The digital transformation of the industries is accelerating. Thus businesses come up with new ways to boost their performance and enhance customer experience.
In addition, the abundance of tools and tech solutions available allows companies to reach a broader target customer pool and provide services better than ever.
Technologies make it possible for the companies in the retail industry to pay more attention to their clients and analyze their needs, tastes, and behavior more precisely.
Customers are vital to driving businesses forward, so personalized online shopping is crucial for companies to stay competitive, increase their revenue, and enhance the services.
According to Statista, e-commerce sales accounted for 18% of all retail sales worldwide in 2020. This figure is expected to grow up to 21.8% by 2024.
The demand for online purchases grows, so businesses should consider this information and make the best of it by offering better services to their users. The key to efficient customer service lies in personalization.
What Is E-Commerce Personalization?
E-commerce personalization is the practice of creating personalized offers for customers online.
It is a process of delivering product offers, content, and specific suggestions based on a user’s browsing behavior, previous purchases, demographics, and personal data.
Personalization has proven to be an effective way to retain clients. It shows them that the company considers their preferences and provides product suggestions that the customers most likely might like and buy.
Businesses should design personalization strategies for their companies to succeed with this practice. What can you do?
First, know your audience. It is a core aspect of the strategy. The more you know about the users, the more personalized offers you can create.
Second, group your users. Segmentize the users according to their needs and tastes, so you can provide them with the products/offers they are looking for.
Third, deliver product recommendations. You can display personalized recommendations of products or similar alternatives to the ones your purchasers are reviewing.
The Benefits of Personalization in Retail
Personalization in retail has proven to be an effective optimizing technique that helps businesses collect customer data, send personal messages or make personal recommendations. So, what benefits do you get with personalization?
Enhanced customer experience
A personalized shopping experience allows brands to give their customers what they want without spending hours on the internet searching for the right product.
In this way, you make your users’ experience more efficient and increase the loyalty level to your brand. In addition, by personalization, you show that you care and know your target audience’s tastes.
When you send out information about sales or promotions relevant to the customers, they are more likely to make a purchase on your website or application.
Increased order size
If you provide customers with specific and relevant information while they are shopping on your website, there is a high chance they might include additional products into their shopping cart.
For instance, if a user is looking for a dress, your services can suggest different accessories that might suit the look, including bags, shoes, jewelry, etc.
More relevant informational content
Customers do not want to receive dozens of messages a day about the products you have on your website and offering irrelevant content. Personalized suggestions will appear rarely, but they are more likely to drive customers to complete their orders and won’t push them away.
Website personalization increases engagement. Create targeted CTAs, not the same ones for all the users. Also, suppose your website remembers users’ contact information, delivery details, previous orders, and personal data.
In that case, the customers will be more inclined to return to your services and remain loyal to your organization for an extended period.
Efficient competitive level
Personalized offers will increase the interest of your existing clients in the products or services your organization offers. Thus, more of them will return to you, increasing the popularity of your brand.
This practice is significantly valuable in modern marketing, as it will grow your competitiveness level among companies that deliver the same or similar goods/services.
Know your audience and what do they need at this particular period of time or location. In this way, you will focus on the products in demand, cut down on manufacturing, and decrease the chances of loss.
Apart from this, you can decrease amounts spent on advertising, as you can choose to advertise the products that are in demand and there is a higher chance that more purchasers will buy them.
Thus, one personalized ad can bring you more income than the one set to advertise everything and to everyone.
Nowadays, it is not a challenge to deliver relevant, personalized customer experiences online, as tech tools and solutions help companies enhance their services.
Instead, the challenge lies in the development and implementation of these solutions in the right way.
Some companies have managed to develop solutions that set bright examples for other businesses in the retail field.
7 E-Commerce Personalization Examples
AR, VR, IA, chatbots, etc., are means through which brands can engage with their customers. Nowadays, businesses pay more attention to the technologies they use to create online personalization, as they know what advantages they bring for the organization.
Check the examples of e-commerce personalization that you can use to enhance the services within your own company.
1. Use Chatbots
A chatbot is an excellent example of personalization. It can replace a shopping assistant with some common questions, help the user find suitable products, or connect with a live chat agent for further assistance.
For instance, H&M uses a virtual assistant that aims to provide personalized online shopping. The chatbot is available 24/7 and helps with great outfit possibilities in real-time. What is more, the chatbot guides customers to their online store shopping cart and the checkout page.
2. Use Personalized E-mails
E-mails can help companies boost customer returns to the services. For example, online stores use this method to remind their customers about abandoned shopping carts, encouraging them to complete their purchases.
