Personalization has transformed e-commerce by putting the customer at the heart of the equation. She asks e-merchants to re-evaluate the customer relationship in the buying process. Customer expectations have changed. Today, brands must offer an experience that goes beyond the simple transaction. We will see together why.
What do we mean by E-COMMERCE personalization?
Personalization in e-commerce is defined as “the use of data to deliver a relevant and engaging experience for consumers across channels and devices and then measure the impact of the experience provided.”
There are several customizations:
Seasonal personalization: each season, its offers. Internet users do not look for the same products in winter, summer or fall. If your business is impacted by changes in weather, this type of customization is for you.
Depending on the time of year, highlight your flagship products and top sellers on your site’s home page. You can also create specific landing pages. Ask yourself what your customers are looking for most? If you sell furniture and decor, showcase your outdoor furniture. If you sell clothes, coats in the closet, showcase t-shirts and Bermuda shorts.
Personalization by issue: it is particularly appreciated in B2B. And for good reason, it makes it possible to target the needs of visitors and therefore to better understand them. By allowing users to choose their products or services by issue, you enroll them in a precise conversion tunnel, with a message adapted to the speech and develop a personalized relationship with each Internet user.
Customer personalization: The customer is still king and his court has grown. With ever shorter attention spans and increased e-commerce competition, brands are now opting for personalized, customer-based relationships. Open a conversation with them, welcome them, and offer them content or product that they may be interested in, based on their latest research. If they come back, they probably liked their previous purchase.
Why bet on personalization in E-COMMERCE?
Personalization makes it possible to satisfy both the e-merchant – which increases its conversion rate, the amount of the average basket and the loyalty of its customers – and the end customer – who has a better shopping experience. They no longer buy just the product but the experience that goes with it. According to CoMarketing, 67% of online shoppers say they prefer to buy from a merchant site that offers them personalized offers. They are attentive, connected, and seek out experiences that are out of the ordinary. They want to be surprised and pampered by brands.
Consumers are asking for personalization. According to an Accenture report, 75% of online shoppers tend to favor a site that suggests products or services related to present purchases.
They are also very demanding on this subject, since 75% wish they had found what they were looking for in less than 2 minutes. What if they don’t find it? They will look elsewhere. On the other hand, if they find, they are more inclined to use. According to a salesforce report:
Internet users who click on a personalized recommendation are 4.5 times more likely to put items in their basket;
Spending by Internet users sensitive to recommendations is 5 times higher than others (4.7 times on mobile);
Unfortunately, the perception of reality is different between brands and customers: 85% of consumers expect to receive a personalized experience while only 10% of companies believe they offer this type of experience.
What does personalization bring to E-COMMERCE?
Personalization is a real asset for e-merchants. She permits :
To offer a quality customer experience, by putting the customer at the heart of the online relationship;
Increase sales: Personalization generates 24% more orders and 26% of e-commerce revenue.
To have more loyal and engaged customers. It also helps to increase click through rate, conversion rate and revenue per visitor. According to Ecommerce Academy, e-commerce sites that have implemented personalization have seen the number of page views per session increase by 20%.
Save time for greater simplicity and therefore gain better profitability.
So why are so few E-MERCHANTS offering CUSTOMIZATION?
According to Gartner, by 2020, artificial intelligence, accustomed to recognizing the needs of users, will enable retail sites to increase their profits by up to 15%. It seems a little optimistic to me. Understanding the benefits of personalizing the e-commerce experience is not enough to achieve the desired success.
First of all, it requires having data if brands want to deliver relevant experience. However, many lack it. And the further down the conversion funnel the customer goes, the harder it will be for the brand to make good recommendations.
Also, many products are in a tree node that makes qualification and automation of personalized recommendations almost impossible.
In addition, Internet users are not necessarily used to it and for some, this can be a brake or leave a negative feeling. This is why a strategy based on personalization must be well deployed, in order to get the most out of it.
What to do ?
For this, we must build a solid customization system, based on:
Customer knowledge: to improve the customer experience you obviously need to increase your knowledge of your customers.
Content: Once you understand what your customers want, you need to give it to them.
A strategic vision: what are you looking to do? Increase your sales? Improve your customer experience? Build loyalty? You must have a strategy that underlies your guideline. Thanks to this you will be able to offer the most relevant experiences.
Data: without data, you can’t do it. This is the key to personalization. It is this that allows you to generate the suggestions and recommendations presented in the customization modules. It is based on the behavior of Internet users (pages visited, channels used, keywords searched, etc.). This is how Amazon can provide such a personalized shopping experience. Using an artificial intelligence-based algorithm, he understands what you need when you visit his site. Be careful though to stay GDPR compliant!
The right tools: people are essential, but you will need to automate some tasks. Conversational marketing, AI and machine learning are the most powerful tools to support you.
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