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Personalisation techniques to use in ecommerce

8th Mar 2017
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In spite of some rumblings about privacy concerns, there’s pretty strong evidence that customers want personalized experiences. For one thing, close to fifty percent of consumers are more likely to spend money after a personalized experience. Nearly ¾ become frustrated when the content that they see is not relevant to them.

Clearly there are more benefits to creating personalized experiences than drawbacks. The challenge is figuring out which personalization techniques are available and which are best for your brand. Keep reading to learn more about some proven personalization techniques for ecommerce.

Entry Questions or Surveys

Several years ago, choose your own adventure books were all the rage. These were stories where the reader took control of the experience by determining what was going to happen next. Brands can allow users to choose their own adventures by having them answer questions or take brief surveys.

These can be presented in a very straight forward way. For example, a travel agency website might ask visitors if they are interested in foreign or domestic travel, then if they want to see travel packages or create their own experiences. Once the customer answers these questions, they will then be routed to a page that is most relevant to them.

If it fits your branding, it’s also possible to add a bit of a fun twist to this. For example, a coffee company could create a quiz titled, ‘What’s Your Coffee Drinking Personality?’ in order to get the information needed to personalize each customer’s experience. This can also provide a path for improving customer relations.

Product Recommendations

Product recommendations can be driven using several factors. The first is to use the consumers purchasing history to curate product recommendations. You can use customer data on purchases to recommend complementary products or products in the same class or price range.

Another option is to look at customer behavior on your ecommerce site. If they are spending a lot of time on certain product pages or watching product demo videos, it may be a good time to recommend that they add the item to their shopping cart or request a quote.

Using Flexible Calls to Action

No matter which segment a customer belongs to or where they are in the sales funnel, each customer experience ends with a call to action. Without personalization, these calls to action can be more than a little tone deaf. Imagine asking an established customer to create an account and subscribe to your blog. Imagine pushing a new visitor to download a free trial or schedule a sales meeting.

There is no doubt that either experience would be disappointing and off putting. This is why personalized calls to action based on solid customer data can make your website experience that much more relevant to visitors. As 2017 progresses, personalization will become more of an expectation. This ecommerce trend will drive customer expectations over the next twelve months.

Keyword Based Curation

The beauty of website analytics is that not only are you privy to information about where a visitor comes from, you can also examine the specific keywords that they searched in order to find your page. This information can be used to curate specific content or to route customers directly to the most relevant landing pages.

For example, if a customer arrives on a camping retailer’s website after using the search phrase ‘Cold Weather Rated Sleeping Bags’, they would be better served being routed to a landing page featuring survivalist or extreme weather camping equipment. If another customer the search term ‘First Time Camping Equipment’, their experience could be personalized by sending them to a guided experience that would educate them on selecting the equipment they need for their first camping trip.

Shopping Cart Recovery

Nearly 70% of shopping carts are abandoned by ecommerce shoppers. This can certainly represent a loss in sales revenue. On the other hand, it can create a new opportunity for brands to reach out to customers via personalization.

There are many ways to approach this. One is to simply remind customers that they have items left in their shopping carts. Another is to use email, push notifications, or in website communications to offer incentives to complete the purchase. Of course, it is also important to remember that shopping cart abandonment can be the result of a customer becoming frustrated or confused. Simply reaching out to a customer and asking if they need assistance can make a big difference.

There is no scary, magic trick when it comes to personalization. It is simply taking information that you have obtained about a customer and using it to create the best experience possible. This is done in hopes that the customer will respond favorably because they find relevance in the content and interactions that they are served based upon that data.

There are several personalization techniques described above that should be applicable to a variety of ecommerce websites. As long as you use personalization to create more relevant experiences, you should be able to expect positive results from your efforts.

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