Personalization is crucial to delivering better customer experiences, increasing conversions, and customer retention for eCommerce brands going into 2023. Some of the most successful eCommerce brands today have leveraged personalization strategies to rapidly grow their businesses.
In this article, we'll explore 6 of the most effective strategies eCommerce leaders use to deliver personal experiences.
What is eCommerce Personalization?
ECommerce personalization is a strategy used to improve the customer experience on eCommerce sites by personalizing the customer journey. Businesses use personalization tactics including intelligent product recommendations, customized packaging, and personalized email sequences to deliver a more personalized shopping experience.
6 Strategies for Personalized Customer Experiences
Ecommerce personalization isn't a one-and-done effort; the most effective strategies personalize customer experiences at various points of the customer journey, delivering an optimal user experience. Here's more on the most effective strategies to employ in your eCommerce marketing campaigns.
1. Align Product Recommendations with Visitor Behavior
Analyzing visitor behavior helps businesses optimize their personalized recommendation strategy, but to employ this tactic, you'll need to know what behavior to look for.
You can get a clearer understanding of buyers' intent by analyzing their interactions at various touchpoints. So, for example, assessing high-converting posts or product pages can help you identify what your audience is looking for.
You can then leverage sitewide product recommendations and popups to guide new site visitors towards similar purchasing decisions.
Apul's tiered-pricing strategy
Apul's 'have you considered these' product recommendations pop-up appears when a user clicks a teaser, revealing a relevant product teaser. Not only has the brand leveraged trigger-induced personalized recommendations, but the suggested items also sport different pricing tiers, catering to different buyers. Users are given recommendations for budget-friendly, mid-range, and high-end products.
Apul's strategy is one of the best examples of a brand that understands its audience. The business realizes that its customers have different spending capabilities, and caters to each.
2. Set Up Personalized Email Sequences
Personalized email marketing helps brands directly engage with customers to achieve particular goals. Your goals could be to drive repeat purchases, reduce shopping cart abandonment rates, or provide updates such as shipping notifications.
Unlike your typical bulk automation sequences, personalized emails are customized for each customer. You'll still want to use an automation tool to streamline the design and sending processes, but each email will need to be designed for one-on-one cadence.
Example - FutureCare's personalized birthday wishes
FutureCare's "Happy Birthday" wishes are a good example of smart eCommerce personalization strategies. Although the messages are personalized on the user-end, you can create sequences like this using a dedicated template. You can use an automation tool to send happy birthday wishes to members like this to your email list, and the First Name tag makes the message appear personalized.
Smart. Efficient. Effective. And easy to replicate.
Example - UberEats reminds customers to take advantage of free delivery
As you'd expect from a huge organization like Uber, this personalized email sequence ticks essential personalization boxes. It has a:
- A compelling offer, with a minimum pricing strategy to preserve profit margins.
- The CTA and image are well-placed and visually attractive, ensuring the offer catches the reader's attention.
- It reminds the user that they're already an Uber customer and that sign-up won't be required. Reduced friction.
So next time you send a personalized email sequence, applying some of Uber's best practices could prove beneficial.
3. Use Custom Packaging to Delight Customers
Custom packaging helps drive brand awareness, solidify brand identity, and delights your customers by delivering a memorable unboxing experience. When your customers receive their orders in a branded box, they perceive their packages to have more value. After all, they didn't pay for the extra customization, so it comes as a pleasant surprise.
Custom eCommerce packaging has also been associated with enhanced customer loyalty, which isn't surprising given how much consumers value personalized experiences.
Example: How Pyra Beauty uses personalized unboxing experiences to increase repeat spends
Pyra Beauty is an eco-friendly cosmetics brand with a mission to make the world better with its skin and eco-friendly makeup. The cosmetics brand created custom packaging to improve their customers' unboxing experience, and the company saw repeat spending increases.
Pyra Beauty took its personalization efforts a step further by introducing GIPHY modeled on their custom packaging. It's extra touches like this that help brands differentiate themselves and engage customers better.
4. Use Personalized Upselling & Cross-Selling
Upselling and cross-selling strategies can drive your average order value (AOV) numbers up, but poorly executed techniques have the opposite effect. To give you some perspective, 48% of customers have abandoned a website because it was poorly curated (source: Accenture).
The takeaway here is to leverage personalized upselling and cross-selling. Read your customers' minds and recommend products that they'll feel compelled to purchase.
Example: Atkin and Thyme's 'Complete the Look'
This personalized product bundle is an excellent example of cross-selling in practice. Atkins and Thyme is a leader in the furniture and home accessories space, providing elegant, sophisticated products.
The brand employs an innovative cross-selling strategy to increase average order values and product discovery. When a customer opens a product detail page, the online store recommends similar products that complete the aesthetic.
5. Give Returning Shoppers a Continuous Experience
Many leading eCommerce brands provide continuous experiences by giving returning customers 'continue shopping' options, allowing visitors to pick up where they left off.
What did your returning customer purchase previously? What items were they browsing through, but abandoned before checkout?
A continuous experience provides customers with an extra touch of personalization, encouraging repeat purchases.
Example - Netflix's "Continue Watching" as a jumping-off point
Netflix's well-known "continue watching" feature was highly successful because of how it reshaped the customer experience. It's a steady combination of hyper-personalization and improved convenience.
Many eCommerce stores appreciate the value in Netflix's strategy and employ similar strategies to deliver a continuous shopping experience. For example, let's take a customer who last found himself on a product page for a men's blazer.
After the customer leaves the site and later returns, the homepage displays "Continue shopping men's outerwear" with an accompanying image carousel. This strategy helps drive conversions by providing personalized experiences while doubling as a subtle in-site retargeting tactic.
6. Use Social & Display Ads for Retargeting
Customers can abandon their carts or bounce off your site for various reasons. They might get preoccupied with a personal matter, get a work call, or it could just be a classic case of the rule of 7.
Either way, retargeting customers after they leave your site can considerably improve conversion rates. You can follow customers off-platform with the help of social media advertisements or Google display ads.
Example: Use coupons to reduce friction in the buyer's journey
Discount codes and coupons are some of the most effective ways to increase conversions, provided you don't overuse them. The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino in Vegas leverages this eCommerce personalization tactic quite effectively:
This remarketing strategy helps the establishment secure conversions by immediately incentivizing prospects. If you browse their website and shy away from it because of the considerable price tags, the Cosmopolitan later gives you one more reason to join them for a luxurious experience.
In the modern, competitive eCommerce landscape, the customer experience has become the most important brand differentiator. Now, it's even more crucial than product and price.
Thus, winning your audience has become a matter of delivering the best experiences. And personalization is key to consistently outdoing your competition and winning customers over.
ECommerce trends, statistics, and data in recent years testify to the following:
- Customers want you to read their minds. They're expecting brands to anticipate and tell them what they want, fueling the need for hyper-personalized recommendations.
- Consumers want you to make an effort. Personalized experiences can delight your customers - something as simple as a happy birthday email or customized packaging can increase retention and drive repeat spending.
- Customers value convenience. Yes, we knew that already, but personalized plays a key role in this too. Continuous shopping experiences, for example, help consumers remember what they were looking for and engage them in the sales funnel.
So as we move into 2023, keeping eCommerce personalization at the forefront of marketing strategy is crucial to thriving in the highly competitive landscape.
Jake Rheude is the Vice President of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment, an eCommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of eCommerce. He has years of experience in eCommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.