Before online shopping became popular, customers usually just walked into brick-and-mortar stores and spoke to a friendly attendant to help them find the product they wanted. However, in the digital realm, this level of customer attention is quite rare. Hence the need for retailers, B2B, and online brands to focus on improving personalization in the entire customer experience.
What is Personalization?
In the eCommerce world, personalization is the process of delivering unique experiences by showing product recommendations, content, and offers, based on an individual customer’s previous actions, browsing data, demographics, purchase history, and other personal data. It simply implies providing a tailored experience for customers. The concept is becoming increasingly important to online retailers who want to keep their customers engaged and increase conversion rates, repeat purchases, and boost sales.
Personalization comes in several different forms in the sales process. Online store owners can use techniques such as product recommendations, cart abandonment emails, personalized showrooms, and offers, among others, to increase engagement with their brand to rise above competitors. Using personalization techniques can be a simple yet effective strategy to retain more customers. By the end of this post, you should have learned some effective personalization strategies to implement in your online store to boost retention rates.
Benefits of Personalization
Boosts User Experience
One of the significant benefits of personalization is that it enhances the shopping experience of your customers. The entire user experience becomes positive when customers are shown personalized products or content relevant to them.
80% of online shoppers are more likely to purchase from a brand that offers personalized experiences.
Boost retention rate
44% of consumers say they are more likely to become repeat customers after a customized shopping experience with a particular company.
As customers enjoy the shopping experience in your store, they are more likely to become loyal to the brand and remain long-term customers. Customers will certainly keep returning to your store to buy the personalized products you recommend to them.
Increase In Sales
Marketers record an average increase of 20% in sales when personalized experiences are implemented.
77% of customers have recommended, chosen, and paid more for brands that provide personalized experiences and services.
The good thing about the personalization strategy is that you are cutting out the excesses and presenting the most relevant products to each customer based on the data. Apart from making their search for products easier, they will also be in a more favorable position to make a quicker purchase. The personalized products and content you show them will be what they may have been looking for or items they didn’t know they needed. This will urge them to visit your store more and purchase, increasing sales.
Personalization Techniques that can boost retention rates
This personalization technique is one of the most popular and possibly one of the easiest to implement. If your online store is built with Shopify, personalization begins once a repeat customer lands on the homepage. If you activate cookies in the store, it can guess the kind of products a customer would want when they return to your store based on their recent search or purchase. As a retailer, you can increase customer retention by welcoming customers with “recommended products” on your homepage, based on their browsing history and most recent purchase. This section is relatively easy to set up in almost any eCommerce store yet will give customers a considerable push to reach the checkout page.
A good example of brands that use “recommended products” is Amazon. When you visit your page on the site, you’ll be met with categories of products based on your recent searches and browsing data. Amazon presents you with all the products you may have forgotten to buy or are hesitant to purchase, thus increases their chances of getting more sales.
Another excellent example of a company that uses this personalization technique is Shoeline. Once you signed in to your account, Shoeline shows you the products you viewed in the past and those you’ve already purchased. In addition, their tabs, namely “Viewed” and “Purchased,” enables customers to discover new products or buy the items that may still be in their carts.
When you decide to serve customers with a personalized experience, it helps your brand identify the kind of products specific customers love. With this information, you can build a rewards program around those products. For example, you can offer customers personalized rewards based on the kind of products they often purchase. These can be complementary products or a collection of items customers would like to add to their recent purchases. For instance, if a beauty brand-customer recently bought some face powder, you can offer them free lipstick as a reward if they purchase a makeup kit. Since the reward is related and tailored to their current need, they will be more likely to buy.
Other personalized reward program ideas include:
- Offering discount codes for a customer’s next visit.
- Giving them a percentage off any recommended product after three visits.
- Offering them free shipping to their location if they purchase before a specified date.
Personalizing Emails and Opt-in Campaigns
Personalization doesn’t end on your online store; customers need to have a smooth, personalized experience with every interaction they have with your brand. More of your return visits will likely come from email marketing. Optin forms such as popups, welcome mats, floating bars, and capture pages are the means through which you can grab your customer’s email addresses. You will catch customers’ attention better when these pages are tailored to suit the customer’s unique needs.
Email campaigns or automated emails are the series of information a customer will receive or expect to receive from you after engaging and subscribing to your brand. Ensure that you capture critical data such as the customer’s name and birthdates to address them adequately whenever you communicate. Implement at least one of these personalization techniques in your email campaigns to boost customer retention rates:
- Send a “Thank You for Purchasing” email after their first purchase on your website.
- Send a special greeting for holidays or a birthday wish to them on those special occasions.
- Send a personalized gift guide for special events and holidays.
- Send a “We Miss You” email to customers who have not returned to your store for a while to let them know you thought about them and appreciated their last purchase.
If possible, you can combine these emails in a series and spread them across the entire customer journey.
Personalize Social Media platforms
Several customers are glued to their social media channels and enjoy their most personal experiences there. As an online retailer, you cannot underestimate the power of social media such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter for your business. Below are some ways you can apply personalization strategies to these platforms.
Reply Messages Personally: Expect to receive direct messages, comments, and posts from your customers if your brand has an active social media presence. To improve retention rates, take advantage of their engagement and reply to each message in a meaningful and personal way.
Actively Engage: To get your followers and customers to stay in touch with your brand and enjoy a personalized experience, you must remain active on these channels and be consistent. Create and post engaging content with various multimedia to stay on top of their minds.
Build a Community: While personalization seems like an individual endeavor, you can use social media to build a community of people with similar interests. For example, you can create a community group alongside your main page. People with similar interests can discuss and be given exclusive offers and updates on the products they want. For social media, this strategy is more effective than just letting customers follow your page. Getting the community to feel personalized can encourage people to take action because they see others doing the same.
Geotargeting enables you to deliver product recommendations and content to customers based on their geographic location. You can collect customers’ location data by either asking directly, social media or using tracking cookies. You can offer personalized search results, product recommendations, shipping costs, and other information with this data.
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With the above-listed techniques, personalizing your online store should no longer be a daunting task but an exciting strategy that helps you boost customer retention.