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Beginner's guide to ecommerce personalisation: 12 best ideas to get started

Ve Global
Ve Global
Digital Revenue Optimisation
Beginner's guide to ecommerce personalisation: 12 best ideas to get started
Beginner's guide to ecommerce personalisation

As of November 2020, ecommerce sales made up over 35% of total retail sales in the UK. With this upward trend set to continue, it’s time for businesses to start asking themselves: how do we provide a great experience virtually?

The answer is ecommerce personalisation. This allows you to form a deeper connection with your customers. By using data to create relevant, unique-to-them customer journeys, you can provide the best possible user experience.

But where to start? You don’t want to come across like an overly obsessed Facebook stalker, following their every move - but you do want to be personal. Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Let’s take a look at everything you could ever want to know about ecommerce personalisation.

What is ecommerce personalisation

Let’s start with the basics: what is ecommerce personalisation?

Personalisation covers a variety of areas, from your website to your email marketing campaigns. Key to it should be real-time customisation of content on your website, based on your customers’ interests. You know how Amazon shows you related products to what you’ve just bought? That’s personalisation.

Today, we can shape our customer experience on an individual basis. This means showing individualised offers, product recommendations, and content based on their data. This data is a combination of:

  • Past purchase history
  • Browsing behaviour
  • Psychographics (includes interests, emotions, habits, and attitudes)
  • Demographics
  • Other segments

There are many different strategies you can use to implement personalisation within your ecommerce company. It is vital that you consider your platforms and how you connect with your customers to determine the best way to deliver a personalised shopping experience.

Benefits of implementing ecommerce personalisation

Ecommerce personalisation marries the ease of online shopping with the personal touch you might get in-store. Technology has allowed us to usher in the “age of the customer”, and expectations have never been higher. In fact, 91% of consumers say that they are more likely to shop with brands that provide recommendations and offers relevant to them.

But what exactly are the benefits of ecommerce personalisation? Let’s break it down.

Provides a better customer experience

Beyond making sales, a core goal of your ecommerce website is to provide the best possible customer experience. This will increase the likelihood that your users will keep coming back. Even without meeting a customer face-to-face, you are now able to build a long-term relationship.

The best part is that ecommerce personalisation can provide an even better customer experience than a friendly store clerk. With personalisation, you can provide a specific, unique experience to every single user. Your tech uses all your customer’s data in real-time to build customised landing pages, personalised emails, and targeted ads. You can even take advantage of tools like guided selling.

Using ecommerce personalisation instantly changes the experience from company-centric to customer-centric. Combine this with an excellent, easy to navigate user interface and amazing products, and you’re on to a winner.

Prevents information overload

In a world where we’re bombarded with products, advertisements, social media updates, and direct communications at every corner, ecommerce personalisation prevents you from overloading your customers with irrelevant information.  

The result of information overload can range from disinterest to frustration, and it’s not just isolated to what your users encounter on your site. A study has shown that 70% of millennials are frustrated with brands sending irrelevant emails. The great news is that personalisation reduces or alleviates this problem by only sending content that fits with their interests.

Allows you to hold your users’ attention

With the pace at which people live their lives today, you need to be able to catch their attention quickly - and keep it. Humans find it easier to focus on the things we like, or are interested in. Ecommerce personalisation taps into that power.

For example, let’s say that a customer goes onto your site in search of furniture. They’ve purchased things from your site before but you don’t use personalisation. The customer doesn’t see anything that jumps out at them right away - in fact, they might just see the products they already own. Even though they love products that they’ve received before, they end up looking elsewhere.

Now let’s see how much you capture the customer’s attention with personalisation. This time they enter your site and it’s like coming home. They immediately are shown products they love that would match their existing purchases. Even if they don’t purchase anything immediately, you continue to hold their attention on social media and through email retargeting. Now, not only have you got another sale, but you’ve got a loyal customer too.

Improved engagement and conversions

If you provide a personalised ecommerce experience, you’re likely to see increased digital sales and conversions. Why? Because site visitors are more engaged, thanks to the fact you show them what they’re looking for.

