How to provide a personalised customer experience in ecommerce

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Imagine having a personal shopper with you in each shop you visit.

They remember the things you like, your style preferences, and what you looked at the last time you were there. They know what country you live in and in which currency you want to pay.

This is precisely what customers expect with online shopping. A tailored experience makes it easier and more enjoyable for the consumer.

Recent findings from the 'Ecommerce Personalisation Benchmark Report, 2021' by Netcore highlight why and how personalisation matters so much. Let's see the statistics from 200 retailers and 600 consumers.

Reasons why personalising the shopping experience is beneficial for business

29% of customers are less likely to abandon their baskets

Netcore found that 63% of online retailers couldn't reduce the number of abandoned baskets to less than 60% before they personalised their site. After personalisation, customers were happier to purchase with only 46% leaving their shopping baskets.

Conversion rate increases by 46%

Converting visitors to your ecommerce store into paying customers happens more frequently with personalisation. 7 in 10 retailers experience an average conversion rate of 45% when their site is customised to the individual shopper.

A higher number of ecommerce store page views

3 in 4 retailers report that customers view at least 10 ecommerce store pages after personalisation, compared with just half of retailers before personalisation.

Increased spending by 10%

The value of the customer's basket increases by at least 10% after personalisation. An astounding 98% of retailers saw their customers spend more on each visit when they improved the online shopping experience.

44% of customers return to retailers with personalisation

Among retailers surveyed, only 1 in 5 had repeat business from customers within 90 days when they had some or no personalisation. This figure increased to almost 2 in 5 after their ecommerce website became very personalised. 44% of shoppers said they would stay loyal to an online retailer that offered a personalised experience.

Ways to personalise online shopping for your ecommerce customers

These are four of the best ways to treat your customers to a highly personalised shopping experience that will increase your return on investment.

1. Personalised emails

2. Personalised home page

3. Recommended products

4. Recently viewed items

Personalised emails

According to a study by Litmus in 2018, email marketing is the most powerful tool for sales. It surpasses social media, paid search, video, and any other digital marketing tool with the highest rate of customer acquisition.

Email has the highest ROI

Based on 400 marketers worldwide, email marketing was found on average to make businesses 38 times what they invested.

However, getting the content right is paramount. Referring to the Netcore study, 36% of shoppers unsubscribed from retail emails that weren't relevant.

Email inboxes quickly get clogged with marketing emails making it difficult to get noticed. That's why sending emails with personalised subject lines and offers by using segmented campaigns increases open rates by 26%, says Campaign Monitor.

Tips for personalising customer emails

  • Customise the subject line by using the customer's first name
  • Send offers for customer's birthdays
  • Track customer behaviour on your website to send targeted offers
  • Prompt customers to check out the basket they abandoned
  • Send product recommendations based on customer buying history
  • Notify customers of a sale on previously viewed products

    Personalised home page

    Thanks to cookies, returning customers are taken straight to a shopping category they visited before. Instead of starting at the homepage designed for everyone, a tailored shop-front welcomes guests on a retailer's site that offers personalisation.

    For example, if a woman returns to a brand's website, cookies will remember that she was interested in the women's section. Now every time she re-visits, she will be greeted with sales, products, and recommendations in the women's department.

    Automatic location change

    The same personalisation can be offered to each of your customer personas depending on their needs and desires. Automatically customising the homepage based on the country and currency of an online shopper is appreciated by customers.

    This simple personalisation makes the shopping experience more convenient as the shopper saves time changing the location themselves.

    No personalisation? Thank you, next

    These days, this form of personalisation is so common-place that customers expect it from all retailers. Netcore reports that 91% of online shoppers would abandon a website that didn't offer these personalised features.

    Recommended products

    In the 2018 'The Rise of Intelligent Study' by Harvard Business Review, 80% of 389 survey respondents said that adding intelligence and automation into their business processes is very important to their success.

    This includes artificial intelligence on websites to offer recommended products based on a customer's behaviour online.

    Artificial intelligence collects data from each customer and the products they have viewed. Amazon, Netflix, and Zalando are great examples of superior product recommendations that are tailored to the online customer.

    Recently viewed items

    Browsing online, customers can click on and view countless products. If the customer hasn't saved the item or put it in their basket, it can be difficult to find the product again.

    Displaying a customer's recently viewed items can tempt them to reconsider those products. Each time they visit an ecommerce store with this feature, they will be reminded of the products they previously looked at.

    Helping customers find what they want

    Conveniently showing customers products they are interested in makes the shopping experience easier. It's similar to walking into a shop and all the products you looked at last time are all in one place, instead of having to walk around the entire shop again to find them.

    With hundreds of thousands of products to scroll through on each retailer's website, customers appreciate anything that makes it quicker to find what they want and like.

    Including recently viewed items also helps to keep your customers on your website longer and encourages them to make a purchase.

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