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Ecommerce Personalization: Everything You Need to Know

Feb 09, 2022

Ecommerce personalization provides a way for brands to maximize their capabilities and increase sales. Unfortunately, not executing on such a strategy can cause brands to suffer. In this article, we’ll dive into the world of eCommerce personalization and highlight why it’s important, the benefits of such a strategy, and explain how a headless CMS fits into the equation.

What is eCommerce personalization?

The term “eCommerce personalization” relates to the set of practices in which an online store displays dynamic content based on customer data, such as demographics, intent, preferences, browsing history, previous purchases, and device usage—for instance, whether the customer is shopping on a mobile, tablet, or even a smartwatch.

Why is personalization important in eCommerce?

Personalization ensures that the offers presented to your customers are relevant. Consumers have indicated time and time again that personalization is very important to them, with data from Epsilon showing that when brands provide them with personalized experiences, 80% of customers are more likely to make a purchase. Not to mention the fact that the opposite is also true. When brands fail to deliver personalized experiences to their customers then these customers are likely to want to choose a competitor that does a better job of tailoring their experience.

What is the difference between personalization and customization?

While marketers may be tempted to give customers the option to customize their experiences, it's important to note that personalization and customization are two different things. When brands enable customers to customize a product, they are placing the onus on the customer to build their own experience.

On the other hand, with personalization, the duty is on the brand to properly leverage customer data and provide an experience that the customer will want. By anticipating the customer’s needs before they have a chance to express them, brands can drive customer loyalty and improve their experience. However, there are also more benefits to doing personalization in eCommerce.

 

Benefits of eCommerce personalization

Personalization in eCommerce can be the difference between customers choosing your brand vs the competition, but why should brands choose to use personalization when selling products online? Here are a few reasons:

Better Sales Conversions

When a customer visits an eCommerce store and is going to decide if they’re going to make a purchase, they don’t want to be greeted by the same experience as everyone else. Ecommerce personalization can increase conversion rates by showing customers exactly what they’re looking for before they buy. By using tactics such as product recommendations when a customer is about to checkout, brands can showcase products that specific groups of customers are more likely to buy, increasing conversion rates for items that may not be popular with all of their customers.

Improved Brand Engagement

If you know where your customers want to shop and the types of products they are more likely to buy then you can improve engagement and the way they choose to interact with your brand. Personalization entices customers to want to interact with your brand because you showcase the products they want to see in the way they want to see them.

Increased Customer Loyalty

Ecommerce personalization makes your customers more loyal. By showing them that you consistently know what is expected of your brand and how to provide the experiences they want, they are more likely to show their loyalty and continue shopping with your brand vs the competition.

Enhanced Customer Experience

Personalization provides an enhanced customer experience because it helps your brand to better cater to customer needs and makes their time shopping with you more enjoyable. Through personalization, brands can remember customer preferences and direct them exactly where they want to go from the first time they enter your store. Showcasing the products they will want to see, storing payment information for quick access and updating them on upcoming promotions that they will be most interested in are just some of the ways personalization improves the customer experience.

Better Understanding of Customers

Ecommerce personalization doesn’t just help you improve the customer’s experience, it helps you to understand them better. Personalization requires brands to collect customer information to provide a better experience. When used correctly brands can discover where their customers are located, the types of products they enjoy buying, and also the ones they don’t. This information can be used to determine which products to continue making and which ones to stop selling.

Competitive Advantage

If your competition isn’t using eCommerce personalization then chances are that you will have an advantage over them. Personalization provides an opportunity for your brand to differentiate itself from others and endear itself to your customers. Customers can sometimes change their minds at the drop of a hat. However, if you’re providing a more personalized experience that they can’t find elsewhere, they are more likely to stay with you and even become brand advocates.

 

Elements to personalize in your eCommerce store

Due to technological constraints, many marketers have had to settle with a basic level of personalization—like using the customer’s name in their email campaigns, for example. However, the modern consumer now expects far more when it comes to bespoke shopping experiences.

With the right technology stack, marketers can take advantage of eCommerce personalization by delivering personalized content across the customer journey. Here are a few ways an eCommerce website can be personalized:

Localized and targeted content

Customers will want to return to a site that delivers content relevant to their region, language, demographics, and interests. That includes banner content, blog posts, and even product descriptions.

Recommended products

If a customer makes a purchase from an online camera equipment store, the site can generate personalized recommendations that would coincide with a product the customer bought. For example, lights, lenses, and photo editing software.

Targeted discounts

Your eCommerce CMS can offer discounts on products the customer has previously purchased, or you can create bundles of related products at a lower price than the customer would pay for purchasing each item individually.

Navigation adjustment

If your customers visit your website enough times then you can identify the things they may be looking for. Adjusting the navigation based on previous purchases can save your customer time and encourage them to complete a purchase faster.

User-generated content

While customers may enjoy shopping with a brand, one of the primary drivers of customer loyalty in the first place is word of mouth and the input from their peers. By utilizing user-generated content you can show the popularity of your products with your customer’s peers.

 

Where a CMS fits in

Marketers often attempt to use their eCommerce platform to manage content as well as commerce. The only problem is, enterprise-grade content management, and content personalization, in particular, is where most eCommerce platforms fall short. While stellar eCommerce platforms certainly exist, they’re often (understandably) more focused on the product catalogs and streamlining the checkout process.

 

Thankfully, with an eCommerce CMS to hand, you can either leverage the CMS’s innate eCommerce features or integrate the CMS with an eCommerce software, giving you the best of both worlds.

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