Creating a Personalized Online Experience for your Customers
There’s quite a bit of competition out there in the world dropshipping and other business models of eCommerce. It’s a fact that you will have to recognize when you step into the game—there are other people doing what you are doing who are going to act as your direct competitors.
While you can shy away from the competition, we would like to highlight for you that competition is not necessarily a bad thing. You have every opportunity to do better than your competitors, especially when you find yourself in the right niche where you are willing to give your very best in! There are actions that you can take to come up on top, and what we would like to talk about in this article with you is called personalization.
With how things are today, building an online shop and filling it with cool products at competitive prices may no longer be enough to get your customers’ attention and long-lasting loyalty. You have to define your target market and know what they want. A profound understanding of your audience’s needs and desires is integral to your success as a business. One of the ways you can take care of these needs is to create a personalized experience for your customers.
This article is here to give you an overview of personalization and the things you can do for your customers to give them a great online shopping experience through personalization. Keep on reading to identify some strategies you’re already doing right for your online shop and to find some new methods that you may want to incorporate.
What is Personalization?
The future of the successful ecommerce business rests in the brand’s ability to connect by creating a unique and meaningful experience for its audience. And what better way to connect with your audience than with a personal touch? I mean, nothing says service and that you care for your customer’s needs and desires quite like a personalized experience does.
So what does personalization means for the customers of your ecommerce business? Online retailers use ecommerce personalization to gather customer’s data, such as the previous actions they made in your shop. This data allows your store to provide special and targeted offers, product recommendations, personal messages, and to share other content that is relevant to them. It also means creating a unique experience, tailored to a unique customer. Ecommerce businesses can benefit a lot from personalization, which is a major optimizing method you should use in your store.
Your customers are coming to appreciate and even expect some level of a personalized experience. According to research on customer expectations, 84% of customers say that they want to be treated as a person, not a number. 56% of online shoppers also reported that a tailored engagement based on their past interaction is also very important to winning their business.
You can think of ecommerce personalization as being based on these two factors:
- Context: This can include the time of day, location of customer, device used, and referral source.
- Behavior: Includes the recently viewed products, items in cart, recent and past purchases, past email interaction.
There are dozens of other factors to consider, but to keep it simple, we are sticking to context and behavior in determining what will work for your online shop and your customers. Now let’s take a look at how setting up a personal experience for your customers can benefit your ecommerce store.
1. Increased Conversions
Giving your customers a personalized experience is proven to increase your store’s conversions, through the simple fact that you are using customer data to offer something that is of actual value to your audience.
2. Increase in customer engagement
Because you are better equipped to give your customers what they want based on their interest, your customers will want to spend more time on your site and social media pages, looking at and engaging with your content. The more engaged they are in your store, the more likely they will make a purchase now and even come back to make additional purchases in the future.
3. More precise product recommendations
The best thing about ecommerce personalization is that you will be able to predict and generate precise results from your data gathering tool based on your customer’s behavior. This leads to the precise matching of your prospective buyer’s interest in the targeted products that your shop suggests.
4. Develop customer loyalty
Most importantly, personalization leads to improved customer loyalty and retention. Personalization helps you build a relationship with your customers as well as trust by giving an intuitive service that adds value to the shopping experience, which gives your customers a reason for sticking to your ecommerce website and doing more business with you.
Now that we have discussed personalization and considered their relevance to your ecommerce business, let us now talk about how you can implement personalization in your site.
1. Product Recommendations
Product recommendations are the key to cross-selling and upselling products in your store. The basic purpose and goal of product recommendations are to offer your customers similar or complementary products to the ones that they are currently viewing. This is great because, when your customer comes to visit your site, they may be visiting with the intention of buying only one specific product. Product recommendations boost the likelihood that they will also buy complimentary items, and spending more than what they originally intended.
Product recommendations are not a novel idea. Amazon has been leveraging the use of this tactic for many years, inspiring many other online retailers to implement the method to improve conversation rates and increase the average size orders of their customers.
Here are seven different types of product recommendations:
- Frequently bought together- this is a recommendation for items typically bought together by customers who have made similar purchases.
- Store best sellers- Recommend the hottest selling items from your store to your customers. They are bestsellers for a reason.
- Top sellers from category- recommend items from the category of your customer’s last purchase.
- Previously viewed items- people don’t usually buy upon first seeing an item. Offering a previously viewed section will help customers go back to what they were previously interested in.
- Similar products- This is a great way to upsell your products from your store, it also encourages your customers to keep looking through your store collection and make a purchase.
