For any ecommerce business, the key to longevity is continuous growth and retaining a loyal customer base. If you want your business to succeed, there are several ecommerce personalization examples and tips you should consider.
Personalization is important because it helps retailers directly market to their current and potential customers. Research shows that failing to personalize the shopping experience could lose you business.
So how can you personalize your ecommerce store in 2021?
In this article, we are going to show you the 10 best ecommerce personalization hacks you should try to improve your sales and revenue.
What is ecommerce personalization?
Before diving into the ecommerce personalization hacks, we need to define what it is.
Personalization is the process of creating shopping experiences that cater specifically to customers' needs and desires, instead of the usual single broad audience.
For personalization to be effective, you need to ensure all customer journey elements, such as email, social media activity, paid aids and website browsing, are tailored based on the needs and behavior of your customers.
A personalized shopping experience should result in happier customers that will want to purchase from your store in the future, which is the key to retaining a loyal customer base.
A study shows personalization results in up to 20% more sales. This also means if you overlook personalization, you’re leaving a lot of revenue on the table for your competitors to take. Another study found 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences.
These are just a few personalization stats to show you how important it is to provide this level of detail to your customers. Now, let's dive in to how you can start offering these experiences.
Also check out our latest report about the top trends fast-growing brands are paying attention to this year:
10 ways to create personalized customer experiences
We’ll share a variety of tips you can use to personalize your marketing channels. But first, let’s start with the basics: email.
1. Personalized emails
Personalization can significantly increase the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns—one of the staples of ecommerce. A great email marketing campaign will prompt your customers to open, read and click on emails more often. Furthermore, automated emails are known to have the highest engagement metrics across the industry, and guaranteed to create a steady, reliable income stream for your business.
Even though there are many different types of personalized emails, a few types work for all customer segments:
- Subscription alerts: This is useful if you’re selling products that are used more than once, such as food, consumables or a subscription box service. Send email reminders to customers to restock their consumable items to drive a repeat purchase.
- Order updates: Once a customer has made a purchase, let them know about the status of their order. Tell them when their order has been processed, shipped and delivered. This builds trust.
- Feedback emails: After a customer has made a purchase, ask them what they thought about the product and their experience with your store. It will show the customer you value their opinion, which is a great first step in building a loyal customer base. Plus, these emails are great for collecting customer reviews.
2. Tailor your email promotions to specific segments of your customer base
We already talked about personalized emails that work for all customer segments, but you should also try and personalize emails to specific customer groups. These days, it’s easier than ever to send tailored promotions to your customers with most analytics platforms having integrations with ESPs.
In fact, 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations, so it's critical for your business to ensure every promotional email is valuable to the person receiving it. Otherwise, you'll feel "spammy" to customers and your unsubscribe rate will rise significantly.
You can segment your customer base in many different ways, including by location, interests, age, gender, and more. You can then create promotions for just those segmented parts of your customer base and address their needs.
3. Email customers on important days
Holiday time is a special time of year when people are free of their daily routine and stresses, which is the perfect time to build strong connections with your audience. Show them your appreciation for staying loyal to your brand by sending personalized holiday greetings.
However, holidays and seasons are not the only times you should reach out to your customers. There are other special days in the year which can be excellent opportunities to send personalized emails and get them to make a purchase.
Birthdays are a great time to reach out to customers. You can even try and send emails on other important dates, such as birthdays of family members, weddings, anniversaries and so on.
If you want more personalization strategies and tactics, download our 400+ page playbook on personalization for ecommerce marketers!
4. Personalize your homepage
Your homepage is one of the most popular pages of your ecommerce store, which makes it the perfect place for advertising your current product offerings and promotions.
Whenever a customer visits your homepage, they should see a plethora of personalized links, including the categories they prefer, suggested items, and the products they have recently viewed.
You might be worried about overwhelming customers with so much information, but it’s possible to organize your homepage in an easy-to-view way. Just make sure that all the promotions are visible to your website visitors so they can pick the options most applicable to them.
5. Display complementary and related products
A lot of your store’s visitors will browse your store’s products, and the items they view are a great indicator of their interests. You should use this opportunity to offer them products that are interesting to them.
By showing your visitors other products that are complementary or related to the items on product pages they’ve visited, you’re making the discovery process easier.
Rather than making customers search endlessly through your product catalogue to try and find other products that suit their needs, upselling or cross-selling related products based on what they’ve already shown interest in will help you increase sales because those customers are more likely to add those products to their cart.
There are a few related item categories that you can recommend to your website visitors: complementary items, similar products and newer/older versions of the product.
6. Attract customers with personalized retargeting social media ads
Targeting people with ads for products they have previously interacted with is a technique used by many ecommerce stores. Tools such as Facebook Pixel help ad platforms track the product pages a user has visited, which allows you to create ads showcasing relevant items to those customers.
With personalized retargeting ads, you can target people that have abandoned their cart or have shown purchase intent by viewing products. You can also target people that have purchased a product from you with a similar product that they might be interested in.
7. Use LinkedIn for personalized outbound messages
While using LinkedIn for sales is not a popular ecommerce technique, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try it. Bear in mind this works best for products that require a more direct and outbound sales approach.
LinkedIn outbound sales take time and effort, which is why you should consider an automation tool, such as Expandi, to help you connect with your leads. You will need to create a hyper-personalized messaging campaign with follow-ups, and slowly start advertising to your target audience.
8. Use chatbots and conversational ads
Chatbots allow you to interact with customers without you or your employees needing to do any typing. Most chatbots today are AI-driven, which means they can recreate the experience of talking to a real person.
From an ecommerce perspective, you can do a lot with chatbots. For example, your customers can make a purchase directly from a chatbot or they can check the status of their orders. Considering 6 in 10 marketers say Messenger AI can deliver personalized attention to website visitors by being more conversational, it's a worthwhile investment for your brand.
You can also create conversational ads, which is an ad that you interact with via an automated chat conversation. The automated conversations can range anywhere from collecting an email address in exchange for an offer, to asking a series of questions and recommending a product.
These days, many companies are offering innovative and easy-to-use chatbot solutions you can quickly tailor for the needs of your ecommerce store.
One brand that used conversational ads with their Facebook Messenger chatbot drove an additional $400,000 in just 60 days. You can learn more here:
9. Allow your customers to create item lists
Many customers that visit your store will be interested in your items but won’t be ready to purchase them right away. There are also visitors who will want to purchase an item they’ve bought before, especially if you carry everyday items and consumables.
To cater to these two customer categories, let your customers save lists of items so they can finish their purchase at a later date or re-buy when they’re ready for a new one.
You can further expand this idea by introducing wish lists, a type of list that allows the customer to remember certain items and purchase them when the need arises. You can also create a shopping list that customers can use to instantly add items to their cart.
10. Show customers’ names when returning to your site
Personalization should be more than a first name. However, using your customers’ names is still a simple and effective way to personalize the shopping experience
When customers log in to your website, show their name in the site header. It provides a whole different layer of personalization by giving reassurance to the customer that their experience on your site is truly personalized to them as a unique individual. This also allows customers to easily access their account to update information or make changes to their preferences.
Follow an omnichannel personalization approach
When it comes to personalizing the shopping experience for your customers, sometimes the smallest changes can have a powerful result. These tips will quickly add up and transform the way your existing and new customers interact with your store and your marketing efforts.
Remember, personalization is not just about your website. You should follow an omnichannel approach and take everything into account—from your website, to your social media channels, email marketing and even the recommendations you show customers.