Rather than having to browse through dozens of unrelated products, your customers are served up exactly what they want. In-store retailers will be familiar with this - customers are more likely to make a purchase if they can walk in a store and instantly spot something interesting to them!

Personalisation doesn’t just extend to product pages, though. By highlighting relevant content, whether that’s useful blog posts, or an email newsletter, customers are more likely to engage long-term. And customers who engage long term are more likely to keep returning - increasing your chance of repeat purchases.

How to get started

Now that you know the benefits, how do you start integrating personalisation into the foundation of your ecommerce platforms? The most important thing to realise is that personalisation is a data-driven process. You need accurate data to bring all the benefits of an in-store experience like personalisation, alongside the extra benefits of online shopping for your customers.

Let’s take a look at the essentials, and what steps you need to take to get started.

Know the essentials

The first step in getting started with ecommerce personalisation is understanding what you can gain. Look at the key areas where your business could improve from making a better experience for your customers. Free tools like Ve’s Revenue Optimisation Calculator can help you find out just how much money is being left on the table with your current customer experience strategy.

Once you know what needs improving, it’s time to look at the tools you already have. There’s no use in gathering data if you haven’t got anything to analyse it with. Making the right choices here will save you changing providers later. Just make sure that any platform or tools you decide to use work with your ecommerce platform’s database.

Look out for automation tools

It’s nearly impossible for marketers to manually personalise their content for their customers. This is where automation becomes your company’s most valuable tool. It allows you to know your customers better and in real-time. Ve’s Digital Assistant is a great example of letting technology do the work for you. It can personalise your customer’s ecommerce experience, answering questions, providing recommendations, and reporting back to you on how things go.

Plan

The next step is to plan your personalisation strategy. You’ve already made a start by looking at your existing strategy, so it’s time to consider where your company could benefit from personalisation, and how you are going to implement it. You have options that include both personalising on-site and off-site.

To start deploying an ecommerce personalisation strategy, you must have:

  • The ability to collect user data, which includes demographic, behavioural, and transactional data.
  • The ability to analyse your data.
  • The ability to curate an experience to that segment accurately.

Take a look at the following steps to help you decide which tools to use and how to use them to bring the best customer experience to your users.

Segment your traffic

First, you need to segment your traffic. Today, we can use machine algorithms to aggregate different groups. To make it simple, you can utilise the six broad traffic segments. This includes:

Traffic sources: This segments users based on the channels they used to get onto your landing page (i.e., special offers, Pay Per Click (PPC), organic search, etc.).

Behaviour: This includes a wide range of options based on your specific needs as a company. You could segment by days since their previous visit, or based on what product categories they browse.

New users, returning users, and returning customers: You need to make a clear distinction between people who visit your site (users) and your existing customers.

Device: This segments customers based on what device they use to connect with you. This will include mobile, tablet, or desktop. However, it can get even more specific and provide you with their operating system or preferred browser.

Let’s look at an example. Imagine you have an ecommerce vintage clothing store. You want to personalise your customers’ experience to make your next marketing campaign more effective, expand your customer base and win back inactive customers.

In order to do this, you decide to segment based on device, traffic sources and behaviour to make sure that your marketing strategies are being directed appropriately. Customers who browse ‘dresses’ are no longer recommended men’s shirts - instead, they see products they’re likely to be interested in, on the device and platform they use most.Once your customers are segmented you see a sharp increase in the amount of traffic and conversions made from mobile devices and Facebook.

By using personalisation in marketing campaigns, your online store will see an increased Return on Investment (ROI) and a spike in sales because you’re reaching out to customers with the products they want.

Track & analyse customer behavior

How exactly do you know what your specific segments want? Before you can reap the benefits of personalisation, you must first track and analyse customer behaviour.

The more information you have on customers who fit into your segments, the better experience you can give them. For example, Ve’s Digital Assistant tracks data to understand your customer needs and preferences. Only then can it provide your customers with assistance relevant to them.

