Shopping experience

How personalization can instantly benefit your store

The main aim of personalization is to make the prospect’s journey to conversion shorter and easier, and a website can be personalized in a number of ways. 

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“Personalization” has become one of ecommerce’s most frequently used strategies. But why?

‍In this article, we'll show you how it can benefit your ecommerce.

According to a study done by Forbes, 96% of all marketers believe that personalization is essential to increase conversion, and 88% noticed a measurable increase in revenue when they implemented personalization.

‍But what does personalization mean?

The main aim of personalization is to make the prospect’s journey to conversion shorter and easier, and a website can be personalized in a number of ways. 

Personalization doesn’t stop there, however! It should guide everything you do on the website, recognizing and taking into account prospects’ interests, values, motivations, challenges, and fears. 

And this is the key point: a truly personalized user experience doesn’t just offer relevant content, but anticipates the prospect’s needs and desires. 

By offering visitors relevant content, guiding them to the products they need, and making them offers that correspond to their life situation and their current stage in the buying process, you ensure that prospects’ motivation and ease of use will be met by a trigger at the right time.

‍And then, you're rewarded with a sale.

Personalization can be applied to repeat customers, too. You can encourage them to provide more data, which you can use to make their following shopping experiences even smoother. This data can also be used to match the behavioral patterns of visitors who haven't purchased anything. This way, you can provide a large part of your audience with some sort of personalized experience, increasing their chances of conversion.

Don't overlook this tool: even the most rudimentary personalization can help increase the conversion rate of first-time visitors and of visitors from other countries, encourage repeat purchases, and reduce cart abandonment.

If you're ready to start, here are a few ways you can implement personalization in your website: 

1. Customize your store experience using customer input

Personalization without tracking methods? Welcome to customer input. 

If you have a method for customers to register, you can then allow them to select layout options for the site, change their display language, or alter other customizable elements of the website.

This type of customization is powerful because it enables you to provide every customer with an experience that mirrors their desires But customization does have one serious drawback that limits its use. Because it depends on data that customers willingly choose to disclose, you’ll need to win their trust and confidence first – otherwise they might bounce or never bother to fill in that info.

‍Don't depend only on the data your customers choose to disclose. Complement that with automation and available data to personalize your store’s web experience.

2. Automate personalization using available data

Automated personalization has a major advantage over customer-input personalization: it doesn’t rely on your visitors' effort.

By using a combination of quantitative methods and qualitative research, you can automatically profile prospects and sort them into groups.

Most analytical tools enable you to gather data on visitor location, age, gender, acquisition channel, and behavioral patterns.

By observing and analyzing this info, you can create personas and start personalizing content according to given criteria.

The simplest method is to personalize according to location. Clothing stores often use this approach to provide visitors from specific locations with offers for products that correspond to their climate and current season, for example.

The drawbacks of personalization

There are situations when personalizing user experience can create additional issues — and instead of increasing conversions, it can do the opposite.

‍No ecommerce owner wants that.

First, if you decide to automate personalization, make sure the data you use can be easily translated into something that an automated software can understand and apply. 

This means that you should personalize based only on relatively unchanging elements. Avoid guessing your customers' preferences: you can end up making their user experience worse.

The best personalization is when visitors see the offer they want, at the time they need it, and in a context that makes sense. Don't go too far and freak your customers out!

While some of your prospects may assign little value to privacy, many will have concerns about it.

Some guidelines:

  • Make sure you provide them with a timely opportunity to explicitly opt out 
  • Do not personalize based on personal identifiable data (such as home addresses, names of the members of the family etc), even if you have this data
  • Make sure that you don’t offend or hurt your customers through inconsiderate promotion, as in the widely quoted example of a father finding an offer for prenatal products addressed to his daughter.
  • Before you start any personalization, establish strict guidelines and procedures for what data to use.

Before you make any assumptions, make sure you have multiple data points available and match them for more accurate and relevant results. For example, a person interested in organic food may not necessarily be into paleo diets or vegan food.

You should always learn rom your customers. No information should be neglected or skipped, since everything your customers and visitors do can help you personalize their experience.

Just make sure you use the data wisely: With great data comes great responsibility.

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