More than ever before, people are heading online to do their shopping. And not even just for gifts or unique finds, for regular day-to-day necessities too (I'm looking at you, Who Gives a Crap).
With the large number of consumers discovering the simplicity of online shopping, it's no wonder that more and more businesses are launching new online stores. As great as it is that the world of ecommerce has exploded in popularity, it also comes with new challenges for brands that were doing it before: more competition.
If there's one trend that can help businesses win against their competition, it's personalization. In fact, we wrote an entire 400+ page playbook about ecommerce personalization (you can get free access to it here).
But, we were also curious about what our friends and partners thought. We asked 32 people why they think personalization is important for relationship marketing and ecommerce in general. You can read their answers and tips below. Enjoy!
1. Melanie Cooper - Point customers in the right direction
“Every customer is unique with unique needs and wants. By personalizing the customer journey, you can point customers in the right direction of what product would be best for them. If your brand has a lot of product offerings, the perfect product for a potential customer may get lost on your site."
Melanie Cooper - CJC Marketing
2. Chase Alderton - You'll always have competition
“Unless you sell a hyper-unique product, you'll always have competition. Customize that journey so the buyer feels like they are a part of your team.”
Chase Alderton - ReCharge
3. Alex Kyle - Proper execution allows for additional utility in targeting
“Data segmentation, and relevance. The benefits of personalization are well known as far as ensuring that you're marketing relevant products and experiences to the customer, but also proper execution of those personalization efforts can allow for additional utility in targeting, excluding, or developing look-alike audiences based on descriptive, 1-to-1 behaviors.”
Alex Kyle - Hawke Media
4. Kyle Hendershot - The more you know about a person, the more personal experience you can offer
“Do you let a stranger order your food for you at a restaurant? Of course not, because they don't know anything about you. They can't order you something according to your personal likes or dislikes and you're going to end up hating your food. The same goes for marketing. So the more you know about a person, the more personal experience you can offer them. Hopefully, they love it. Bon apetit!”
Kyle Hendershot - Hawke Media
5. Phillippe Roireau - Keeping your customers around should be a top priority
“Every customer you have wants to feel important. They want to know that they’re a priority for your business. One of the best ways to make customers feel important is through personalization.
Only one in five customer service agents will remember a customer’s name, which is unacceptable.
With so many competitors, keeping your customers around should be a top priority. The best way to keep your customers satisfied and loyal is through good customer service.
Addressing your customer by name in every message can make them feel special. Using a help-desk can also help you by avoiding asking your customer for the information you already have in your database, creating a better experience.”
- Philiippe Roireau - Gorgias
6. Katie McKeever - There's a disconnect between what consumers want and what traditional loyalty offers
“Increased competition (and increasing CAC) from the growth of Ecommerce and D2C puts LTV for brands under pressure. Brands are investing in loyalty programs to drive LTV, but are struggling.
There is a disconnect between what consumers want when they buy from brands (personal, emotional connections), and what traditional loyalty programs offer (only cost savings). The brands that recognize this and are able to create customer-centric loyalty programs that meet these expectations will successfully drive LTV from these shoppers.”
Katie McKeever - Yotpo
7. Adam Pearce - Brands need to show they're thinking about customers' needs
“Customers have a bigger choice than ever, and many brands try to personalize the journey. Given this, brands need to really show that they are thinking about the customers real needs and wants and not providing a generic service or brand.”
Adam Pearce - Blend Commerce
8. Felix Suellwold - Cater to shoppers on different stages of the customer journey
“Different shoppers are on different stages of conversion. A promotion sent to a new subscriber would not suit a loyal customer. By personalizing your messaging, you can cater to shoppers on different stages of the customer journey and improve your conversion rate. Features like segmentation on marketing apps allow you to easily build targeted subscriber segments and use these lists to send relevant and personalized messages.”
Felix Suellwold - Pushowl
9. Stephanie Batemen - Help customers feel like your brand cares about them
“Personalizing the customer journey is one of the best ways to connect with a customer. Providing a unique experience helps the customer to feel like the company cares about them.”
- Stephanie Batemen - Lucid
10. David Feng - The customer journey doesn't end when customers stop interacting with you
“Personalizing the customer journey is important because every customer truly and inherently believe they are your most important customer. Personalization of that journey is also about setting expectations throughout that journey. Most businesses believe that it's enough to tell and show customers what they want to hear and see at the right time and in the right places. But experience has taught us that it's more important to make sure expectations are aligned at the right times and in the right places.
