It's not about you, it's about your customers!
As freaking, enchanting or intrusive that it may sound, “Effective Personalization” is the key to ecommerce success. Over 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement leading to increased sales. E-sellers are facing a stark new reality in a modern online marketplace - aggressive selling via all multichannel approaches, the competition is heating up real fast! From defining your segment, creating personas to analyzing anonymous personalization, true success lies in collaborating effective personalization, leveraging what you know based on past and current interactions, profile management to store key customer attributes and strategically utilizing emerging technology.
From product recommendations to targeted email outreach or push alerts promoting sales campaigns, ecommerce companies today strive to deliver a relevant and delightful shopping experience at all touch points. Let us discover the challenges, considerations and best practices that define these milestones and give you the edge over rival online stores.
Milestone 1 - Personalized Recommendations Across Buyer Journey
“The holy grail is having a customer for life, and having that customer buy from you repeatedly.”
~ Alex Zhardanovsky
Not all customers are equal and major ecommerce players are nailing it! GAP, Amazon, Shoeline, Lowe or The North Face have tactically integrated recommendations into nearly every part of the purchasing process, religiously follow them both on-site and off, via email.
Personalized product recommendations including cross-sell and upsell however must be offered on across the buying cycle, from the homepage, product pages, category pages to shopping cart page. You too can achieve this by capturing opportunities in customer data using advanced analytics like Optimizely, HotJar, MixPanel, FullStory, Metrillo and then tailoring customer engagements to drive greater sales.
Milestone 2 - Boost the Experience with Personalized Promotional / Lifecycle Emails
Adequate data collection, effective processing, extracting useful information and tactical use of shopping funnels and more… Amazon, Alton Lane, Spotify, ModCloth, Target, Crate and Barrel work wonders with personalized email and how?
From welcome emails, transactional mails like price drop emails, subscriber mails and promotional emails with personalized subject lines, to ‘abandon cart reminder mailers. The collaborative approach helps you sustain the individual experience that customers crave.
A study ‘Millennials—Where They Shop, Why It Matters’ by SmarterHQ, points out that there are 5 emailers that can increase campaign revenue by 291%
- Checkout abandonment
- Product browse abandonment
- Back-to-stock notifications
- Welcome messages
- Reengagement emails
Use CTA’s, dynamic landing pages, kinetic email designs and A/B testing on your email campaigns to increase email engagement and capture insights. You may consider using tools like ExactTarget, Marketo, Vertical Response to automate most of the processes and tying the email campaigns to the outcomes – open, clicks, purchases to make them accountable.
Milestone 3 - Leverage Predictive Analytics & Machine Learning
Your shoppers know it when they SEE IT, so start optimizing experiences with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Gilt, Amazon Go Grocery online stores, The North Face, Etsy are among those ecommerce players, actively leveraging the power of AI (Artificial Intelligence), including machine learning and predictive analytics to personalize shopping.
Ecommerce like yours may use AI to optimize every part of the marketing mix to deliver seamless, always-on, relevant shopping experience that consumers crave. By rapidly monitoring a huge amount of data to identify clusters and patterns, AI allows you to not only understand but also predict consumer behavior, pinpoint their place in the shopping journey and help engage the right prospects with the right message at the right time.
The Future is Personal
Create the ‘gentle nudge’ to create powerful personalized online shopping experiences for your users. Are you looking out for innovative methods to reach out to your customers? Has something caught your eye?
The Future is NOW!
Author: Bhoomi Mehta is a techno-commercial leader with 20+ years of cross-functional expertise across Consulting, Operations, Marketing & Sales, Application Portfolio, Web Content Management, Product Engineering & Lifecycle Services at Cygnet Infotech. Having worn several hats over the years including Consulting, Mentoring, Training, Project Management, Quality Assurance, Marketing & Sales, Bhoomi actively shares insights on latest and important issues related to nopCommerce and leading technology platforms.