is new or returning. If they’re new to your site, why not use a pop-up feature which incentivises them to sign up and receive a discount off their first order? Their email address can then be used to create future personalised shopping opportunities similar to what our client Slendertone has included on their site.

Another method of segmenting customers is by their source of entry to your site. The different routes a shopper takes to your website can highlight different intents. If they found your site via Instagram or Pinterest, they are likely at a browsing stage of their shopping journey so direct them to visual and inspiring content.

Brands that show they understand their audience, recognising their needs and catering their onsite content have a higher chance of creating loyal customers.

3) Don’t lose your customers at the checkout

With over 80 percent of shopping carts abandoned before checkout, you’re no doubt missing out on lots of sales. There are a whole host of reasons why a shopper decides to back out of purchase, including unexpected costs, forced account creation and a lengthy checkout process. Conducting a UX audit and user testing can help you understand why people are choosing to leave the checkout so you can implement necessary improvements.

One way of enticing those lost visitors back is by targeting them with an abandoned cart email. A personalised email could be created to encourage users to continue with their purchase. Features could include:

  • A thought-provoking subject line
  • Personalised product recommendations
  • A timed discount

You could even use this opportunity to gather more insight into why the user decided not to go ahead by including a survey of why they abandoned their shopping cart at the checkout.

4) Provide personalised product recommendations

Is your homepage, product pages and checkout tailored for each user? Product recommendations can be used at every stage of the buying journey. Using an eCommerce Intelligence Engine such as Nosto, you can suggest relevant products based on a customer’s behaviour. These recommendations can be bundled into different groups including:

  • Frequently bought together
  • Customers who bought this also bought
  • Other items you may like
  • Recommended for you

Implementing this functionality for our client, lights4fun, shoppers are able to easily navigate to products that are likely to be of interest to them.

Targeted upsell and cross-sell opportunities can also be maximised within this tactic. For example, a customer purchasing a mobile phone could be presented with a range of case options or other compatible accessories.

This data-driven, real-time personalisation generates an average conversion rate increase of 15.5% and can be easily delivered through automation to prompt the purchase of relevant products.

5) Customise your emails

Email marketing has historically performed well for eCommerce brands. It’s persuasive, direct and gets people engaged. Adding personalisation into the mix can make this channel all the more effective with Experian reporting that email personalisation can drive six times higher transaction rates. Personalising your email marketing can be done in a number of ways such as:

  • Celebrating personal events: Send your customers a one-off discount on their milestones such as a birthday or anniversary alongside personally recommended products. This not only helps to show how much you value your customers but can also encourage them to reengage with your brand.
  • Gather content from your customers: Automating messages such as reviews and feedback that are relevant to the product the customer has purchased can help drive user-generated content. This captured data can then be used to inform future personalisation decisions.
  • Personalise email subject lines: Email is so effective because you can deliver a message directly to a customer’s inbox. However, there are lots of brands also doing this which can make it tricky to stand out from the crowd. Personalising your email subject lines can help increase conversions, highlighting the value behind tailored messaging.

By creating automation workflows based on customer data, you can effectively encourage your customers to convert with you. Using an email marketing automation platform like Wired Plus can help you do this with ease, delivering personalised content and messaging based on your user’s interests, behaviour and stage in the shopping journey. Lewis Jackson, Account Manager at Wired Plus, shared his thoughts on the importance of email personalisation:

“Personalising emails is all about driving relevancy with the individual by leveraging data you have about them whether it’s their basic contact details or past interactions such as order history. The more relevant you can make this interaction, the higher the engagement and bottom-line conversions will be. You’ll also see an increased customer lifetime value.”

Final thoughts

When a user lands on your website, you already have a potential customer knocking at your door. It’s down to you to make this interaction as relevant, engaged and personal as possible to really make an impact and build a connection. Use these ideas to create an end-to-end tailored offering based on their data and buying behaviour.

It’s a good idea to continue evaluating this data and experimenting to keep improving how you sell to your customers. The more often a shopper returns, the better you will become at delivering a personalised shopping experience. It has now become more important than ever before to optimise your revenue opportunities and become better at selling to the right customer at the right time. If you want to find out more insight directly from our eCommerce experts themselves, get in touch with the team today.

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