Implement on-site targeting

The next step is for you to implement your on-site targeting. This involves things like product suggestions and relevance sorting in your product list.  For example, Ve used multiple interviews to better understand the needs of AfB, a non-profit IT company. From there, we figure out where Digital Assistant could enhance their website. Only after all the data is collected and analysed did we launch their Digital Assistant.

The implementation took less than 6 weeks to complete and the performance blueprint highlighted each page of AfB’s website. They used Digital Assistant for their on-site targeting and saw an 88% increase in their conversions.

Implement off-site targeting

Personalisation isn’t only for your website. It is also vital that you implement off-site targeting as well. We’ve all got the ads on Google and Facebook that relate to our recent searches or browsing activity.

With tools like Ve’s Connected Media, you can connect the dots between media and your website. It can deliver cross-channel messaging that can direct products and offers suited to specific customers, from search engines, social media, and other websites.

Continue tracking & monitoring customers

As they say, there is no rest for the wicked. Your ecommerce business and your customers will evolve and change. You want to make sure you deliver dynamic content that changes with your existing and new customers. This involves monitoring and your customer activity long term.

This allows you to grow and change with your customers. Your customers will never tire of your web-based and email marketing campaigns because they will be excited to see products and services that they love.

Importance of gathering data

We’ve already mentioned how important gathering customer data is for a successful marketing campaign. But let’s take a further look into its importance, and the different types of data gathering.

Collecting and holding customer data is now a vital part of ecommerce. It allows your website to know and understand your customers much better than a store clerk ever could. By collecting data, you know exactly what your customer base wants and how they want it.

The more data you have, the better you can segment and understand your customers. It can guide marketing campaigns or completely change the way you do business. You will be able to build your brand based on data-driven decisions. Because it removes the guesswork, it will come back to you in the form of conversion rate optimisation and higher customer loyalty.

Although knowing your customers is an important part of ecommerce, you must make sure your customer’s data is protected. Digital data protection is being prioritised across the world. If you are subject to a data leak, it can do irreparable damage to your brand’s reputation. It takes time to earn your customer’s trust, but only a second to lose it. Additionally, legislation in many countries, such as GDPR in the EU, makes unsafe data practices financially costly.

Depending on how you acquire your data, you may be at varying risk of a breach. Let’s go over the different kinds of data and how they help you deliver personalised content.

Zero-party data

Zero-party data is the information that a customer provides intentionally. They proactively share this with a brand via their profile or a questionnaire. This data can provide you with information on:

  • Their preferences and intent
  • Personal context
  • Purchase intentions
  • How the user wants the brand to recognise them

This is the holy grail of customer data. It shows that your users trust you enough to provide you with meaningful data. There is no guesswork on what your customer’s intentions are because they tell you.

Zero-party data is also becoming more important because of regulations set out by legislation like the GDPR. Now, users can easily opt out of being tracked, so companies must rely more heavily on zero-party data for their ecommerce personalisation efforts.

First-party data

First-party data is any information collected directly from your users by you. Unlike third-party data, it is uniquely yours. It is collected at various touch points across your platforms along your customer’s journey. First-party data makes the most out of technology and ecommerce expertise.

This type of data looks at more behavioural data provided by your customer. It can gather insights like:

  • Product affinity
  • Shopping behaviour and tendencies
  • Loyalty status
  • Predicted lifetime value
  • Preferred channels and devices

All of this information provides you with a complete view of your customer, allowing you to provide them with the most relevant personalisation. Plus, this data is something that your brand captured - which means your competitors don’t have it.

Third-party data

Third-party data is information collected by companies that don’t have a direct connection to your customers. This type of data collection can reach past your current users and look at a new target audience segment who have shown interest in companies like yours.

While third-party data is still the most utilised data asset, it is on its way out. New legislation makes it harder to utilise this third-party data with full confidence. It’s also harder for you to personally protect your customer data - if a breach occurs at a third-party company, it’s your customers and your reputation at stake.

