The other day, my mom shared a list of things she wanted to buy, and said, “Order them online, the sale season is here!” I was amused about how the user base of e-commerce is getting diversified by the day, and how users from different walks of life are shedding their apprehensions about buying things online and embracing e-commerce with open arms. E-commerce is no more a thing of the young and urban population.
Growing industry implies growing competition and growing challenges for the brands. The cumulative value of e-commerce sales is expected to top $3.4 trillion by the end of 2019. In the extremely competitive scenario, personalization and relevancy have to be the top priority. Leading e-commerce marketers state that businesses cannot find a tactic more capable of winning consumers than personalization.
Though it has always been a focus of e-commerce strategizing, the quality of a personalized online shopping experience is largely generic even now. It is an inquisitive point because according to the statistics there’s a big payoff and demand for customizing the offering to each site visitors.
- 59% of online shoppers stated that it is easier to find interesting products on a personalized e-commerce website
- 53% feel that retailers who personalize their shopping experience give a more valuable service that makes them revisit the site
- 45% highly appreciate e-commerce websites that offer personalized recommendations.
Personalization improves the customer shopping experience and makes them feel special. According to Accenture, the majority of US consumers say they’re more likely to make purchases with e-commerce sites that personalize experiences. That’s a high sales opportunity that business owners cannot afford to miss out on by not offering their customers personalized shopping experience.
E-commerce personalization is nothing but serving customized marketing messages to a targeted set and subset of customers, with the common goal of boosting revenue. It is built on the concept that every customer is different and has a different problem/need that needs to be solved/met. Impactful personalization involves presenting relevant, actionable recommendations to their customers in such a way that it enhances their online shopping journey to be more productive, pleasant, and satisfying.
Implementing effective personalization strategies call for extensive customer-data collection, in-depth analysis of the data, and using the insights to design the marketing campaigns and efforts.
Well, easier said than done.
The clearer the answers to ‘why’, the easier the ‘how’.
That says a lot already. Personalization is increasingly important to business owners seeking to, not just engage with their customers, but it impacts every business KPI.
According to a report by “The Clear Path to Personalization,” Forbes Insights conducted a survey based on the 200 retail marketing executives by Arm Treasure Data, and it states that:
- 37% of respondents said that personalized product or content recommendations and had increased their sales and overall customer lifetime value.
- 40% of respondents said that adopting personalized marketing tactics and adding personalized elements on the websites has helped increase sales and raise in average order value.
- 35% of respondents stated that as a result of their personalization strategy, they had observed an increase in their transaction frequency.
Here’s How You Can Reinvent Personalization in 2020
- Customized and Shoppable Social Media Feed
Today, most internet users access the web via their mobile devices. And the majority of mobile device users spend most of their time on a few selected social media apps – Instagram and Facebook being the most used ones. Though at first, this won’t seem like the fact that would benefit e-commerce businesses, the research shows that research more than three-quarters of people have bought something they’ve liked through their social media feed.
This opens a whole new opportunity for e-commerce brands with an effective and unique way to get into the wallets of their potential customers. Shoppable posts, featured images, and videos of products followed by a web page link that visitors can click on to shop are a new personalization technique for e-commerce brands.
- Personalized Shopping Experience
According to Gartner, it is estimated that by 2020, e-commerce businesses that make use of smart personalization software will see at least a 15% rise in their profits.
Personalization makes the shopping journey easier and hassle-free for the customers. Happy customers eventually become loyal customers. Businesses with a thoughtful and innovative approach can deliver customer expectations for personalization while winning customer loyalty and increasing engagement. Businesses using advanced personalized marketing automation tools platform can quickly remodel their marketing campaigns into a highly responsive and cutting edge e-commerce campaign. This would require businesses to harness their potential of segmentation and marketing automation to collect, examine, and respond to the data regarding shoppers’ demographics, web behaviors, and other gathered information.
Several e-commerce brands are using interactive content, such as quizzes, surveys, and polls, to develop a better understanding of delivering entirely customized products and experiences that would cater to each individual’s needs. This trend has explicitly been prevailing in two areas, and that is in the health and wellness industry and the digital media market.
For example, Native, a deodorant brand, uses an interactive quiz to deliver a customized scent profile that its customers can buy as a deodorant, perfume, or body wash.
- Personalized Product Recommendations
Personalization of product recommendations can be used to prioritize the content displayed on the website/app for every visitor individually. With a prioritized recommendation system, companies can gain complex insights into their product and customer profiles. Customers’ data is maintained in the recommendation engine based on their past interactions with items. It then enables powerful business reports with user behavior analysis regularly. Business decisions that are influenced by data analytics end up saving companies a lot of money.
Product recommendations increase the conversion rates by an incredible 320% and increase the average number of items in the cart by 68.14%. At the same time, personalized recommendations offer a great way to build customer loyalty.
Example: Adidas changing their recommended products for the same style of shoe, depending on the color chosen.
There’s also a case where instead of standard products, many e-commerce businesses aim to offer customizable and personalized goods. For example, one can have a T-shirt or laptop with a personalized design, color, print, etc. even though such alternatives to standard offers are slightly more expensive, people are ready to pay to own something they can call “theirs”, something unique.
- Using AI for Personalized Customer Support:
According to Zendesk, customer support is one of the most important factors in developing customer loyalty. It reports that 42% of B2C customers are being influenced to purchase in the future if they follow up on an excellent customer service experience. In 2019, e-commerce has been well using AI bots and tools to enhance user conversion rates. Artificial Intelligence has explicitly paved the way for the upcoming generation of customer service in the e-commerce market. AI technology has given marketers the ability to answer and respond to customers’ questions and queries automatically based on their frequently encountered issues and suggests relevant information based on the analytics data. One of the most key benefits of using AI technology is that it enables businesses to perform faster and offer highly accurate resolutions to customer issues by executing solutions learned from repeated issues that get resolved more frequently and successfully. A report by Gartner predicts that for online businesses, over 85% of the entire customer support communications will be using AI, replacing the customer service representatives.
Personalization in 2020
As seen in 2019, personalization has shaped nearly all aspects of the customer’s experience, from a user’s initial browsing to the manufacturing and shipping of products.
Personalization in the future will continue to evolve into ever more customized shopping experiences. When it is implemented correctly, the shopping, buying, and service experience of a modern consumer ecosystem will have a direct impact on commerce, making technology more trusted than before.
As the personalization technology continues to develop, we’ll notice as it evolves from a reactionary role to more of an assistive role, where it will be able to maintain a continuous conversation with the customer so that businesses can adequately recognize their clients’ requirements, resulting in long-term engagement, additional sales, and customer loyalty.
As with any trend-of-the-week, there’s always a lot of information on personalization. It can be overwhelming and harder as it goes on. But e-commerce personalization is exactly what brands need. It cannot be denied that as a result of the growing global e-commerce marketplace, the landscape of e-commerce is evolving quickly and implementing personalization more efficiently. What do you think 2020 will bring to the e-commerce world? Let us know about your gut feelings in the comments below.