Also, use e-mails to send out special offers to your customers based on their personal information from their accounts or inform them about upcoming sales on the products the customers showed the most interest in.
Include your customer’s name and generate different CTA’s to attract more users to your website. For instance, you can send out special offers before customers’ birthdays, giving them a discount or coupons for further purchases.
3. Use Geographic Location
4. Make Search and Visited Related Recommendations
Make search result pages more relevant by showcasing search and visit related product recommendations on the top of these pages.
By showcasing products that shoppers who have searched similar or the exact keywords have purchased, you can decrease the time and effort it takes for new shoppers to discover the same products. Merchandising search pages with product recommendations is one of the easiest ways to optimize performance.
5. Use Personalized Payment Options
Payment options can make or break for a lot of shoppers. For example, the difference between paying fully at the moment or having four equal payments over multiple months can make or break a shopper’s decision to purchase.
By offering personalized payment options on a cart page according to a shopper’s previous behavior, you can sell them on a decision they were unsure of with the opportunity to pay in full from the start.
6. Highlight Discounts
Showcasing your current discounts is one of the basic merchandising moves you can make. You can highlight discounted products to ensure they are at the top of category pages, so shoppers know they’re there and have no trouble finding and purchasing the products.
7. Have Custom Homepage Product Recommendations
At the core of personalization are product recommendations, and the first recommendations you deliver are your first impression with a customer.
Offering merchandised product recommendations to first-time visitors and personalized recommendations to those who are returning is a vital part of any optimal e-commerce shopping experience.
Deliver varying custom recommendations on your homepage using Nosto’s product recommendations and segmentation.
Personalization in Retail: Where to Start and How to Develop a Suitable Application?
As digital technology advances, retailers will want to invest in the right decision tools for their business model, enabling customers to make more informed purchase decisions. In addition, these tools will help recreate an environment that more closely mirrors the in-store experience.
The process of personalization implementation requires a lot of time and effort. Therefore, it is essential to develop a detailed and structured strategy to win in the long run. Here are the steps you can take to deliver efficient customer personalization.
1. Collect Necessary Data
At this stage, you have to analyze your existing website and know your customer’s journey. Then, think about where it is relevant to personalize the journey and how it should look like.
Try to use your website as a customer, so you can see where improvement is required. Also, you can start collecting data about your customers, so you know the average age of the users, gender, their locations, preferences, etc.
Finally, use website cookies or beacons to get authentic information. They will allow you to see where your customers have been on the website and what they were looking for.
2. Analyze Existing Solutions and Match Them with Your Requirements
Create a list of available solutions for personalization and your short- and long-term requirements. Then, think about which solutions will fulfill your needs.
Also, do not forget to consider the cost of the implementation and whether the features are difficult to use for the customers.
3. Create a General Profile of Your Customer
Detailed analysis of your audience will provide you with information about the average customer profile to know who exactly purchases your products or uses services.
If you cover different categories of customers, you can group them accordingly. When you know who your customer is, what groups of customers you have, so you can start developing strategies to personalize their experience.
4. Define Your Goals
Now you should identify the goals for your customer groups and your website.
For example, common personalization goals might include: increasing conversions, reducing bounce rate, facilitating product discovery, increasing average order value, increasing retention, improving upsells, driving repeat purchases, etc.
5. Build a Strategy
Now when you have all the necessary data and a list of requirements, you can start working on your personalization strategy.
First, prioritize the pages of your website and include some of the following: homepage, product page, search results, no search result page, and shopping cart page.
Next, you should outline personalization solutions for each page. For instance, you can show different banners to different customers once they are on your homepage.
6. Implement Personalization Strategy
Finally, you can start the implementation process. The cycle includes the following stages:
- Identification of campaigns
- Prioritization of campaigns
Building a strategy is one thing, but it is also essential to have a team of professional developers and engineers who know how to tailor your specific requirements into profound retail applications and software.
Consider hiring a team of developers who have vast experience in software development for retail companies.
They know the specifics of the industry and can give you valuable information, guide you through the process, recommend the most suitable solutions for a personalized shopping experience, and allocate the necessary resources to complete a task.
If your business is a small- or medium-sized one and you do not have an in-house team of developers, then you can consider outsourcing.
It is a convenient and quick way to get an equipped team of professionals who have experience in software development for retail businesses.
We, at Intellectsoft, empower hospitality companies and their workforces with innovative solutions and approaches. Are you and your organization looking for some?
Contact our team and learn more about software development for the retail industry and its advantages for your business.