Personalization is no
longer just a cool trend or neat feature to include on your website. Consumers
expect (and practically demand) custom experiences from the companies they buy
from these days.
Offering personalization benefits businesses in a major way, too. According to a report conducted by Salesforce, brands that offer personalization as a core part of their marketing efforts experience higher revenue rates, larger order values, and higher conversion rates. Customized product recommendations and offers also lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.
However, offering high levels of personalization and customized experiences is extremely difficult. Considering the fact that customer expectations for personalization are at an all-time high, many online retailers struggle to find ways to implement it in a way that impacts conversions. The truth is that personalization does not have to be complex. Let’s dive in and discuss four simple but effective ways to make your online customer experience more personalized.
1. Sell Easily-Customizable Products
Customized products are a huge trend in today’s online market. Customers are willing to spend a little extra in order to get a product that is totally customized to their preferences or even their genetic makeup. For instance, brands like Curology and Gainful offer totally personalized skin care lines or custom blended protein powders that are based on each person’s specific health needs.
Offering a totally customized product is a
great way to make a customer feel special and important. The great news here is
that you don’t necessarily have to create a super technical product in order to
offer this level of hyper-personalization. There are plenty of other
easily-customizable products that you can offer to customers that are designed
on-demand, such as a custom t-shirt
printing business. By allowing customers to
choose the colors, font, and other design elements, your business is inherently
offering personalization at the product level.
If you already have an established business or product line, look for ways to integrate customization wherever possible. 25% of customers say that they are willing to pay more for a personalized product, so it is ok if your price point increases in order to accommodate for customized options.
2. Connect Customers to Preferred Content
Knowing what information is going to be the
most relevant for your customers is another way to offer “personalized”
experiences, especially if your content matches up with their intent. The right
content or advertisement at the perfect time can be the defining factor that
determines a conversion. But, this requires some data analysis in order to determine
how to do it properly.
By determining the patterns that your
customers follow as they move from one phase of the buyer’s journey to the
other, you can start to create a map that signals where specific content could
influence a customer’s decision.
Trigger-based marketing is really effective here, such as a personalized email that notifies a customer that the product they viewed is now on sale or about to sell out. If you have a lot of specific customer data, you can even personalize web landing pages to highlight specific content pieces that are relevant to specific audiences.
For starters, you will need to do thorough keyword research that is specific to e-commerce SEO. Take a look at the specific searches (particularly long-tail phrases) that your visitors are searching for. For example, if you are selling hiking boots and notice in Search Console that some of your customers are landing on your site by searching for “first time hiking gear”, it could be an opportunity to create a piece offering advice on the type of gear that first time hikers need. This would connect searching customers directly to your website and provide an opportunity for a product plug.
3. Offer Customized Loyalty Perks
We all love getting a good deal. Sometimes,
we will even go out of our way if it means we get something for free or at a
lower cost. This is why loyalty programs typically work pretty well in terms of
boosting customer retention. They also open the door to a great opportunity for
personalization that could incentivize more passive customers to make
Starbucks provides the leading example here of how to do this properly. Their rewards system is pretty straightforward: each purchase earns you points which can be redeemed towards a free drink. However, Starbucks also issues personalized offers based on a customer’s past purchases and rewards them for making a certain number of purchases in a specific amount of time. This incentivizes customers to make some additional purchases in order to earn their reward faster.
This kind of customized loyalty program is clearly based on the massive amounts of consumer data that Starbucks gathers. As a smaller entity, this may not be possible, but there are other ways to personalize your perks. For instance, you can offer people incentives for sharing their data and provide them customized perks in exchange, such as a discount on their favorite product or a gift on their birthday.
4. Offer Interactive Content
When businesses are trying to offer more personalized features, they often complain that it is hard to tell what their customers want. One of the easiest ways to figure this out is to go straight to the source. Consider using interactive content that gathers this information in a more engaging way than a traditional market research survey.
For instance, the online décor retailer Havenly greets customers with an invitation to find their interior decorating style. By answering a series of questions, Havenly is able to determine the kinds of products that the customer would be most interested in, and even pair them up to a designer that matches their style preferences. This kind of personalization is clearly beneficial to the customer. Plus, the quiz platform is super engaging so most customers will utilize it.
can benefit just about every single kind of business because it is in such high
demand from customers. Although it requires some strategic planning and data
analysis, effective and meaningful personalization can have great payoffs. The
key to making customization work is understanding your customers.
Know what they want, how they want it, and when to engage with them. By doing this through these simple methods, you can offer your customers the kind of personalization that influences your bottom line.