The way customers shop with a brand has evolved into a more tech-forward, customizable experience. The straightforward approach to customer service doesn't cut it any longer; customers want brands to be proactive and innovative in their approach. As such, leveraging personalization has become more important today than it ever was before. Read more to find out how.
If your eCommerce website offers personalized eCommerce product recommendations, more than half (56%) of your customers will return to you for shopping, according to Evergage.
Personalization cannot be ignored any longer. Customers today want to see the relevance in the advertisements and recommendations they are shown to stay interested in shopping from a store. Consider two scenarios:
In scenario one, you go into a lifestyle store to buy a pair of gym shoes. While checking out, the cashier asks whether you want to add a pair of sweat-wicking socks to your purchase.
Makes total sense, right? In all likelihood, if the socks are priced right, you would say “yes.” Not only was the staff attentive to the products you were buying, but also proactive in recommending other products that you would likely need for use with the current one.
In this way, the store has made an additional sale and increased its Average Order Value by recommending a product that was relevant to your purchase.
This is a store you would make a note to visit the next time you need more things.
In scenario two, you step into a lifestyle store at a mall. As you browse for a pair of gym shoes, a sales executive from the adjacent perfumes section rushes over to show you fragrances.
What would your reaction be? You wouldn’t just decline to try the perfume on but also reconsider returning to this store a second time.
This is exactly what personalizing eCommerce product recommendations look like. Now translate these two scenarios to an eCommerce platform.
Customers, when presented with more product options that add quality and value to the ones they are currently buying, don’t hesitate to buy more.
On the other hand, adopting a hit-and-miss advertisement strategy only works to frustrate customers more than increase your sales.
You would be surprised to know what Forbes has to say about not personalizing your website for visitors: 74% of them would be frustrated from browsing your website instead of feeling delighted.
Personalized product recommendations, thus, not only help you steadily increase the Average Order Value but also earn repeat sales and returning customers.
When a customer engages with your brand, be it at any touchpoint, they experience your brand differently at each one.
A customer journey map is a kind of “storyboard” that charts each point of user engagement that happened between your brand and the customer, with a view to understanding the kind of experience they had at each touchpoint.
When armed with this data, your business can take steps to ensure that the quality of customer experience at every touchpoint adds value to their journey with your brand.
The fact is that a siloed approach to marketing, sales, and aftersales isn’t cutting it anymore. Customers today don’t have the patience to hop from channel to channel or from one interface to another to complete a purchase with you.
Furthermore, it isn’t ideal for behind-the-scenes business logic to spill over to the customers; they don’t like to be told their order or request can’t be completed because a different department is involved.
Your eCommerce platform needs to craft customer journeys that are seamless and fluid, irrespective of the department, channel, device, or platform (whether web apps or mobile apps) involved.
The benefits are huge and tangible: according to research by Aberdeen Group (Internet Retailer), a strong omnichannel strategy can help businesses retain 89% of their customers on an average.
Collate this statistic with numbers from Harvard Business Review that establishes that the cost of acquiring new customers can be 25 times higher than the cost of retaining one.
Customer retention strategies are powerful – and adopting personalized recommendations and omnichannel strategies today can get you there.
Modern technology and approach toward consumers have made marketing, sales, and aftersales almost merge inside the single umbrella of consumer experience. The more personalized and streamlined this experience, the more customers would prefer to stay with your brand.
These aren’t just qualitative claims – a report by Liveclicker establishes that advanced personalization, when used effectively, can raise the return on investment of a brand to $20 for every dollar it spends. These numbers are on top of the existing ROIs of the business – which isn’t bad at all.
In the future, mapping consumer journeys and creating thoroughly personalized, omnichannel experiences for customers will become the benchmark. It would most likely surpass a few other key areas of business focus.
Let’s take a look at how some brands are leading the personalization game by implementing innovative ideas and focusing on creating customer-centric touchpoints.
As Nike says, “Just do it.” There is no other brand that nails customer experience personalization like Nike.
An entire range of footwear dedicated to fully customized shoes – from design to features, colors, and print. The brand calls it “Nike By You” and encourages the customers to design their own pair of Nike the way they want.
Why does this work?
This move takes out the necessity of compromise from a customer’s journey when they want to purchase a pair of shoes. Don’t like a color? Change it. Want a different combination? Make your own.
This isn’t just a hyper-personalized experience; this is truly personalized shopping. Giving customers the power to create their own brand of shoes is the ultimate level of personalization that a brand can offer; Nike does it with flair.
Netflix is a bottomless well for discovering new videos and content – the diversity and range of entertainment it allows its patrons is what keeps them going back to it.
At the heart of it lies an artificially intelligent machine learning algorithm that undergoes rigorous online A/B testing to deliver a super personalized feed to every single member profile.
Enabling personalization at such large scales through automated computing mechanisms allows Netflix to please a large pool of audience and to continuously improve this experience by providing more relevant content with each search, view, and rating.
Netflix has truly mastered deploying personalization at scale.
Gamification is known to increase adoption by as much as 600%, as published on Forbes. Duolingo displays just how to leverage this metric to deliver highly personalized and engaging journeys to consumers by tweaking a few things on the platform.
Duolingo is a world-leader platform that houses language-learning courses for online learners. Learning a language is inherently different from buying a product because learning requires continuous engagement and interaction to benefit from a lesson.
To encourage its users to learn better and keep returning to lessons for a refresher, the executives decided to gamify their experiences for a better-engaged audience that kept returning for personalized lessons and track progress.
Competition is tough in the niche of music streaming apps. To emerge as one of the leading players in the industry, Spotify leverages the power of personalization to deliver exemplary experiences to its consumers.
One of the most loved features of Spotify is its personalized playlist curated by the AI algorithms that draw from what a user is listening to, liking, and compiling into playlists.
Curated music that recaps the user’s entire week, month, and year delivers increased access to the app’s music database, letting users discover more of the music they like to listen to. This level of personalization is a great way to keep users coming back to the app and exploring new artists.
An app in a niche of its own, Pinterest is exactly that – a board where users can “Pin” their “Interests.” This ranges from crafts to arts, from food to travel – any media that interests a user can be explored and pinned onto personalized boards to create a unique folder of gathered ideas and inspiration for the user.
Pinterest personalizes this experience by giving the home feed of the users a complete makeover by displaying pins that are relevant to user interests.
The home feed is dynamic and works by deriving tags and categories from posts that a user pins or saves to their interest boards. This helps Pinterest deliver a personalized experience to the user from the moment they open the app.
Personalization today isn’t an option or a choice – it has become a necessity to survive in the cut-throat competitive world of business.
Leveraging the power of artificial intelligence to deliver user-specific experiences to your customers creates an unparalleled brand value that has the potential to rise above the competition.