People love the idea that a business knows who they are and considers them a valued customer. In retail, this often means a true personal connection, with staff knowing a customer’s name and regular order. Online stores may not have that face-to-face connection, but they can still use ecommerce personalization tactics to recreate this experience with their customers.
Ecommerce personalization is the practice of using customized messages, graphics, recommendations, and more to make customers feel like an online store knows who they are and cares about their experience.
Personalization might just be referencing the customer by name at its most basic level. However, with new, more sophisticated tools, your entire website or ad campaign can be customized to suit each and every customer. In doing so, your ecommerce store can do more than just make customers feel valued—you can also boost sales, increase retention, and earn an edge over your competition.
Why ecommerce personalization should be a priority
Ecommerce personalization is important because it helps customers feel important and valued, which can increase sales and customer loyalty.
For instance, one survey found that personalization led to 49% of people saying there was a good chance they’d become a return shopper. That’s nearly half of your customers coming back for more because you created an experience that connected with their buying habits.
It isn't just consumers who like personalization—marketers do, too. According to SalesForce, 97% of marketers said personalization was noticeably helping their business. So if you aren't yet maximizing the potential of personalizations on your site, it’s time to get started.
What you need to create a personalized customer journey
To create a truly personalized experience, you'll need to set some things up in advance.
First and foremost, you'll need a way for people to opt-in for customer data collection. The easiest way to do this would be a simple form during the onboarding process or an opt-in checkbox when people sign up for a newsletter.
You should also include a way to collect zero party data directly from your customers. Zero party data is data that your customers actively share with you, and you can collect this kind of data simply by asking them in your onboarding process. Consider collecting information on who they are, what interests they have, and any contact information you might need for future personalizations.
Once data collection is set up, you need to start filling out your tool stack so you can use the data you collect. Tools will help you easily sort, analyze, and create personalized experiences on your site and customer interactions. Some tools you might want to consider are:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software: A CRM will enable you to store customer data and analyze it to create better personalization. This could include previous purchases, customer satisfaction metrics, and any other third-party data you have.
Data analysis tools: These tools allow you to quickly sort through all your collected data and understand what it means. Here are some popular options you should consider.
Specialized messaging tools: A tool like Emotive allows you to create automated, personalized messages sent through SMS. You'll also want to check out other tools that allow you to personalize on channels like email, social, and more.
With your permissions, data, and tools ready to go, now you only need to figure out how you’ll add personalizations to your ecommerce experience.
6 ecommerce personalization examples worth creating
If you're new to creating personalized experiences, it can be difficult to figure out a starting point. Here are ideas you can use to begin reaping the benefits of ecommerce personalization.
Marketing is a great ecommerce personalization example because it allows you to go from generic messages to truly personalized content that fits each individual's buying habits and interests. To make your marketing personalized, you need to start with customer segmentation. Once you've grouped your customers into similar buckets, you can then begin to tailor messages to fit each group's pain points. For example, you could have one message for people who are first-time visitors, another for school-age teens, and another for seniors.
Personalized marketing can be a powerful tool for ecommerce businesses, particularly when it comes to SMS marketing. With SMS, ecommerce stores can quickly and easily send messages tailored directly to individual customers. This kind of personalization not only helps customers feel valued and appreciated by the store, but it can also help ecommerce companies increase their sales by reminding customers of what they’ve added to their cart or enticing them with exclusive promotions.
2. Product recommendations
Product recommendations are a great way to personalize ecommerce experiences because they help customers and your bottom line. By collecting data on individual customers and understanding what products they like, you can make product recommendations tailored to each customer’s preferences.
For example, your store could recommend a matching sweater when a customer buys a scarf. This way, you can sell more, and the customer learns about a useful product they might not have known about.
3. On-site search optimization
Oftentimes, when people search for a product on your site, they don’t know exactly what they’re looking for. Ecommerce sites can use personalization to optimize their on-site search results to give people results that match customers' browsing behavior.
For example, you could track a customer’s browsing history and suggest personalized recommendations based on their past searches. In this case, if you knew a customer preferred organic items, you could prioritize other organic products your store sells.
4. Customized product pages and landing pages
Stores can also optimize product detail pages with personalized content and visuals that match the customer’s preferences and interests. By understanding what website visitors are looking for, ecommerce stores can create custom product pages that appeal to the customer’s specific needs and pain points.
A great place to add personalization to a product page is the CTA. You could create a unique CTA for each customer segment that speaks to their specific pain points. For instance, if a customer has already purchased a product in the past, ecommerce platforms might use a CTA that says “Buy Again” rather than “Add To Cart.”
5. Special offers
Sometimes all people need is a little extra push to get them to shop at your ecommerce website. A personalized offer is an easy way to nudge people in the right direction and get them in the habit of purchasing from you. By understanding customer data, your store can tailor offers and discounts to match each customer's interests and buying habits.
For example, you could send exclusive offers or discounts to customers who have purchased multiple times in the past. This way, you show customers you appreciate their loyalty and spur them to purchase even more with you.
6. Follow-up messages
Finally, online stores can use ecommerce personalization to send follow-up messages. These messages could be thank-you notes for purchases, reminders of abandoned items in a cart, or even just friendly check-ins to see how the customer is doing.
These follow-up messages help an ecommerce platform promote better customer engagement and make people more likely to become repeat customers. One way to accomplish this is with follow-up SMS messages. With SMS, you’ll be able to communicate easily with customers, even when they’re on the go.
Create a personalized shopping experience for your loyal customers
The ecommerce market today is extremely crowded, even in the more niche areas. Personalization is key to standing out from the crowd, winning new customers, and keeping them coming back for more.
The best part is that creating a personalized experience is easier than ever. Using Emotive, any ecommerce site can get started personalizing SMS messages for its customer base. Learn more about how Emotive can help you personalize your ecommerce brand by booking a demo today.