The Ultimate Guide to eCommerce Personalization 

Creating a personalized experience on your ecommerce site leads to increased reviews and more.

min read
Shipping boxes stacked on top of each other.

Online shopping has changed quite a bit since the 1990s, when eCommerce was still in its infancy. Since buying things online was such a novelty, people didn't focus as much on the overall experience and presentation.

Instead, most people bought what they liked, basing their decision on price, description, and the item itself. While these three things still play a large role in eCommerce, things are different now — and shoppers expect quite a bit more out of online shops.

This is where eCommerce personalization comes into play: it provides customers with the tailored experience that they desire.

What Is Ecommerce Personalization?

In general, eCommerce personalization takes the customer experience to a higher level, aiming to provide shoppers with the customer service they would receive in a physical store.

After all, if they entered a brick-and-mortar location, they would be greeted by customer service associates who ask them if they need help or remain available to answer questions. Those associates might even be able to recommend products based on what the customer is buying. Unfortunately, none of these things exist online.

That's where personalization comes in.

Personalizing the eCommerce experience for shoppers leads to several benefits for the shop. It increases their revenue, since shoppers who see offerings that are directly relevant to them, complete with recommended products, are likely to make purchases.

As such, it increases the store's conversion rate. These people have been converted to customers by putting items in their online carts and following through to make a purchase.

With eCommerce personalization., shoppers who get the best customer service and shopping experiences online are likely to become repeat customers.

What Are the Benefits of Ecommerce Personalization? 
  • Improved LTV + customer loyalty
  • Increased CVR + sales
  • Boosted AOV since customers are willing to pay for the benefits

The main benefits are described above: increased revenue, a higher conversion rate, and repeat customers. It isn't until you look at the statistics that you truly realize just how important these things are. Let's break this down a little.

Customer Loyalty (LTV)

Receiving a personalized experience when shopping online is extremely important. According to one study, 80% of people said that they would prefer to buy items from an eCommerce store that offers personalized experiences.

In addition, 44% of buyers would come back to an eCommerce store that provides this particular service, becoming repeat shoppers in the process.

Increased Sales (CVR)

Sales increases are crucial because of the obvious. Every eCommerce store needs people to make purchases so that they can keep their virtual doors open. A study found that eCommerce shops that offered a personalized experience saw higher sales – 20% on average – than those who did not offer this service.

AOV: Customers Are Willing to Pay For the Benefits of Personalization

Finally, there's pricing. This is one of the main eCommerce concerns because pricing can vary quite a bit, even when similar products are offered online through different shops.

According to a study, 77% of all consumers have paid more for products sold in online stores that offer personalized experiences. This willingness to pay higher prices shows just how important personalization is to them.

How to Put Together a Personalized Ecommerce Experience 
  • Use A.I. to ensure complete personalization
  • Focus on the audience
  • Include user segment targeting
  • Make use of content similarity suggestions

There are many different methods to achieve greater personalization in eCommerce. Some online stores reach for AI, or artificial intelligence, programs that can handle a good amount of personalization.

Others use different means to determine and set up what they want their customers to experience. It all comes down to which type of technology they prefer to use. Here are the four most popular.

Use A.I. to Ensure Complete Personalization

Complete personalization is tricky because it requires the program (in this case, AI software) to create a profile for each user.

This profile consists of different things, such as:

  • Email address
  • User data
  • Purchase history

For this method to work, the store must require every shopper to create an online account containing everything needed to put together their profile.

Focus on the Audience

This tactic requires a bit of market research and reporting. Who makes up the store's target market? What do those people want to buy?

This information and other things, like ages, general salary amounts, geographical locations, and more, are all used to put together a picture of the store's audience.

A personalized focus, including suggested products, can be assembled to recommend things to them that they may like.

Include User Segment Targeting

For a program to use segmented targeting, they put together a series of profiles based on audience focus, but with a slight twist towards complete personalization. They break down the segments based on several factors, putting them into groups.

The personalized recommendations are then made to people who fall within each group.

For example, people who buy sweaters and are between the ages of 35 and 40 receive a specific set of product recommendations, while those who are between the ages of 20 and 34 but by that same sweater, receive different recommendations.

Make Use of Content Similarity Suggestions and Search Recommendations

Content similarity involves suggesting things to shoppers based on what they looked at previously and placed in their carts. For example, if they purchased a cardigan sweater, the site can suggest similar sweaters that they might like.

It can also take a slightly different tactic and suggest items that can be worn with their chosen sweater, such as jeans, a dress, or even a pair of shoes.

It all depends on what the store has in stock and what the AI intuits that the shopper might like.

Further, you should personalize content and recommendations based on the searches a user is actively conducting on your site. For example, if someone searches for "men's sweaters," it stands to reason that they should see related content, such as more men's clothing, as related links or products they might also like. (Click here to learn more about how implementing AI-powered, natural language search on your website can help you deliver a more personalized experience.)

Other Personalization Tactics 
  • Put together a best-seller list
  • User behavioral triggers
  • Include user-generated content

In addition to the technological personalization options and tactics, there are several others that you can put together for your eCommerce store's shoppers.

These other tactics are a bit more fun, and while they may be aimed at your general audience, they are something that your shoppers will notice.

Put Together a Best-Seller List

People tend to love best-sellers. By putting together best-sellers' lists in certain categories, you can aim them at your shoppers.

For example, if someone puts a thriller genre book in their online cart, you can show them a list of the top ten best-selling thriller books on your site.

They will more than likely click through them and even purchase a few.

Use Behavioral Triggers

Everyone loves a good sale or discount. You can capture potential new customers by giving them a small discount in exchange for signing up for your email list. You can also use their information to increase the accuracy of your AI personalization tactics.

When added to your database, their details will help your website suggest the best possible products they might like and use their information to make better suggestions for those who fall into their general age, gender, and location categories.

Include User-Generated Content

The best way to describe this is with an example. If you offer clothing for sale, encourage your buyers to take pictures of themselves wearing their purchases and post them to your site alongside reviews.

Seeing what these items look like on real people can entice buyers. Then, take this a step further and, using the information in your database, suggest items to customers based on the reviewer's information, matching things like age and size.

This level of personalization will increase your sales quite a bit.

Add AI-Guided Buying Search Flows (Example: link)

About Ecommerce Personalization 

Shoppers demand more personalized experiences these days than ever before. To bring in customers, get them to purchase items, and have them come back, you need to offer them the personalization they want.

In addition, by recommending products that they might like based on prior purchases or even the current contents of their carts, you're likely to see your sales increase, as they might just click through to check out and buy those products. As a result, your sales will soar.

Providing personalized eCommerce experiences to your buyers is one way of increasing your revenue and watching your customer conversion rise.

Sources:
Ecommerce Personalization: 2022 Complete Guide | Bloomreach
21 Ecommerce Personalization Examples and 7 Tactics That Won't Break at Scale | Shopify Plus
The Ultimate Guide to Personalization in Ecommerce | Coveo

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