The future of data collection seems set to be what your customers provide, and what your company can collect internally. These options give you power over your data, as well as encouraging your customers to trust you.

Role of AI in ecommerce personalisation

Two of the technologies that have become vital in ecommerce personalisation are artificial intelligence (AI) and it’s counterpart, machine learning. The role of AI in business is continuing to grow. It is predicted that the global AI market will snowball in the next few years growing to $190.61 market value in 2025.

At the core of this popularity is one key fact: machines can process data much faster than humans. This is why AI can take all of your customer data to recommend personalised products to individual customers in real-time. Adding AI to your personalisation toolbox allows you to provide real-time assistance to customers in a way that simply isn’t possible manually.

It isn’t much of a surprise that 82% of industry professionals think AI is useful for improving the customer experience. It can be leveraged throughout the customer journey to provide individualised content. Let’s look at some ways that AI plays a vital role in personalisation.

Content identification

Before you can provide suggestions to your customers, you need to have a way of image tagging and generating metadata on your site. Previously, it used to be done manually. Every image had to be tagged and described so that it could be found by a search from the customers.

With AI, tagging and metadata can be generated automatically. Even images and videos (which have been nearly impossible to auto-tag in the past), can be discovered and reused. You can identify and organise digital assets of all types in a way that is not only efficient but also scalable.

Personalisation requires the data of not only your customers, but also your products. AI allows you to dynamically define and identify various aspects of your content to be able to make the best possible matches with your customers.

Propensity scoring

This is a tool that helps you reach the right people with the right message at the right time. It is one of the best ways to forecast customer behaviour because it uses statistical data to predict future actions.

Propensity modeling uses regression analysis to analyse the relationship between dependent variables and independent variables. What does that mean? To put it more simply: using this type of modeling allows you to go beyond analysing what has happened to predict what will probably happen.

Clustering

Clustering uses AI to automatically group customers into segments. As discussed, segmenting your audience is an important part of personalisation. Using segmentation allows you to have more effective advertising, for instance, by only directing certain email campaigns to the relevant people.

The way AI accomplishes this is through cluster analysis which uses mathematical models to discover groups based on variations among customers. This system is better than threshold or rule-based segmentation because:

  • It is more practical: Using predetermined rules can’t possibly accurately segment customers over many dimensions.
  • It doesn’t assume customers with commonalities are the same: Cluster analysis results in small groups based on small variances.
  • It is dynamic: Cluster definitions change every time the algorithm runs. This reflects the dynamic nature of your company and customers.

Association

Many large companies, like Amazon and eBay, use association AI in their personalisation strategies. In terms of on-site personalisation, this provides the best customer experience while improving key metrics, like Average Order Value (AOV).

Association is a method that creates relationships between products to build recommendation engines. Whether it’s a style or aesthetic, a specific type of product, or products from the same brand, the AI can build recommendations based on these associations.

When it comes to ecommerce personalisation, there is nothing more important than utilising AI effectively. Embracing the power of machine learning now will keep you ahead of the competition while providing the best possible service to your users.

Best ecommerce personalisation ideas

Your options for on-site and off-site personalisation are virtually endless. How you choose to personalise your content can greatly impact the customer experience. Let’s go over some of the best ecommerce personalisation examples you can implement to bring the in-store experience to the comfort of your customer’s home.

Serve customised content

The whole point of personalisation is to create an individualised shopping experience. This can’t happen without content that is customised to align with the needs of your customers. Making custom content for your customers allows you to develop a stronger connection with them. Customised content is a personalisation strategy that you shouldn’t go without.

One medium to deliver this content is through your homepage. First impressions are everything and your homepage is the virtual storefront of your brand. You can welcome loyal customers back to your site or greet new visitors. Take a look at how H&M approaches the customised homepage.

It uses customer browsing behavior and profiles to feature a product and suggest different categories of products. This type of personalisation works only for your subscribers or existing customers. However, when a customer is logged into their account, you can give them customised content made specifically for them.

