Alex Lloro - CRO Expert


Managing Director

Think about this: You are visiting your favorite retail store. The employees already know what suits you and what you like the most. They even know what you have been longing to have in a long time, and they have all options ready the moment you walk into the door.

Simply put, they understand your needs so well that they make your purchase journey easier. No guesswork, no stress.

This exclusive and customized shopping experience is referred to as personalization in e-commerce. And every customer expects it.

According to a recent survey by Accenture, approximately 91% of consumers say that they are more likely to buy from sellers who remember them and strive to provide relevant offers. Furthermore, about 83% of consumers are willing to share their data in exchange for personalized shopping experiences.

In simple words, customers feel special when you strive to understand them and personalize your offers to them. The results can be enormous since it improves conversion rates and turns one-time shoppers into loyal customers.

It also increases the average order value (AOV) and creates relevant customer touch-points.

Today, we want to talk about the basics of e-commerce personalization and how you can easily leverage personalization to improve your conversions. So, let us get started.

What Is eCommerce Personalization?

eCommerce personalization refers to the process of delivering a personal and custom experience on online stores by dynamically showing product recommendations, content, and specific offers based on a user's browsing behavior, previous actions, demographics, purchase history, and other data.

Personalization provides merchants with a unique way of engaging with online shoppers and fulfilling their needs. In return, sellers enjoy improved conversion, which drives sales and increases the volume of repeat purchases.

The primary objective of eCommerce personalization is to customize a customer’s buying journey. While it might sound simple, many marketers only execute a small fraction of it and think they are done. Most of them are only hitting the tip of the iceberg.

What Are the Benefits of Personalization?

Customers expect relevant offers. They want to see the products they care about and love. Therefore, flooding them with a multitude of products/offers to choose from doesn't work.

The biggest problem with most online stores is that they don't care about customer experience at all. With increased competition, lower production costs, and endless shelf space, most sellers are presenting customers with too many options than any time before.

The result? Low sales volumes, increased rate of cart abandonment, and a dwindling number of returning clients.

The same survey conducted by Accenture revealed that approximately 40% of shoppers had left a store to purchase from another store because they were overwhelmed with too many options.

Even if they don't leave, at least 75% of your prospective customers will be frustrated with irrelevant offers that are not specific to them and won't return.

Therefore, it is your responsibility to help your prospects find relevant products to convert them into happy and returning clients. The solution is personalization.

Personalization Stats That Demonstrate Positive Effect on Conversions, AOV, Profits, and Customer Relationships

  • According to research by Epsilon, more than 90% of consumers find personal experiences appealing. In fact, 80% of them say that they are more likely to buy from a company that provides a personalized shopping experience.
  • 98% of marketers agree that personalization helps advance customer relations. At least 53% of them report significant increases of over 10% on their main KPIs, including revenue, conversion rate, and lead generation.
  • According to a marketing report published by Barilliance, companies report an average of 170% increase in the purchase rate of personalized product recommendations.
  • At least 75% of customers feel frustrated when website content and offers aren’t personalized.

While we focus on personalization benefits from a seller's perspective, it is also essential to mention some of the benefits that customers receive from personalization:

  • Convenience: Personalization streamlines the shopping experience making it convenient for the customer.
  • Better service: Personalization also allows eCommerce stores to provide better service through personalized products and communications based on the customer’s actions
  • Saves them money: The truth is that most shoppers are still motivated by price and increasingly want personalized deals tailored to their wants at a great price.

Everything Begins with Data

Data is the main component of personalization. In fact, personalization won’t work if you don’t know anything about your customers. The more relevant and accurate data you gather, the more refined and detailed your personalization will be.

The good news is that most customers are willing to provide you with their data in exchange for personalized shopping experience.

Therefore, when prospects sign up on your site or check out for the first time, make sure you take advantage of that opportunity to collect as much information about them as possible. This will help you in personalizing their shopping journey in the future.

As the relationship grows, continue learning more about them. How often do they shop? What is their average AOV? What campaigns have converted for them?

Keep in mind that relevant customer data can come from anywhere, and it is your job to be on the lookout and gather as much data as possible. In summary, focus on the following data points:

  • Channel of entry (email/Amazon/social)
  • Location/IP address
  • Previous searches
  • Shopping history
  • New/returning customer
  • Customer- provided information (gender, interests)
  • Shopping patterns based on different patterns such as AOV
  • Customer segments (people who are like them)

Enabling social logins such as connecting with Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook can also help you gather valuable information about your customers quite easily.

eCommerce Personalization Tactics that Work

Now that you understand what eCommerce personalization is all about and the cognitive psychology behind the strategy, it is time to look at some of the most common personalization tactics.

Website personalization

Your website serves as the primary entrance to your eCommerce store. When people land on your site, they expect you to treat them uniquely. That is where website personalization comes in handy.

So, what is website personalization? The term is used to refer to the process of dynamically altering a website based on who is viewing it. Some of the common website personalization tactics include dynamic messages, content, visuals, and offers for every shopper.