- Trending products- This entails having a feature list of the products that are currently trending.
- New arrivals- This one will be great for your repeat customers and for the people who are excited by new releases.
2. Continue Shopping Function
If you use Netflix, then you are probably familiar with their Continue Watching feature that helps us jump right back to where we left off. Well, Netflix’s awesome feature helped revolutionize personalization for eCommerce businesses as well to give users better and more personalized shopping experience.
You can now implement the continue shopping feature on your website. This method is useful to your customers as it remembers your visitor’s previous actions and preferences from previous shopping sessions. This makes it easier for them to go back to what they were up to recently.
This feature is especially great and helpful to shoppers who are now revisiting your site. For instance, if you are the owner of a home accessory online store, and your customer came to your shop to view linen sheets, and left the session, it would be very helpful for them to find themselves greeted by the continue shopping function.
3. Personalized Emails
Your relationship or your interactions with your customer does not have to end as soon as they leave your online store or as soon as a successful transaction has transpired. Thinking this will act as a deterrent to making more conversions in your shop.
One way eCommerce giants like Amazon does to continue marketing to their clients even after they have left the site is through its email campaign. Sites like Amazon send out follow up emails to their customers and prospective customers offering them new and enticing deals to products that they showed interest in.
This acts as a little nudge to your customers, helping you to convince them to finally complete the purchase with a sweet new offer.
Email marketing isn’t something that you should brush off in your store’s marketing campaign, because it is still considered to be one of the best ways for you to reach and share your marketing message to your customers, and to give them special and personalized deals.
4. Retarget In-Session
Traditionally, retargeting is thought of as the practice of using targeting ads or emails towards users who have visited your website, but left without making any purchase. People also use retargeting to upsell and cross-sell to their customers.
However, you don’t have to wait for your customers to leave your site before going on the retargeting offensive. Instead, do it on-site with some relevant and behavior triggered offers.
For instance, you can offer your first-time visitors a special discount for their first purchase. Another way you can retarget your customer in-session is by offering them a special discount or free shipping if their purchase reaches a certain pricing threshold.
There is no end the level of creativity that you can get to in designing the function of these pop-ups to give out enticing offers. You can retarget your customers in-session by:
- Offering a buy one get one free promo
- Holding competitions
- Offering free delivery
- Special discounts
- Freebies for a specific purchase
- Loyalty rewards points
- Package deals
You can leverage these offers and more, depending on what you feel is best for your store and your user. Using these target methods will be one way for you to make more sales, higher customer engagement, and increase customer loyalty.
5. Let Customers Pick Delivery Dates
While there are a great many conveniences to shopping online versus shopping in brick-and-mortar establishments, one thing that online shopping may have a disadvantage in is the lack of instant gratification since items purchased still have to be shipped out.
Shipping is something that your customers consider very carefully. They want cheap and timely shipping, which you are trying to provide them. One other thing that you can consider adding to your cart page is a calendar that allows customers to specify a delivery date for their order.
Most online shoppers worry about the product delivery date, and whether they will be available on that date to receive their orders. So what if you allowed your customer to choose a viable delivery date for their order? You can do this by adding a calendar to your cart page where shoppers can pick out a preferred date.
This is particularly helpful for those who might be out of town, or at their workplace on the specified date of delivery. This will also help you avoid customer disappointments when they could not receive their orders because they were out and busy at the time of delivery.
Geolocation is a technology that allows your website to know where your visitor is located by their IP address. This kind of technology lets your website know what country, state, and city your customer is located in. This is helpful to you, especially if you are shipping to customers from various locations, and it will help you provide a more personalized experience as well.
Here is how Geolocation can help you and your customers:
- Gives an approximation from item delivery
- Offers different shipping options
- Offers options for preferred language
- Matches currency
- Matches system of measurements
- Runs different campaigns in different regions
- Weather sensitive personalization
As you can see, using geolocation for your online store is a powerful tool for personalization that your customers will find very helpful and appealing. This makes purchasing for them a lot easier, as their options are tailored to where they are in the world.
Back to You
Being able to give your customers a personalized experience through your online store is one way of showing your customers that you care and that you can tailor your services to their wants and needs. It is also a great way for you to convert store visitors by providing them with significant and valuable product suggestions. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get personal with your customers.
What are your thoughts on this article? Are you trying to implement methods to personalize your online customers’ shopping experiences? If you are, we would like to know. At Ecommerce Pro, it is our passion to help online entrepreneurs succeed in their eCommerce and dropshipping endeavors. Start a conversation with us today and together we will build a better and more successful eCommerce website.
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