Customised content can include time-sensitive promotions or suggestions based on their purchase or browsing history. Also, on mobile apps and your website, this strategy can direct people to specific areas of your content to encourage customers to move through the sales funnel and increase conversions.

Provide intelligent product recommendations

One way to boost sales and improve customer experience is to provide customers with intelligent product recommendations.Product recommendations account for 31% of ecommerce site revenues, according to a study by Barilliance. Not only is that a great way to show customers the products that they will love, but it also allows you to do cross-selling.

Effective cross-selling is about offering products that are generated by a user’s browsing behaviour and purchase history. For example, if your customer purchased a couch two months ago, you may want to suggest items related to that. That doesn’t mean another couch - but related items, like a matching armchair or end table. This type of personalised recommendations requires you to know what your customer already has and what they may want now.

You can also use their browsing history to make these recommendations. For example, if your site visitor has been browsing around for bikes, you can show them the best-rated bicycles similar to what they have looked at before.

Try personalised overlays

We get it, pop-ups can be annoying. When all you want to do is look at a landing page and you’re interrupted, it can be enough for you to leave the site. However, personalisation can make these ads both pleasant and extremely effective.

With AI, you can now use AI to personalise overlay pop-ups for each of your customers. However, unless you are using third-party data collection, it can be difficult to use this tactic for first-time visitors to your site, at least not at the beginning of their first visit. Let’s look at some of the options you have for overlays:

  • Overlay alerting customers to abandoned cart items: This only works on existing customers. If a visitor leaves something in their cart, you can direct them to it the next time they visit with an overlay.
  • Overlay upsells: Upselling is an important part of running an ecommerce business. Offer customers things that they didn’t realise they needed.
  • “Before you leave” overlays: These overlays provide your visitors with an offer that is triggered when they are about to leave the site without purchasing anything.

Retarget in-session navigation based on visitor’s interest

While off-site retargeting can be pricey, it is something you can do directly on your site. Ve is great at retargeting in-session navigation. If you leave without buying something, they show you in various parts of their site what you missed out on. Ve’s Digital Assistant allows customers to go back to their recently viewed items.

Offer discounts & promos based on customer category

You don’t have to stick to product recommendations to convert customers. You can also offer discounts and promotions based on what category a customer falls under. This will also help your marketing team if they are trying to promote an end of the season sale. A way to do this is to offer an additional discount off clearance items.

For example, if your customer has purchased dresses from your company in the past, they may be very likely to purchase them again. However, your records show they haven’t purchased anything from you in 10 months. Once a customer falls into this category, it may be a great idea to automate an offer that gives them 25% off all dresses in your store.

Offer incentives to hesitant customers

Do you have a customer who often abandons their cart? Commitment is hard and sometimes a prospect just needs that little extra push to complete their customer journey. By offering an incentive you can remove a pain point that was preventing a customer from getting what they want.

By removing this obstacle, you are not making a sale, but also removing an obstacle for your customer. This type of personalisation provides an excellent customer experience while improving your bottom line.

Use a customisable finder

While crunching behavioural data can be a useful tool for personalisation, sometimes the best course of action is to simply ask your customer. With Ve, you can do this easily by using Digital Assistant.

For example, if your customer has previously shown interest in supplements but hasn’t chosen one yet, you can check in to see what they are looking for. By answering a simple question, you can direct them to the products that best fit their needs.

Upsell or suggest complementary products after purchase

Once you have converted a new customer, you need to keep their interest. Personalisation can help you keep customers coming back by delivering content that is related to their previous purchase.

You can make these suggestions immediately after checkout, on-site during their next visit, or via a personalised email after a set amount of time. Remember, these options are not mutually exclusive. You can take as many options to connect with your customers as you want. Just make sure that the content you are delivering them is relevant and fits their shopping behaviour.

Provide continuous shopping for returning customers

We live busy lives. Sometimes we have to leave a site for a business meeting, to go to the shop, or to eat dinner. If a customer’s life gets in the way of their shopping experience, you don’t want them to lose all their hard work of browsing.

