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11 Tips for Ecommerce Website Personalization

A new era of website personalization is here and Ecommerce businesses can no longer afford to serve up the same online experience to every customer if they want to maximize conversions and profits. It has become increasingly important to present relevant content tailored to suit your buyer persona. This has to be ensured at every step of the online journey, to increase the average order value and revenue per visit. 

Advantages of Website Personalization

A recent Accenture study showed that 75% of customers want to purchase from companies who know them by name. In this context, are you making an effort to understand and recommend products based on your customer’s purchase history? This takes some time and effort to implement. But personalizing your marketing by creating an intuitive, easy to navigate web experience generates a number of positive results. 

Metrics to Track

To implement personalization effectively, you will need to understand your sales funnel, create clearly differentiated buyer personas or segmentation strategies. Optimizing your website will also mean tracking multiple data points. This includes Total Visits, Bounce Rate, Conversion Rate, Average Order Value, and Revenue Per Visit. 

However, all that effort will pay off. Here are some ways website personalization can positively influence your bottom line: 

  1. Data tracking can help you better understand the needs of your visitors. From how long they hover on a given product, and which page causes them to bounce. 
  2. This insight can be used to create more effective UX and messaging to nurture and convert visitors. This increases the likelihood of a sale.
  3. When implemented well, personalization helps the user to find what they are looking for much faster, leading to more registrations and subscriptions.
  4. Over time, giving shoppers what they need increases customer affinity and retention. This helps you to cultivate brand loyalty and leverage the power of word of mouth marketing. 

Now that I have laid out the context of why you should embrace the power of website personalization, here are 11 straightforward tips on how you can implement it on your eCommerce site

1. Pop-Ups Work

Pop-up ads or overlays are generally perceived as annoying but don’t write them off just yet. When used in a considerate manner, they can help:

  • Grow email lists
  • Drive blog subscriptions
  • Promote content
  • Fuel lead generation

In the example below, digital marketing guru Neil Patel entices his audiences to sign up to a mailing list with a simple, clear offer. 

The best pop-up messages have a conversion rate of over 40%. Of course, to see results and reduce the risk of turning off visitors you should consider being as non-intrusive as possible and follow best practices. For instance, the highest converting pop-ups don’t appear immediately and communicate an offer of overwhelming value to consumers using simple headlines and clear calls to action. 

2.Create Contextual Messaging On-Page

One of the simplest and most effective tactics to personalize your website experience is to tailor messaging based on the page someone is on. It makes sense to create a specific goal and have a clear target audience in mind for each of your product category and subcategory pages. 

For instance, if you run an online jewelry store, it makes sense to create messaging around ‘Wedding Rings’ or ‘Engagement Rings’. This will show if your customer happens to be on a page featuring occasion-specific or wedding-specific jewelry. Whereas, the messaging can draw shoppers’ attention to a specific occasion if they happen to be on a page dedicated, say, to Mother’s Day.

3. Personalize Your Homepage

If you know where your users are coming from and who they are you can use this data to present truly personalized messages to your audience. For example, like personalization expert, Optimizely does in this example below. 

There is no end to the extent of personalization you can offer. You can dynamically change up the message on your homepage depending upon any number of factors. This includes the timezone your visitor is in, their geographical location, the time of the year, season, and so on and so forth. 

4. Create Customer Surveys

Customer surveys are one of the best ways to uncover insights into customer behavior and better understand their habits and preferences. But don’t hit a customer with a survey request the second they land on your website. Otherwise, customer surveys are a great way to get qualitative data straight from the source. 

Remember to trigger surveys once visitors have had time to acclimatize and take a look at what you have to offer. For instance, you can query your readers to ask them to rate how helpful a blogpost was, once they reach the end of the article. Or you could encourage them to participate in a quick survey, via email, in exchange for an exclusive discount. Online survey tool Hotjar has a nice guide on how you can go about deriving the maximum value from surveys on your website.

5. Create Customer Loyalty Programs

Customer loyalty programs are a great way to incentivize your customers to keep buying and turn occasional customers into repeat shoppers. 

