Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 10, 2016 and was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness on November 5, 2019.
It used to be enough to begin and end your personalization strategy with first name personalization in an email. Nowadays, that’s old news. It’s become even more critical to offer personalized experiences to your shoppers since 74% of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content appears that has nothing to do with their interests, and frustrated shoppers don’t buy.
Beyond creating unique experiences for your customers, personalization actually boosts your bottom line. 40% of consumers say they buy more from retailers that personalize their shopping experience across channels. Not only does personalization bolster sales, but it can also increase customer loyalty. 44% of customers said they would become repeat buyers following a personalized shopping experience.
The holy grail of ecommerce is a truly omnichannel experience, delivering a seamless and consistent experience across channels while factoring in the different devices your customers are using to interact with your brand.
Segmentation and marketing automation come to the rescue in developing your personalization strategy. By segmenting your database, you can market to your customers (and prospective customers) based on their interests. And, you can provide that one-to-one personalized experience without having to market to everyone in your database individually.
You can even personalize experiences on your website anonymously, based on the information you’ve gathered from their browsing session (even if you don’t know who they are). You can show what products are available based on their IP country, or recommend items based on previously viewed pages. By providing these highly personalized experiences, you’ll see the benefits of getting the right products in front of the right people at the right time.
If you’re ready to get started, here are 5 ecommerce personalization tactics and segmentation tools to implement immediately.
Personalizing the customer journey based on device type is critical to the success of your store. In fact, it currently accounts for one in six dollars spent online.
Personalizing the experience based on device type is something that you can (and should) be doing for every visitor to your site. Make sure that everything is optimized for a mobile experience on site, from navigation to checkout. In your marketing communications, make sure that emails are mobile optimized and calls-to-action are easy to click.
Optimizing based on device will help you provide the best possible customer experience to all of your customers no matter where they choose to interact with you.
If your store serves multiple markets (for example, both the U.S. and the U.K., you need to personalize the store based on those markets. If customers are able to browse through certain items only to discover that they aren’t available in their region at the checkout, then they will have a negative, frustrating experience. Creating location-specific web experiences is one way to help improve the customer journey.
At the very least, you can show different currencies to buyers from each country. Based on IP country, this is anonymous personalization you can deploy across your entire site. Arteza, for example, offers customers in either of their U.S. or U.K. markets the chance to shop in their currency. By providing a seamless experience, buyers know that their market is a priority for your store.
Location personalization is one of the easiest ways to minimize potential customer frustrations to provide a seamless customer experience.
3. Pages Visited
Another way to add a personal touch to your customer experience is showing site visitors product recommendations based on the pages that they’ve visited.
Product recommendations for “People Also Viewed” or “People Also Bought” can be an opportunity to provide valuable recommendations. Even anonymously, you’re providing maximum value to visitors by suggesting products based on their interests.
If your customers are signed into their accounts, showing “Recently Viewed” products is a great way to leverage customer data to enhance their experience. Not only does this allow customers to easily find products that match their interests, but it acts as a reminder for these customers, increasing their purchase frequency.
Product recommendations, anonymous or based on their previous activity, are a valuable method of increasing the value of your customers’ experiences.
4. Past purchased and missed items
Your current customers should always have a personalized experience. After all, they’ve bought from you before, so you have no excuse for not knowing their preferences and interests! Personalizing your communications based on past purchases (or past purchase categories) can be a powerful way to drive upsells and cross-sells.
Another great personalization tactic is sending your customers abandoned cart emails. When your customers add an item to their cart and decide not to go through with the purchase at that time, there is still the chance to win them back.
These types of emails and communications deliver a personalized experience right to your customer’s inbox to show them how much you care.
5. Past purchase date
If you product is consumable, you can personalize outreach based on your customers’ previous order date, combined with the average lifespan of your product.
For example, if you sell supplements or candles and you know it takes a month to use them up, you can send a reorder notification saying you think they might be running low (and you want to remind them to reorder).
Even if your products aren’t consumable, if you know the average time between orders, you can automate outreach to customers who are past that window of time to re-engage them.
Give your customers the personal experience they deserve
Customers don’t only appreciate personalized customer experiences - they expect them. Incorporating these 5 personalization tactics will help make your customers feel special and will keep them engaged with your brand. Whether you are creating personalization anonymously through device or location optimization or based on customer data through product recommendations or re-purchase reminders, these tactics are a great way to benefit your brand community while boosting your own performance.
Start creating personal customer experiences today to build connections with your customers.