August 31, 2016
Personalization is a crucial part of your eCommerce brand and goes hand-in-hand with customer experience optimization. This guide will help you understand the concept of personalization and how brands must use it to optimize the overall user experience.
Why Personalization Matters for Brands
You know you are doing it right when a customer finds services in tune with his expectations. Personalization helps an eCommerce brand to:
- Create a brand niche;
- Attract an audience;
- Beat the competition;
- Promote and market services with better interface.
Technology has eased the whole process greatly. You can make use of various highly advanced software modules to evaluate your strategy from the customer’s point of view.
How to Use Personalization to Improve Conversions
1. Send Personalized E-mails
A personalized e-mail can be a great way to connect with a customer.
If you have made purchases from online shopping sites you have probably received a personalized e-mail of notification, product notification or the image below where in JetBlue highlighted the e-mail content with the anniversary date when the client first used its services.
Personalized e-mail carries a congratulatory message and also asks for feedback. Make sure you send an offer or discount to make your customers feel extra special. It is recommended you research your market before planning any strategy to target your segmented audience.
Personalized e-mail marketing helps in:
- Marketing services;
- Establishing personal contact with the customers;
- Creating a brand value;
- Customer retention.
2. Build a Personalized Customer Dashboard
Develop a dashboard for your users to present them with relevant information. Information pertaining to the products, their account, services, contact mode etc., when presented on a single interface assists a consumer to navigate without any trouble.
The advantages are plenty and can aid in successful brand management of your eCommerce website. Be it mobile app or your Web interface, a dashboard acts as an transition between a service provider and the consumer. Let your dashboard do all the talking and you can stay in background to provide assistance as needed.
Features of an ideal dashboard:
- Customized according to customer spending habits;
- Optimized for both desktop and mobile interfaces;
- Relevant information bars;
- Content should focus on customer interests;
- Colors should be pleasing to the eye;
- Optimized performance;
- Ease of navigation with structured layout.
3. Integrate Cross-Sell and Up-Sell by Integration User Persona
Cross-selling and up-selling can help an eCommerce enterprise to increase their revenue. In 2006, Amazon reported that 35 percent of its revenue came from its cross sells and up selling efforts.
The tactics takes into account the customer spending patterns/activity and accordingly relevant products or services are referred.
What is Cross-sell?
It can be used for both on and offline channels. Cross selling is referred to as the strategy where in an eCommerce service provider refers to a product that has relevance to the product a customer has already brought.
Flipkart for example, effectively uses “cross-sells” to promote products under the tag of “Customers who viewed this product also viewed” and “complete the purchase.” So, when you go out to shop for a DSLR camera you also are recommended for other products to maximize the chances of a customer making the purchase.
What is up-selling?
Up-selling is when an eCommerce website refers to similar products as a suggestion. It can be masked under catchy phrases or lines that are generally deemed as a suggestion on the part of the service providers. You can see how companies up-sell products in the image shown below:
Leverage Behavioral Targeting
Personalize your eCommerce website according to your customer preferences and likes. With behavioral targeting, when customers land on your webpage, they are referred to products and suggestions according to their buying habits or something they searched for.
Behavioral targeting can be categorized into a situation or profile as well, which is depicted in the image below:
4. Make Use of Tools to Better Understand Customer Behavior
Any eCommerce business that knows how to effectively use tools to their benefit can hold the upper hand over its rivals.
Some of the most prominent eCommerce tools are:
- Google analytics: It is one of the most prominent global Web analytics services. Google Analytics helps you track and report your online traffic with proper data and statistics. You can track website traffic, marketing strategy to drive more traffic to your website, conversion rate and much more.
- Kissmetrics: It provides a sorted platform to monitor, determine and enhance your eCommerce business. Kissmetric can help you evaluate the productivity of your strategies with effective testing tools and also can help you plan better for marketing gains.
- ZenDesk: This is a relief for eCommerce business owners who cannot afford full-time customer service over phone. ZenDesk brings customers and businesses together by a customer servicing software with which you can build a knowledge base, community and customer portal integrate easily with your brand.
- Usabilla: Usabilla is an easy to use and fast online platform that can help you get hold of valuable customer feedback and insight.
What is CXO (Customer Experience Optimization)?
CXO or customer experience optimization is a must for every eCommerce business. When you optimize your webpage according to the desires of your customers, you can rest assured that your customers will find the services they want without fail. Prior to indulging in remarketing or location specific mobile advertising, it is essential to know:
- Customer spending habits;
- What can convert online audience into prospect business;
- How user-friendly the web interface is.
How is it achieved?
1. Pay Serious Attention to Website Performance
Monitor your website performance to evaluate your current strategy and how to do better. Even a minute problem with your eCommerce website can result in loss of business.
Website monitoring gives you insight into:
- Visitor influx;
- Errors messages;
- Page speed insights;
- Load time of images/videos;
- Performance on geographical scale.
2. Create a Unified Experience Both Online and Offline
Commonly referred to as an Omni channel approach, a unified online and offline experience is the latest trend. Almost all the renowned eCommerce retailers have decent online and offline presence. A mobile application which lets users buy product anytime from anywhere can be rewarding and generate revenue.
Offline and online integration:
According to a survey conducted by Accenture to understand the needs of consumers it was found that 42 percent find it easy to shop for their mobile phones. Some of the other essential take aways from the survey include:
- 39 percent would take advantage of any loyalty points being offered on mobile app that can help them save money;
- 32 percent felt that the biggest improvement that the eCommerce retailers need to make is to make their services available on the entire three platforms i.e. physical store, mobile and online.
3. Define Segments and Use Experiments
Segmentation is an important facet of any eCommerce webpage. You have to divide the page layout into various parts based on several parameters. From consumer preference to what they looked for in their previous search, everything should be easy to spot without any hassle. Some of the widely used segments include:
- Browser type;
- Source type;
- Geographical region;
- Men vs. women;
- Device type;
- Regular or new visitor;
- Regular or new consumer.
An eCommerce website needs to provide consumers with a sorted interface that has employed a segmented approach according to what consumers are looking for. Ensure it is optimized as per the recent SEO trends.
How to Run Experiments
- The first step is to create a set objective and variations to run the test. You can choose up to 10 variations to run the test.
- Once you have created the variations enter the URL of the original along with the variations you want to test
- Add the code of the experiment to your original page.
- Click “Next Step.”
- Make sure you have entered all the correct information. You can review your form before your run it for the final experiment.
- Start your experiment
4. Aim for a Holistic Approach
There are tiny aspects that add to customer experience optimization. If any of those aspects is not responding to the needs of the eCommerce business and its customers, there is strong possibility of whole structure falling apart.
According to Research from Aberdeen survey, 86 percent of disgruntled customers never use the same provider again. Customer satisfaction offers an advantage that can generate revenue as well as serve as a benefitting marketing act.
Personalization and CXO are essential pieces that contribute to the overall success of an online enterprise.
Joydeep Bhattacharya is an internet marketer and owner of the SEO blog, SEO Sandwitch. He has been associated with SEO, SMO, PPC, ORM and other activities related to online marketing for the past 5 years.