The KPIs for website personalization are:

  • Increased product engagement: Are your prospective clients viewing more product pages and adding more products to their shopping carts?
  • Increased orders: Are you converting more prospects to real customers?
  • Average session duration: Are prospective clients spending more time on your online store?

How do I personalize my website?

Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to personalize your website. They include:

  • Offers: Offers are the biggest and most important aspect of your site to personalize. You can customize the product itself, impose time limits, customize the price shown, or even change supporting copy and other visuals supporting the offer.
  • Pop-ups: Marketers use pop-ups as a “second net” to entice prospects when they are about to leave. When combined with behavioral targeting, pop-ups can have a significant impact on sales.
  • If you use pop-ups, consider optimizing your conversions by personalizing both the content and offer on each pop-up. All types of pop-ups can be personalized, including on-scroll, on-click, timed, browse abandonment, etc.
  • Information bars: You can also personalize information bars, and other call-out offers to maximize each visitor's value. Personalizing information bars can be as simple as showing different shipping rates depending on the visitor's location or showing high priced products to returning visitors.
  • In-line content: Once you have personalized your offers and information bars, you need to focus on how you will educate prospects and motivate them while they are on your site. Therefore, ensure you personalize the content you are presenting in front of your customers based on their preferences or shopping history.
    You can change which blog posts are shown, featured products, hero images, or downloadable assets on every page.
  • Use geo-location targeting: You can also personalize your site by redirecting visitors to the right store if you operate in different countries. Amazon does an excellent job at implementing this feature.
    For instance, Amazon users who regularly shop from Amazon's UK store will automatically be redirected to amazon.co.uk even when they click on amazon.com. When they insist on visiting the US store, a permanent banner will be pinned on their screens asking them if they want to visit the UK store.
  • Show category-specific discounts: When you create a discount coupon on your site, you can make it more relevant by ensuring it relates to a specific category that prospects are browsing. For example, don’t show a discount coupon for mobile phones when someone is browsing the men’s clothing category.

Personalized triggered emails

If you want to be successful, you need to ensure that your personalization goes beyond your site. Email remains one of the most effective communication channels, and personalizing your email marketing strategy can help multiply your results. The different types of personalization for triggered email campaigns include:

  • Demographic personalization: This is perhaps the most common type of personalization for triggered email campaigns. It involves dynamically inserting the recipient's name in the email's subject line to grab their attention. Once you have their attention, you can proceed with whatever message you wanted to communicate.
  • Recommendation personalization: Recommendation personalization involves inserting products' names, prices, images, and even dates in the subject line or body. These are simple personalization tactics that ensure your email is relevant because it follows up on your target prospect's known wants.

Personalized social proof notifications

Personalized social notifications offer you an incredible platform to send real-time updates and notifications to your prospects. Although it is still a relatively new way of personalizing eCommerce, some merchants are already leveraging this technology to provide relevant and contextual information about their products.

Marketers have already come up with several ways to use social notifications to optimize conversions and increase sales. They are:

  • Reviews and testimonials: Find a way of showing testimonials in a chat window about the product that the customer is currently viewing.
  • Urgency: Proper use of live social notifications can be a powerful tool when it comes to combating the problem of cart abandonment. The idea is pretty simple. Make use of the notification to inform customers which products are almost getting out of stock or how many customers are currently having the same product in their shopping carts.
  • Follow the herd: You can boost your customers' confidence by letting them know how many others are taking a similar action/purchasing the same product.

One common example of implementing this strategy is by showing how the number of people who are currently shopping on your site. For instance, you can display a message such as “36 other people are currently shopping with you.”

When displaying social proof notifications, consider using distinct font color, fonts, and call out buttons for each item in your message. Make the notification unique and easy to see to grab the user’s attention.

You can use social proof notifications to encourage sales, communicate value, or encourage users to take a specific action such as downloading your price list.

Personalization by Previous Activity

Once you have established a strong relationship with your customers, you can start personalizing their shopping experiences based on their previous activity and shopping history. Keep in mind that at this stage, you have collected plenty of information about them from past interactions.

You can also use this information for upselling and cross-selling products that are relevant to them. Typically, before purchasing, visitors check multiple pages of your site. They might even visit your website several times before they finally purchase a product.

A surefire way to get them to convert is by personalizing this journey and making them feel valued. For instance, you can start by showing them a customized list of products they recently viewed and even offer discounts and free shipping on some of the products.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what eCommerce personalization is all about, it is time to start implementing what you have learned. Just keep in mind that eCommerce personalization is something that isn’t going away any time soon.

In fact, it is an unavoidable part of modern user experiences. It is too prevalent such that you cannot afford to ignore it unless you want to fail. Big brands such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and Instagram are implementing personalization and ensuring users feel valued.

Do you want to go against the standards set by such companies? We don’t think so.

So, it is time you started thinking about eCommerce personalization because it can help you achieve higher conversions and sales.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know in the comments below. You should also feel free to share some great examples of eCommerce personalization you might have come across.

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