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Home Blog Getting Personal With It: The Importance of Personalization in E-commerce


Getting Personal With It: The Importance of Personalization in E-commerce

by Klevu on

Your company might have an existing personalization strategy in place, or perhaps you’re wanting to change tactics. We uncover insights into the benefits of having a personalization strategy and the best methods to sustain it.

Personalization is a technique that removes obstacles for shoppers and aims to improve their overall experience. It’s a way of assuring customers that they are being both understood and offered the very best products. Some call it the Holy Grail. We like those people.

When a shopper is presented with something they’re not interested in, it can have a really negative effect on their relationship with (and outlook on), your company. According to a recent study, 74% of consumers get frustrated when content has nothing to do with them, so it comes as no surprise that many businesses are looking to incorporate personalization techniques and user-generated content into their selling strategy to improve this problem.

According to a Walker study, by the year 2020 customer experience will trump product and price point as the key brand differentiator. With this in mind, businesses that approach personalization effectively (regardless of their average price points) are setting themselves up for success and will stand out from the competition.

Businesses can create unique, positive shopping processes for each individual who interacts with their site – fundamentally tailoring the experience and gaining long-term customer satisfaction and loyalty. But how does it actually make a difference for shoppers?

How personalization transforms the shopper’s experience

Targeted web content can encourage repeat and impulse purchases in a variety of ways. For example, if a customer sees a personalized offer or loyalty scheme it will feel exclusive to them and acts as a positive reinforcement for their previous shopping habits. They will then become more prone to continue shopping in that way.

Businesses that customize deals and discounts, making them specific to the type of product or range that a particular customer typically purchases from, will create benefits for both the shopper and the seller. This acts as an incentive, driving customers to make more unanticipated purchases, rather than feeling unsatisfied with irrelevant promotional content.

Don’t just take our word for it… According to Forbes, 44% of consumers confirm that they will be more likely to make a repeat purchase once they’ve had a personalized shopping experience. To achieve this, it can be as simple as welcoming a customer back by name.

Klevu is committed to supporting e-commerce sites with personalization strategies, and we’ve got more tips below for e-commerce managers who want to nudge in the right direction.

Why it’s critical you get personalization right

The thing is, if targeted content goes wrong, it can go very wrong. You’ve probably seen several business hiccups shared online, and as funny as these can be, they can be a big issue for the reputation of an ecommerce brand. However, this shouldn’t hold you back.

Personalization tactics are vital to increasing customer satisfaction and ultimately, bumping your sales. It’s worth knowing that businesses with personalized loyalty programs are (on average) 88% more profitable than those who do not. That kind of figure can’t be ignored but it’s important to first understand what sort of promotion or exchange will make a difference to your customers. Loyalty Lion is an excellent place to continue learning how to build an emotional connection with customers and get results.

In order to avoid disappointment from your customers and your investing in the wrong areas, be sure to do your research first. Consider asking your customers directly – they’ll feel cared about and you’ll get it right first go. It’s a win-win!

If a customer is overwhelmed due to the lack of filters and personalized content, they may even abandon their basket entirely. To prevent shoppers from abandoning their carts, you need to ensure that customers are presented with the most relevant products, so they don’t have to browse for an unnecessarily long time. The easier the process – the happier the customer.

Keep reading for our guide on getting started with personalization, or revising your current strategy.

How your business should approach its personalization strategy

Start with what you DO know

Sometimes businesses forget that something useful can be waiting to be used, often hiding in plain sight. The first step to implementing personalization techniques is to gather data on your customers and create a customer profile.

Businesses can analyze:

  • Demographics
  • Purchasing history
  • Shopping behaviors (including how much customers spend, on what, and when)

Once this data is collected, sellers can predict their customers’ actions and target them at the right time to encourage them to take a specific action. This might be promoting trending or popular products related to the item they are searching for, or making relevant recommendations similar to their chosen item (e.g. a belt to go with a pair of jeans).

This way, customers can reach the checkout without any obstacles and with the type of products they were hoping to purchase, making them feel it has been a successful shop.

Trending Queries and products

With this data, merchants can show personalized trending queries and products according to the shopper’s behavior, demographics, and purchasing history to enhance their shopping experience.

For example, Klevu considers the number of different data aspects to determine what ought to be displayed to shoppers. It customizes and showcases trending products depending on what the user has previously searched, showcasing the most relevant items first.

Speak to your customers

A good approach to gathering data is to ask consumers to fill out surveys and questionnaires. These can be brief, and if integrated well, can become an almost indecipherable part of the checkout process. These can allow you to understand your customers on a deeper level and when designed well, they can extract the finer details.

Klevu can identify recently searched terms on a user-by-user basis, meaning that previously purchased or searched items can be located quickly and easily. Gathering these details is a great thing because it puts an end to shoppers receiving generic emails and messages, which may bother them. Once a business is aware of its particular buying habits, it can send catalogs, advertisements, and updates that are specific to different tastes.

Making the shopping experience efficient is essential, and any promotional offers need to be introduced smoothly. If offers and pop-ups appear jarring or interfere with the shopping process, the customer will likely find what they were looking for elsewhere. Doing research, and delivering solutions to common shopping complaints will lead to preserved loyalty.

The future of personalization

94% of in-house marketers agree that website personalization is critical to current and future success. As personalization continues to drive conversions and provide impressive customer service, emerging technology is likely to support businesses in their strategies.

As Artificial Intelligence overtakes traditional search methods, businesses will be able to analyze customer buying habits at a new level. Starting with the rise in voice-activated assistants and chatbots – how customers verbally request information and the keywords they use to identify preferences etc, will all be available to create deeper customer profiles.

A business should evolve with the technology that feeds it.

Klevu’s search engine includes technology that learns as it functions, as well as advanced AI. Both of these can gain knowledge of individual shoppers and discover more about their needs on an ongoing basis.

We’ve gone above and beyond to create a complex search that, amongst many features, offers recommended words and phrases as customers begin typing. With this, e-commerce sites can provide not only what a customer is looking for, but what they might not have realized they could have.

How will companies gaining this information impact the shopping experience itself? It’s simple – the information can be fed back into strategy and lead to the benefits mentioned earlier (accurate targeting, ease of purchasing process, etc).

What are your customers being shown? When are they being shown it, and how easy is the site itself to navigate? There are all extremely important (yet simple in theory) questions to consider.

Considering and using the tools and advice above will create a sense of familiarity for customers, and will, without a doubt, transform their shopping experiences. Ultimately, consistency is key. Customers need to know that they can rely on your site to provide a positive shopping experience time after time so that they don’t hesitate to return.

For more insights on personalization techniques and other clever solutions to drastically improve UX, visit our blog.

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