7 Ways to Personalize Ecommerce Experiences to Make Customers Love You
When you go into a retail store in person, you’re likely greeted by a sales associate who will ask what you’re looking for. They will then do everything in their power to create a totally personalized service.
For clothing, they might ask about your style, material and colour preferences. For computing, they might ask what technical specs you require or what sort of things you tend to use your laptop for. All of this allows them to make compelling cases for the products they think best match your needs.
Of course, when it comes to online shopping, there aren’t any opportunities to ask these sorts of questions. But does that mean you can’t personalize that shopping experience? Absolutely not. There are plenty of ways to create meaningful, personal experiences online (and plenty of reasons to do so). These are some of the most impactful.
1. Offer style finders
Style finders are a great way to help new visitors of your ecommerce site find what they’re looking for. It’s often the case that people begin online shopping without a clear idea of exactly what they want. They might know they need an outfit for a particular event but will treat the visit to an ecommerce website as an opportunity to browse and research options.
A style finder can help shoppers target their search and find products personalized to their needs and desires. The interactive nature of them also makes for genuinely engaging content.
Apparel retailer TopShop has a great style finder tool that takes you through a comprehensive style quiz. It then offers personalized recommendations based on your preferences and will even help you find shapes that best flatter your body type.
2. Make navigation super convenient
A lot of customers will automatically navigate to the same section of an ecommerce website every time they visit it. If you’re able to track this behavior, you can start anticipating their needs and present them with their desired section right away.
A great example of this is an apparel company automatically directing someone to the men’s section, or petite or plus-size ranges. It’s a little touch of added convenience that your customers are sure to appreciate.
3. Personalize by location
Accurate translations should be a given, but there’s so much more you can do with the way you present your products to make them really appeal to shoppers overseas. Each local market will have certain wording, pricing, imagery and navigation that best appeals to them.
Global marketing is unpredictable, but by creating localized sites for visitors to land on, you give yourself the best chance of connecting with them on a personal level. Localizing experiences is certainly not a simple or straightforward process, but it’s worthwhile when you consider that 86% of consumers state that they would pay more for a product or service if they received better customer experience.
“By creating localized sites for visitors to land on, you give yourself the best change of connecting with them on a personal level.”
ASOS is one brand that has experienced phenomenal global growth by creating dedicated websites in strategic overseas markets and ensuring that in-country teams provide locally-relevant services and product offers. As a result, two thirds of its customers are now based outside the UK.
4. Make your offers specific to their interests
The more a shopper visits your app or website and makes purchases, the more you learn about their needs and interests. Generic offers are rarely unwelcome as people love feeling like they’re getting a bargain, but what’s better is an offer that’s specifically targeted at products you know that person wants or buys often.
For example, if a customer regularly purchases dog food, you might want to send them a personalized offer for dog treats or toys. Similarly, if you have a customer that has revisited a particular product but has yet to make a purchase, you could target them with retargeting ads containing an offer for that product.
Suddenly the $100 sneakers they had been pining after are now totally irresistible.
5. Recommend complementary products
Combining personalization and cross-selling? Now that’s a winning combo. The more personalized you can make these suggestions, the greater the results you’re likely to see. You can base your recommendations on a few different things – what customers in general tend to buy alongside that product, what the customer in question has purchased in the past, or what your merchandisers consider essential add-ons.
The example below is from the Best Buy website and demonstrates a collection of products that are commonly purchased alongside a new laptop or PC. By positioning them as “expert recommended” you add even more credence to the suggestions.
6. Personalize emails based on user data
There’s nothing worse than getting an email from a retailer packed full of products and offers that you would never buy in a million years. It’s exactly the sort of email that causes shoppers to think “this brand clearly isn’t for me” and immediately unsubscribe.
By making your communication more targeted and thoughtful (and no, not just by putting their first name in the subject line) you can send powerful, high-performing emails that people actually want to receive. The more data you can collect, the stronger your emails can be.
“By making your communication more targeted and thoughtful, you can send powerful, high-performing emails that people actually want to receive.”
For example, if they’ve used a style-finder before, you could use the information to send additional product suggestions long after they’ve left your ecommerce website or app.
The image below shows a cosmetics distributor making suggestions via email based on their knowledge of the customers’ eye color and skin type.
7. Pitch cross-sells at checkout
In much the same way you can provide product recommendations while someone is browsing, you can offer them up on the basket page or right before checkout.
Supermarket websites are especially good at this, as many will create a page of suggestions based on products you’ve purchased in previous orders (both online and in-store if they track purchases with a reward card system.)
Here’s an example from British supermarket Sainsbury’s:
This sort of personalization is incredibly valuable for shoppers and of course generates greater sales for the ecommerce business.
Personalized experiences are a key way of winning over visitors to your ecommerce website or app. It can be a big part of what turns customers into loyal advocators that will return to you time and time again. Looking for more information on how to provide incredible digital experiences to your customers? Check out our e-guide for 17 Powerful Ideas on How to Boost Conversions and Revenue on your ecommerce store.