This is where personalisation becomes important. It allows you to show the items where they had clicked onto their product pages. Not all customers will put items they like in their shopping cart. By giving them a list of previously viewed items, you give them a seamless shopping experience no matter how many times they have to exit out of your site.

Showcase user generated content

Social media has changed the game of personalisation and marketing. Many ecommerce brands use posts from influencers or  regular customers to highlight your products. This not only builds your brand's reputation but also gives customers incentives to promote your business. Social media posts where you’re mentioned positively are essentially free marketing!

You can also showcase customers wearing your products on-site. Whether this is in the review section, or a dedicated section under the product details, it can give customers the confidence to purchase. It shows their products being used (and loved) by a real person.

The most common place we see this is on the social media pages of ecommerce clothing stores. Take a look at how H&M highlights their user-generated content. They make sure that they give the owner of the photo credit while also providing the product numbers of the clothes featured in the photo.

Automate personalised email messages

Think about the number of marketing emails you receive a day. You can bet that your customers are experiencing the same volume of emails from companies they love. So, how do you set yourself apart from the pack? Well, you can use personalised email messages that catch your customer’s attention every time.

Sending personalised emails automatically allows your customers to deliver captivating content with little input from you. At Ve, we can help you send the most effective marketing content using Behavioural Email. It sends emails to your customers based on their actions and sends reminders when they are inactive for a certain amount of time.

Take a look at how ModCloth connects with their customers via email. Based on a customers browsing and purchase history, it highlights the most relevant products - making it far more tempting than a generic ‘new products’ email.

Use smart recommendations to retarget in social media

Finally, it is vital to fully utilise the power of social media. Over 54% of the total global population are social media users. You need to be using social media to retarget your customers. Most of this is done through sponsored content that doesn’t let your customers forget that they were browsing for specific items on your site.

Take a look at how Wayfair utilises smart recommendations. The customer was looking for comfortable furniture for their new office. The company then used this first-person data to suggest products on Facebook.

Building your own personalisation strategy

Building your personalisation strategy can be a daunting prospect. But don’t worry, Ve is here to help you at every step along the way. When developing your strategy, it can be broken down into three main questions:

What should you personalise in the user experience?

Choosing where to personalise can be tricky. Look at all your channels and customer touchpoints. Pinpoint areas where personalisation will help your customers the most. This could include product recommendations, location-based services, or inspirational content.

What information will you use?

Consider the tools you are already using. It is likely that you are already utilising some form of customer data collection. This could include:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
  • A/B testing
  • Marketing automation
  • Transactional systems

Take your answer from the first question and decide what existing tools you could use to help support your personalisation strategy.

How will you use technology and human insight to deliver this personalisation?

Now that you have a plan, the data, and your tools, you are ready to deliver your experience at scale. Make sure that your tools are working efficiently and effectively to deliver a personalised experience to your customers.

Ecommerce personalisation best practices

As you are building your ecommerce strategy, what best practices should you follow? Real-time personalisation requires you to get inside the heads of your visitors and align your brand with what they want. Let’s take a look at how you would do this.

Understand your audience

In order to personalise, you need to understand your customer’s needs. Understanding your audience requires you to have the right combination of knowledge and technology. You can do this in-house, or you can use Ve’s Digital Assistant to help you.

For example, Ve built and analysed a comprehensive site map for Smallable. It then joined the site map with user profiles to better understand customers and to build specific messages to best serve different users. They saw a 219% increase in engagement and a 28% increase in conversion rates.

Whether your visitor has dropped by for the first-time or is a loyal customer, you can gather data from the moment they enter your site. You can use first-party and zero-party data to identify their intent to enhance their customer experience.

For example, let’s say you have a first-time visitor on your site from clicking an ad on Facebook. They receive an overlay asking them to sign up for 10% off their first order. They haven’t even been on the site for 60 seconds and you’ve already taken steps towards personalising their experience. You’ve also gathered data to provide them with an even more custom experience.

