Personalisation… not just for emails
Personalisation is no longer something that’s nice for your eCommerce store to have. It’s essential for bringing in the sales.
What is personalisation? It’s the process of creating a unique experience for each visitor to your website, tailoring it to their specific wants and needs.
Personalisation is a very powerful tool, and it’s something that shoppers now expect as standard. 71% of customers want personalisation from the businesses they shop with, with 76% getting annoyed when they don’t get the experience they anticipated.
One of the easiest ways to offer personalisation is through highly targeted emails. For example, you can personalise messages with a customer’s name, send them information about products they might be interested in, and even give them a discount code on their birthday.
In fact, personalised emails can deliver six times higher transaction rates for your business.
However, personalisation shouldn’t just stop at emails. With the right data, apps and eCommerce platform in place, you can deliver an exceptional experience that your shoppers will love. Here’s how to do it.
- What parts of your website can you personalise?
- How can I implement personalisation on my website?
- Top tips for personalising your eCommerce website
- Xigen: Your personalisation specialists
What parts of your website can you personalise?
Pretty much any section! As well as customising your home page and landing pages, you can customise the checkout process as well as the product offers shoppers see.
Let’s look at some of the options in more detail.
1. Product recommendations
Upselling and cross-selling is a fantastic way to increase the money you make per transaction. The key to success is to ensure the products you recommend are ones that your customers are interested in buying.
The best way to provide personalised recommendations is through customer data. By looking at browsing history, search history, wish lists, and purchase history, you can identify shoppers’ preferences and pitch them the perfect product.
Customer spending can also be a good indicator of the right product to upsell or cross-sell. For example, if a customer has spent £100 on a leather jacket, they probably won’t be willing to pay the same amount for a dress or a pair of trainers.
2. A personalised landing page or homepage
A personalised landing page or homepage gives you the opportunity to target specific audiences and encourage them to carry out a particular call to action. You can customise the title, the content, the images, and the products you link to.
Think of online marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy. When you go to the homepage, these pages load up with products you might like, based on what you’ve bought in the past.
You might only need a handful of landing pages and homepages if you run a small store, but a large eCommerce business could have thousands!
You can create personalised landing pages and homepages in different ways. For example, you can create geotargeted pages that load up depending on the web user’s country. If you run an international eCommerce store, customers in the UK may want different products than customers in, say, the US or Canada. Another option is to load a page based on the device a customer is using.
You can also set up different landing pages for different marketing channels. For example, imagine you’re running a Google Ads search campaign with multiple keywords. You can create a unique landing page for each keyword, meaning your website will more likely fulfil user intent and lead to a conversion.
3. Personalised search results
43% of eCommerce site users go straight to the search bar on a website, making it an ideal way to provide a personalised shopping experience.
Let’s go back to Amazon. It shows all your previous searches, making it easy to go back and continue your shopping. If you search for a product you’ve already purchased before, it brings it up straightaway, and even lets you know the last time you bought it.
By harnessing the data from a customer’s shopping history, you can promote products they are interested in, increasing the odds of a sale.
4. Personalised pricing and discounts
Have you ever tried to buy airline tickets and been confused that the price has changed in the space of a day? It’s not just you.
Airlines are well-known for altering prices online depending on the day, time, and where the customer is based. This was carried out manually in the past but is now done through algorithms and artificial intelligence.
Some eCommerce stores offer a similar tactic, for example, offering a discount or reduced price for loyal shoppers, or customers in a particular target audience.
Personalised pricing however, is not without its criticisms. Some people claim it’s unfair, especially if shoppers don’t know why they’re getting a higher or lower price. If you go down the path of personalised pricing, be transparent, fair, and unbiased.
5. Personalised loyalty programmes
A loyalty programme is a great way to increase revenue and customer lifetime value. However, incorrectly personalised programmes can leave customers cold. Nearly four out of five shoppers think the loyalty programmes they’re signed up for are too generic.
Understanding your customers and offering them the rewards that they want is essential. You can do this using artificial intelligence, or by segmenting customers based on their purchases and behaviour. For example, let’s say you sell teabags and coffee pods online. A customer that exclusively buys tea is probably not interested in free coffee, and vice versa.
6. Personalised reviews and testimonials
Reviews and testimonials are brilliant for showing customers they should buy from you. Rather than presenting lots of different pieces of feedback and hoping that one review impresses your prospective customers, you can personalise the feedback they see.
You can customise your testimonials based on the industry a customer works in. For example, let’s say you operate a SaaS platform. If you know a prospective customer works in the finance sector, you can show testimonials and logos from relevant companies.
As well as testimonials, you can also show customers the reviews that are most relevant to them. Some clothing and beauty companies prioritise reviews made by customers that are similar to the buyer. For instance, if the customer has oily skin, the website will push reviews made by people with a similar complexion.
7. Personalised product descriptions
Finally, you can adapt your individual product descriptions and photos to target individual customers or segments of your user base.
For example, let’s say you sell collectable toys online. A parent looking for a toy for their child will want to see a different product description from an adult wanting the same toy to add to their collection. Alternatively, if a customer has bought products with a similar feature from you before, you can prioritise that feature in the product description to pique their interest.
As well as specific eCommerce apps, you can use a Product Experience Management (PXM) system to personalise your product data. This system lets you create multiple product descriptions for each item you sell and serve different content to different people.
How can I implement personalisation on my website?
Some of the approaches we’ve looked at can be implemented without the use of specific technology. For example, you can create multiple landing pages in any content management system and redirect customers through your marketing platforms.
These apps either use rules to personalise your eCommerce platform for specific audience segments, or artificial intelligence to analyse data about individuals. Some apps use a combination of the two.
All you need to do is install your app, set it up, and it will do the rest.
Top tips for personalising your eCommerce website
- Identifying a goal you want to achieve can help you determine where to begin. For example, if you want to increase average order value, looking at cross-sells and upsells is best. If you want to improve the omnichannel experience, personalised landing pages are a great option
- Start small. Personalising your whole eCommerce site can be a massive task, and there is the risk that things can go wrong. Start with one or two elements, and take it from there
- Encourage shoppers to create accounts rather than using guest checkout. This provides you with the user data you need to personalise your site to their requirements
- Think outside the box when it comes to collecting data – for example, you can create a quiz to find out about shoppers’ preferences
- Regularly test your personalisation efforts to see what customers like and dislike. Similarly, look at your stats to identify patterns and trends that can help you with your personalisation strategy moving forward
- If personalisation is a big part of your eCommerce strategy, it may be worth moving to headless architecture. This separates the back and front ends of your website, making it easier and faster to deliver personalised content
Remember, there are rules about the collecting and processing of data in different countries and regions, for example, GDPR in the EU and UK. It’s important to tell customers which data you collect, what you do with it, and which third parties you share it with.
Xigen: Your personalisation specialists
eCommerce personalisation can provide your customers with an experience that makes them come back to your store again and again. Make sure your personalisation efforts provide value, regularly test to see what customers like, and you’re on the way to increasing sales.
Whether you want to boost your emails or enhance your online store, we’re here to help.
Our web development and digital marketing specialists will look at your eCommerce site and marketing platforms to see how you can use personalisation to drive results.
For example, take the work we did for McCarthy Stone. By creating bold and colourful personalised email campaigns, we delivered over 1,300 new leads.