For example, if a customer asks a question about a product through a chatbot, they expect the help they get to be relevant to that product. The same can be said when they talk to an agent or apply a discount code or venture off to another website to be retargeted. It's important for businesses to understand that a customer journey doesn't end when they stop interacting with you so it's vital to anticipate and expect future customer behavior so they always feel special when they interact with you.”
David Feng - Re:amaze
11. Tim Peckover - You should know where customers are in the journey to show relevant content
“Marketing without personalization just comes across as salesy spam. If I'm not your target audience, don't market to me. If I am, you should know where I am in the customer journey to only show me relevant content. Otherwise I'm going to get cold feet and find someone who values my time.”
Tim Peckover - Smile.io
12. Dan McIvor - There's an opportunity to differentiate your brand with personalization
“While many brands know of and want to use personalization, few do. This makes it a significant opportunity to differentiate and leave a lasting impression with shoppers, who reliably spend more when taken through personalized experiences.”
Dan McIvor - Swanky Agency
13. Richard Carreon - Personalization supports increasing lifetime value
“Personalization helps brands get closer to marketing to the almighty segment of one, which builds trust and engagement with their customers and can support increasing lifetime value (LTV) and repeat buys.”
Richard Carreon - Refersion
14. Cooper Harris - "Spoken with vs. spoken at"
“I like the phrase 'Spoken with vs. spoken at' to encapsulate this idea. At Klickly, we’ve invested millions in building tech that is smart enough to 'show the right thing to the right person at the right time.' Showing the right content to the right people is critical –– these days, consumers are too sophisticated to just spray and pray, hoping folks click on your promotion.”
Cooper Harris - Klickly
15. Chris Elliot - A huge part of demonstrating you can meet and exceed customer's needs
“It's pretty basic - people want to feel seen and understood, and that's no less true when they're shopping online. Personalizing the customer experience is a huge part of demonstrating to a potential customer that you can meet (and exceed) their needs - and it's key to building strong relationships, driving customer retention and ultimately growing LTV. The key? You need to know who your customers are to personalize the customer journey, and that means smart segmentation of your customer data.”
Chris Elliot - Glew
16. Will Lynch - Merchants can tailor their brand experience to be unique
“Personalizing the customer journey is a way to close the disconnected gap between the customer and the brand. It allows merchants to tailor their brand experience to be as unique as their customers, which in turn, helps grow a relationship.”
Will Lynch - Underwater Pistol
17. Leslie Wong - Customers want to be in the conversation
“Just like in real-life, consumers want to feel seen and heard. They want to be in a conversation, not talked at. Brands need to show they are listening to their customers and personalization is one way to accomplish that at scale.”
Leslie Wong - Klaviyo
18. Rachel Tiers - A one-size-fits-all approach can damage brand loyalty
“A one-size-fits-all approach to the customer journey can be damaging to a customer's brand loyalty. Consumers today expect brands to understand their personal needs which is why delivering an experience that's truly personalized to the customer can separate you from the competition.”
Rachel Tiers - Okendo
19. Kelsey Stapleton - Personalization makes customers repeat buyers
“Creating a personalized customer journey leads your visitors to purchasing the correct product for them and will more likely make that customer a repeat buyer.”
Kelsey Stapleton - Justuno
20. Dan Crowther - More important than ever to give customers the best online shopping experience
“The online retail world is a crowded market - and it’s more important than ever that giving your customers the best online shopping experience through personalization and exceptional service across all touchpoints is a top priority.”
Dan Crowther - Trellis
21. Mollie Woolnough-Rai - Show customers you care about them with individual experiences
“Scattershot, vague customer journeys just don’t cut it anymore. A personalized customer journey shows your customers you care about them on an individual basis across all touchpoints. By showing you have their personal interests at heart, you’re also giving them a reason to return to your brand, increase their CLTV and recommend you to their loved ones.”
Mollie Woolnough-Rai - LoyaltyLion
22. Jennifer Root - People LOVE feeling special
“Looking beyond the pixel for personalization is so important in todays customer journey both on and off-line. People LOVE feeling special and going beyond that to build value when it matters is taking the customer journey to the next level. This can be achieved by personalizing your loyalty program based on customer data gathered through a quiz or survey for example. Going beyond discounting and offering something of meaning and value to your customer ultimately builds lifetime value and loyalty.”