Profile & target customers

Personalisation is worthless unless you are able to profile and target your customers effectively. As soon as a visitor enters your site, you should be picking up on what they like, what their budget is, and other helpful data.

Luckily, you don’t have to go full car salesman to do this. You can rely on machine learning to gather and process all the information to match customers to products in real-time. With AI, the process of profiling and targeting has never been faster or more accurate.

Optimise site performance

So you’ve attracted customers with personalised marketing, and persuaded them to stay longer by catering their site experience to their needs. This is all great - but it could all go wrong if your site isn’t up to task. We’ve all had those moments of trying to add something to a cart, only for the website to crash - and how many of us bothered to go return later? Go back to the basics to make sure your site is ready for anything.

A massive rush of transactions and sales or even a surge in traffic can cause your site performance and page speed to take a hit if you aren’t prepared. This can harm your brand image and cause you to lose the conversions you would have gained from personalisation.

However, you can prepare for this through the optimisation of your website. Here are a few tips to improve your site performance.

  1. Use fast and reliable hosting
  2. Compress and reduce images in size and number
  3. Prioritise testing and optimising your mobile performance
  4. Use a fast ecommerce platform

Adjust site navigation based on customer segmentation

Think about how you organise your life. Everything that you use every day is probably in a place that is easily accessible and within reach. You don’t put your mobile device on the highest shelf in your cupboard! The same principle should be applied to the navigation on your website.

Your navigation menus function as the roadmap to product discovery. It will greatly enhance the user experience if you can adjust the navigation to best suit their needs. You can do this by creating custom site navigation based on their customer segment.

For example, if you know that a customer is someone who frequently searches for home décor, it would make their life so much easier if the tab for décor was the first to appear on the top navigation menu.

Personalise user search

In addition to personalised navigation, it is important to have a personalised user search. Once a customer has spent time on your site, you should have the data that shows their browsing behaviour. From there, you can make their searches even more relevant to them.

This enhances the user experience by fully understanding what a customer wants when they enter something in the search bar. You understand their style, their budgets, and what they need without them having to be incredibly specific. They can type in “wall art” and you can show them products that match their aesthetic perfectly.

Track your customer behavior

Customer behaviour is made up of an individual’s buying habits that include frequency patterns, background factors, and buying habits. All of these habits influence the way they interact with their brand and if they ultimately make a purchase. It is important to track customer behaviour to fully understand your audience and create a more personalised experience.

Track your customer behaviour from the moment they enter your site until the moment they leave to deliver a more personalised experience.

Leverage 1:1 personalisation

If you have the data to support it, 1:1 personalisation is a powerful tool. It describes the practice of delivering a unique experience for every single customer using all the data you gather. The practice requires a rich data set as well as rapid data aggregation and analysis, machine learning optimisation, and cross-channel deployment.

With the right tools, like Ve’s Digital Assistant, you can deliver this type of personalisation throughout your website.

How to select the best ecommerce personalisation platform

There are a lot of services out there that help ecommerce companies personalise their site. So, how do you go about choosing the best one for your company? Let’s take a look at the things you should consider before choosing a personalisation platform.

Function even with minimal data

You don’t want a platform that needs a lot of data in order to personalise content for your customers. Personalisation can be an effective tool for converting prospects, so you need to make sure that your tools work just as well for new visitors as it does for your loyal customers.

Choose a platform that offers personalisation that leverages all your customer data without having to rely on large datasets to personalise. For example, if a first-time customer finds you through searching for TVs on Google, it would be extremely effective to take them to a landing page that tells them exactly why they should choose you. This required little customer data, but is just what you need to make the sale.

Can segment automatically

You also need a personalisation platform that can segment your customers automatically. This allows you to develop effective email remarketing as well as a great on-site and off-site customer experience. Choose a platform that segments your customers using the latest in AI technology.

Supports omnichannel experiences

Effective ecommerce is all about having the best omnichannel strategy. Your omnichannel strategy should also include personalisation.

