E-commerce: Delivering Delightful Customer Experiences Through Personalization
Written by
Pradyut Hande

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E-commerce: Delivering Delightful Customer Experiences Through Personalization

If one was to explain ecommerce personalization in a simple manner, this could be it.

When you walk into a physical brick and mortar store, what really impresses you?

The ways in which the store engages you and treats you like you are their most special customer, isn’t it? If you get what you are looking for, easily and quickly, without searching for it, then certainly the shopping experience is a breeze. If the owner is able to understand your preferences and shows you products according to your likes and thus, helps you save on time and effort, wouldn’t you like to visit the store again and again?

Well, that’s exactly online customers look for. A personalized experience. They expect ecommerce brands to understand their needs and preferences. Global statistics support this fact that on an average, more than 50% of the online retail users:

  • Find more interesting products on a personalized online retail store
  • Are likely to return to a site that offers personalized product recommendations
  • Believe that retailers who personalize the shopping experience provide a valuable service
  • Prefer to shop on a site that offers personalized recommendations

It is safe to say that ecommerce personalization is an absolute necessity for brands to survive the competition.

What are the Challenges in Front of Ecommerce Marketers?

  • Rising Customer Acquisition Cost – Marketers and brands are spending almost 25-30% of their marketing budget in acquiring new customers. This makes customer engagement and retention a big challenge.
  • High Cart Abandonment Rate – According to Statista, global online shopping cart abandonment rate was a whopping 69.57% in 2019. Moreover, from what we gather from our discussions with ecommerce marketers, almost 98% of users leave the website/app without making a transaction ever.
  • Tough Competition – In the highly competitive & price sensitive market today, it is extremely difficult to build stickiness. Users either don’t come back enough, or the competitors poach them in no time.

Related Read: Personalization in E-Commerce – 7 Trends to Watch in 2020

How can AI/ML Based Personalization Help?

As mentioned earlier, the most effective way to acquire, engage, and retain your customers is to offer them personalized experiences that they cannot forget. And to make this happen, you have two incredible gifts at your disposal – incredible amounts of customer information, and Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning based technology that feeds on this data to help you deliver hyper-personalized customer experiences.

There are various ways to provide a personalized website to each and every user. Here are a few scenarios wherein Smartech’s AI engine can help you deliver relevant and contextual recommendations across every touchpoint of the user journey.

  • Category page reordering: For any ecommerce platform that operates at scale, there is a large number of products in the product catalogs. When visitors can’t find or face difficulty in finding what they are looking for, they leave the website. In other cases, they spend a lot of time searching for items they want, instead of being directed to what they might be interested in.

    Using the behavioral data insights, the AI model can predict what the user might be interested in, and you can reorder or reshuffle the sequence in which the products are displayed. This can lead to a 60-80% increase in CTRs. Since the most relevant products are shown at the top, the users are most likely to add them to their cart or purchase.

    Category page reordering

  • Recommendations across the user journey through various channels: Apart from site personalization, Smartech’s AI engine also provides personalization across other touch points in the user journey, by offering recommendations through emails, push notifications, search, and social media ads.

    Recommendations across the user journey

    These are means of offline engagement, that is, when the users are not active on your website or app, you can nudge them to come back to the web/app to check products, complete checkouts, etc. Here are some personalization examples around app push notifications.

    Recommendations across the user journey

How can Rule Based Personalization Help?

Rule-based personalization is another approach in which you can use demographic parameters like location, time, device type, etc. to craft personalized experiences for each of your users/user segments, across the journey. This approach is not fuelled by AI & ML, but you control all the parameters end-to-end. Here are some ways you can personalize the website experience:

  • Personalized Home Page banner: If you show a personalized home page to your users, uniquely crafted for each of them as per their interests, you increase the likelihood of them coming back to your website, by many times. A plain vanilla homepage does not appeal to users.

    Here is an example how a bank’s website displays personalized homepage banners to its repeat visitors:

    Personalized Home Page banner

  • Text on the website: You can personalize the text on your website based on when the users visit the website. For instance, a first time user sees a different version of the home page while a returning visitor sees another version. Once you define these parameters at the very start, what the users see is always in sync with their stage in the user journey.  Relevant product recommendations in the home page nudge the users towards conversions.

    Text on the website

  • Personalization based on time of day/season/location: Based on the time of the day, day of the week (at which users visit your website), the ongoing season, and the geographic location, you can personalize the content. Doing this ensures that the experience you offer is as
    per the time zone and geography to which your user belongs.

    Personalization based on time

    Personalization based on location

Integrating Smartech’s Personalization Module

Smartech offers AI/ML driven as well as rule-based personalization solutions to many leading brands across industries. To ensure quick and easy implementation, we have designed the module in such a way that it takes less than 15 minutes to integrate the module to your website or app. You need to integrate: 

  • JS Snippet on the Header 
  • JS Snippet on the Thank You Page
  • Content Feed

Note that if you already use Smartech’s Automation Suite, you can activate Rule-based Personalization immediately at the click of a button. 

Check out Smartech’s Ecommerce Solutions.

Concluding Thoughts

Personalization is going to be the game-changer in the ecommerce industry. With super-intelligent technologies coming in, more and more ecommerce players are jumping into the pool of personalization to offer hyper-personalized recommendations and customer experiences to their users across the journey.

Related read: How to Reinvent E-Commerce Personalization in 2020

Brands that are still taking time to realize the significance of personalization might soon be out of the race. If you still haven’t crafted your strategy, we are here to help. Please get in touch with us today to to understand in detail how to craft your marketing strategy keeping personalization at its core.

This blog post has been repurposed from our webinar series ‘Personalization Thursdays’ titled ‘Personalization Thursdays: Add Customer Delight to your E-Commerce Experience Cart!’. The post includes key insights shared in the webinar with some additional information.

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