Jennifer Root - AdQuadrant
23. Kevin Wild - Every customer is unique
“Simply put, every customer is unique. The more you can cater the shopping experience to each individual shopper, the more likely they are to engage and become a customer.”
Kevin Wild - Sezzle
24. Nikki Johnson - Every customer interacts differently with every brand
“Every customer will interact differently with every brand they interact with. Some with interact and purchase thru SMS and other's won't. Some will not read emails but purchase thru SMS...it's important to know what each customer likes, and where you should meet them in order to get the highest return from each customer.”
Nikki Johnson - Sticky Digital
25. Lindsay Mearman - The major takeaway is to focus on the customer journey
“Personalizing a customer's journey leads to a more positive and relevant experience, keeping the customer engaged and more likely to come back.
Omnichannel marketing is the perfect way to give our customer that personalized experience they are looking for. Omnichannel marketing allows channels to update each other based on customer behavior and engagement. For a truly personalized experience, using omnichannel marketing just makes sense.
By creating messages that adapt across channels to your customer’s shopping behavior, your messages will be more personalized and relevant to your customers.
When you create more relevant messages for your consumers, they are more likely to engage with your brand. The major takeaway here is to focus on the customer journey!”
Lindsay Mearman - Omnisend
26. Raul Galera - Take time to understand your buyer personas
“It's crucial, because no customer is identical to another; therefore you need to take the time to understand your buyer personas. Once you understand both the customer life cycle as well as the customer journey, you’ll be better able to know where to focus your marketing efforts.”
Raul Galera - ReferralCandy
27. Alison Aldrich - Helps customers purchase the correct products
“Creating a personalized customer journey leads your visitors to purchasing the correct product for them and will more likely make that customer a repeat buyer.”
Alison Aldrich - Privy
28. Emily Clarkson - Don't make your customers feel like a number
“It's easy for customers to feel like a number with brands. That's where personalization sets brands apart. You can truly tailor their experience and increase LTV.”
Emily Clarkson - Tinuiti
29. Eric Miller - Brands need to bring more value beyond a transaction
“Many consumers want something more from their commerce interactions. Brands need to bring more value beyond a transaction. Personalization is the stepping stone for taking your relationship beyond transactional.”
Eric Miller - Tinuiti
30. Chad Rubin - People buy experiences
“LTV - People don't buy objects, they buy experiences. Especially now because no one is shopping in-store anymore. Personalizing the experience, being everywhere your customer shops online from marketplaces, to your Shopify store is now more important than ever. Multichannel experiences and being direct-to-everywhere coupled with that personalization element whether it's through email or even better text SMS is crucial right now.”
Chad Rubin - Skubana
31. Simon Byrne - Brands can build stronger relationships
“It allows you to combine all the benefits of in store shopping with all the powerful possibilities of cutting edge digital technologies. By delivering individualized messages to your customers, brands can build far stronger relationships with their market and deliver a much better customer experience. Personalization also allows brands to drive up store conversions through hyper relevance. By using tools like Octane AI to communicate one-to-one at scale any brand can immediately stand out from their competitors and see an immediate boost in conversion.”
Simon Byrne - Andzen
32. Lily Vuong - Personalization is difficult for competitors to imitate
“Every customer has a different background and buying behavior, so a one-size-fits-all product offer won’t work anymore. By personalizing the customer journey, you bring more relevant experiences to your customers and satisfy their particular needs. Additionally, highly personalized customer experiences are based on your own business insights, so it’s difficult for competitors to imitate.”
Lily Vuong - Judge.me
Personalization is the future of ecommerce
Do you see why ecommerce personalization is so important? If you still don't believe us, check out these stats:
- 87% of U.S. customers are willing to have various details of their activity tracked in exchange for more personalized rewards and brand experiences.
- 78% of U.S. internet users said that personally relevant content from brands or companies increases their purchase activity.
- 33% of consumers ended their relationship with a company because the experience wasn’t personalized enough.
- 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized.
- Lack of content relevancy generates 83% lower response rates in the average marketing campaign.
To help merchants build a personalized customer journey, we launched our 400+ Personalization Playbook. You can learn more tips from these ecommerce experts in the Playbook! Go here to get your copy.
Are you interested in being on next year's list or included in next year's Playbook? Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our annual Playbook!