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Everyone acknowledges personalization is the way to increase customer engagement. Let’s illustrate.

“The season of leather jackets and fur coats is finally here! Wait, what? How did they know I was thinking about it? I just thought about it 5 mins ago and instantly receive an offer email? Whoa! Is someone watching me? Or is this just brilliant?” How often has a similar incident happened to you? Quite often, in my case! There have been instances when I admired a product at a local store and got a recommendation for the same product the next day! What does that mean? Is someone spying on me? Am I being watched? Or do people really want me to shop?

Personalized marketing is targeting individual users based on their behavior, buying pattern, demographics, and other personal data. Gone are the days when we would shoot out bulk emails with the subject “Hey, $NAME”! Customer behavior has evolved. Customers expect more when buying from you, now. Marketers expect a better conversion and engagement rate. Customers are everywhere and they check everything. It’s no longer limited to a single device or platform or a single source. They talk to each other, review and research products – in short, put a lot of effort before making a decision to buy.

Sale Offer creating urgency
Sale Offer Creating Urgency

So, how does personalization impact you?

  • Drives customer engagement.
  • Increases customer loyalty.
  • Makes conversions easier.
  • Has a direct impact on revenue.
  • Makes the customers feel valued.
  • Improves lead generation.
  • Welcomes newcomers.
  • Help make products customers love.

Personalization starts with the homepage

Do you still have a static homepage, showing the same widgets, products, offers, and content to all? Let’s go over some statistics.

  • You have 0-3 seconds to address your unique selling point.
  • The goal of your homepage should be to instill a sense to dig deeper and go further down the funnel.
  • 40% web users abandon the site if the load time is more than 3 seconds.
  • Different age groups react differently to content, layout, and design.

Most noteworthy, your homepage should showcase your value proposition. Present your unique value proposition and instill a sense of desire in the consumer. Make the consumer want more, eventually, making them get a step ahead in the conversion funnel. We say it again – DO NOT SELL on the homepage or make these UX sins.

Now that design is taken care of, how about you go a step ahead to personalize your homepage? What is the probability of a woman clicking through a “Shirts men are eyeing at” section on your design optimized homepage?

Netflix Homepage Personalization
Netflix Homepage Personalization
Amazon Homepage Personalization
Amazon Homepage Personalization

Whether it’s Netflix, Amazon, LinkedIn or Facebook, people are recognizing the power of personalization based on individual users. Well, how do you do that, practically?

Start from user data, their buying patterns and last visited pages/products. Showcase them on the homepage and leverage data a user gives you willingly by filling a form or profile details. Gather information and put it into play slowly so as to not creep out the user.

Segment your users

Every user who visits your website has a different purpose. Every user thinks differently and expects your site to accommodate his needs. Young users might be more inclined towards trending and cheap products while older users might be looking for comfort rather than a competitive price. Users landing on your site from sources like social media, organic or paid ads may behave differently. A specific platform can lead to a higher conversion than other. For instance, your email marketing campaign can lead to a higher conversion rate than social media.

Audience Affinity Category
Audience Affinity Category

Make your life easier with Google Analytics “Interests” category. Identify users’ affinity and category of interest to personalize based on their expectations.

Personalize Based on User’s Buying Pattern

Does a user tend to click, show interest and purchase products in the higher end of the spectrum? How often does he come back? Which categories does he browse? Was there something he was looking for but was out of stock? Is he living in a colder area? What are the trending products in his area? Does he have friends who use your product? Does he interact with his friends on your community?

Upselling and cross-selling are also used by e-commerce sites to spend more, engage with the site and leave happy.

Complete your look suggestion
Complete your look suggestion

Similarly, take into account product views, product clicks, product performance, rating, product description, user history, user demographics, interests, heatmaps, etc to gauge what your users would be interested in.

Moreover, an e-commerce survey mentions how reminding users of products they do not know they want is a highly effective way to become relevant to shoppers. For instance, remind them when an out of stock product is back in stock or when they might be running out of certain items.

Additionally, connect direct messages to their offline experiences. A user visited your offline store and filled a form? E-mail him the next day showing how you appreciate his visit, introducing him to your online store.

Personalize Your Search

Alex and Bob both want a smartwatch. They type in “smartwatch” on your site’s search bar. Are you going to show both of them the same results? While the algorithm may pick the same products from your catalog, re-ranking them and customizing the list to show the most suited product on top is your duty. Say, Alex is more inclined towards expensive watches while Bob wants a lean model. If you tailor your search results to incorporate Alex’s interests, Bob certainly might not like it and vice versa.

What do you do in this case? Personalization of search based on interests, user demographics, and buying patterns. Factor in variables such as product performance, user clicks, user interests, user history and trends in the user’s locality.

Retarget Buyers

Retargeting existing customers drives customer engagement and improves customer loyalty. Start by recommending products your users browsed but didn’t purchase. Or did they abandon their carts before checking out? Send out a push notification retargeting your buyers.

You cannot have one without the another
You cannot have one without the another

Offer complementary products to your buyers. Did someone buy a leather jacket? Probably they need a pair of jeans to go with it. Additionally, do not overwhelm your users. Figure out the response rate and streamline your retargeting efforts towards users who have a higher probability and frequency to respond.

It’s all about the user experience – make your consumers feel valued, heard, and addressed. Happy shopping!

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