For instance, The North Face does with an addictive and clever points system it calls VIPEAK. Frequent customers are made to feel special by being able to earn 10 points for every $1 they spend online. Customers can redeem these points towards future purchases. This strategy will help you increase your customer’s average order value and encourage them to invest in your brand. This means they’re less likely to switch loyalties and choose your competitor.

6. Personalize Content and Recommendations

Showing customers personalized content, including product recommendations, can have outsized benefits on your business. Personalizing content on their website helped premium tequila maker Patrón acquire over 2 million page views. This increased site traffic by 38% and sold 5X more than its nearest competitor. 

Patrón became the first brand to create a data-driven cocktail recommendation engine, with Patrón Cocktail Lab. They went a step further by enabling voice search, on Amazon Echo, Echo Show, or Google Home. Irrespective of what device they were on, customers could now ask for cocktail recommendations for any occasion. And Patrón would access its stockpile of recipes by the world’s best bartenders and furnish increasingly curated suggestions. This is based on personal customer preferences, behavioral insights, local trends, and occasions. 

Another method you could use is to create personalized banners based on the data available about your customers. These banners can be used to recommend products, display seasonal offers and sales, and so on.

7. Upsell, Cross-sell and Remarket

Never miss out on opportunities to upsell, cross-sell, and remarket to customers. This can be done using insights gathered about their online behavior, previous purchase data, demographics, and more. 

For instance, in the screenshot above, Macy’s draws attention specifically to printed dresses, appropriate for spring, to suit the shopper’s purchase history or browsing behavior, so that they are more likely to click on this offer and convert. 

8. Use Chat Bots

63% of customers are likely to return to a company website that offers live chat. It makes more and more sense for your brand to use conversational marketing and chatbots to connect with your customers, real-time, as they browse through your website offerings. Chatbots can be used to deliver information, guide potential shoppers to the right product, provide support and assistance, and ease any hiccups that might prevent a successful sale. 

For instance, luxury watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre’s chatbot helps customers choose the perfect strap for their watch, or choose the right watch from their collection, and purchase online. 

9. Create Many, Highly-Targeted Landing Pages

Research shows that business websites with 10-15 landing pages tend to increase conversions by 55% over business websites with less than 10 landing pages. And those with more than 40 landing pages increase conversions by over 500%. 

It is time-consuming to create multiple landing pages but it may well be worth the effort to vary the messaging on individual landing pages to suit different traffic sources, depending on whether the visitor is being referred to your site by way of a blog post, email offers, PPC campaign, display campaign, or social media. Looking at the referral source can help you unearth a wealth of information about what your visitors want and actioning this intelligence can help drive up conversions.

Creating more landing pages doesn’t just mean creating more offers, it also means tweaking the message on each landing page to mirror and match your visitor’s intent. For instance, in the screengrab above you can see that the on-page messaging is being modified to suit a “YouTuber” who will most likely want a solution that helps them create online courses for their audiences. 

10. Create Personalized Web Push Notifications

A greater number of Ecommerce brands are embracing the power of push notifications because they have been shown to boost sign-ups and subscriptions. For instance, at least 2X as many people sign up for online push notifications compared to a newsletter, and while it takes a customer 6.4 hours on average to click and open a newsletter, in the case of a web push, the recipient will see the message immediately, and likely act on it. 

Use push notifications to send our timely, hyper-relevant messages that are likely to influence consumer behavior on the go. For instance, McDonald’s uses the services of location marketing app Waze to alert customers about nearby offers using push messages every time they are close to one of their outlets.

11. Think Omnichannel

David Cancel, founder, and CEO of Drift says, “Today’s buyers expect to find what they’re looking for now, not later. As we prepare for the future, it will be more important than ever for businesses to be available across a broad spectrum of channels, and to make sure you’re communicating the way people prefer to communicate.”

Omnichannel marketing is the way to go, with statistics showing that brands using three or more channels in an automation workflow can generate great results. Purchase frequency is 250% higher on omnichannel Vs. single-channel and customer retention rates are 90% higher for omnichannel vs. single channel, so it makes sense to distribute your marketing messages using a combination of platforms and look at implementing these lessons in personalization across a variety of channels to complement the customer experience on your website.

We hope that you found this article useful to finetune your website personalization efforts in 2020. Thanks for reading.  

Preeti Prakash

Preeti Prakash

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