Choose a platform that will support your omnichannel needs. Like Ve’s Connected Media, you need something that can help you connect with your customers on and off your website. It allows you to connect the dots from media to your website and delivers cross-channel messaging from a click or a view. This not only allows you to produce a more connected omnichannel experience, but also allows you to create more effective marketing campaigns.

Can tailor site layout

Your platform should go beyond making recommendations in isolated areas of your site. It should be able to tailor the site layout to make it user friendly and relevant to your customers. Your platform should align with your website, audience, and brand to make your website feel like it is directly catered to your audience.

Agile & flexible

Personalisation is not very personal if it isn’t able to change. Your customers and your company are constantly evolving, and you need a personalisation platform that evolves with it. Make sure that whatever platform you choose has powerful and flexible features.

Ideally, you want something that can scale without excessive costs, and that doesn’t require lots of third-party integrations to adapt.

Allows detailed targeting

As they say, the devil’s in the details. You need an ecommerce personalisation platform that realises that and works with you to provide you with the most detailed targeting possible. When choosing a platform, research how exactly they target your customers.

Make sure they cover the basics like new vs. loyal customers, as well as things like demographics, geolocation, and browsing behaviour. The more detailed the data it uses, the better.

How can Ve help jumpstart your personalisation journey

At Ve Global, we are here to help you leave a lasting impression. Our Digital Assistant and Connected Media allow you to deliver an in-store experience, online. With the Digital Assistant, you can give your customers the support they need during every step of the customer journey.

We also make sure that you are delivering relevant and timely messaging to your customers. This minimises friction while building confidence in your brand. They can interact with your site freely without the frustration that comes from the feeling of getting sold to. Whether you are using Connected Media or Behavioural Email, we ensure that your customers are getting the content that will drive your conversions.

Ecommerce personalisation is always changing, and we are making sure our company changes with it. In our existing technologies and our product development we focus on:

  1. Context awareness: We believe that you should know the explicit context of site visits. This allows you to determine customer intent and alignment with response generation.
  2. Segmentation: The importance of segmentation has already been discussed earlier in this article. Here at Ve, we ensure that we have an audience engine capable of performing rule-based segmentation. This is used for targeting which determines the next best action or algorithmic recommendations.
  3. Targeting & triggering: The key to personalisation is in the individual. You can be sure that we will identify and deliver an optimum, individual experience to your customers. This is based on a blend of existing customer data and real-time session activity.

Conclusion

As AI and machine learning improves, personalisation will only become further ingrained with the best practices in ecommerce. Getting ahead of the curve now will help your business grow to its full potential.

If you are currently using personalisation tools, ask yourself if they are working for you. Make sure that they are utilising the features you need while adhering to the best practices outlined above. And if you have not embraced the power of personalisation, look into the best tools for your business.

Better yet, why don’t you try it out today by requesting a demo? Let us show you how Digital Assistant, Connected Media, and Behavioural Email can help your business boost sales and provide an unbeatable customer experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is personalisation?

Personalisation is a business process that focuses on creating relevant and individualised interactions with your customers. These interactions can come in the form of tailoring an experience or communications based on the data your company has collected on a specific visitor.

Is ecommerce personalisation important?

We can’t overstate how important ecommerce personalisation is for optimising your marketing, sales, and conversion strategies. Because ecommerce companies have a large number of products, you need to be sure the right customers are seeing the right products. Otherwise, your products might sit in your warehouse without ever making it to the customer who wants them.

Gone are the days when a company can succeed by providing a one-size-fits-all experience. Using personalisation helps you to tailor your customer experience based on your customer’s choice and needs, leading to increased sales and conversions.

What are the benefits of ecommerce personalisation?

The benefits of ecommerce personalisation are virtually endless. Not only does it make your website more engaging, but it also:

Increases sales by improving conversions: Personalisation does this by presenting information to your customers that is interesting and relevant to them.

Increases Average Order Size (AOS): Because you can upsell, cross-sell, and make recommendations, your customers will likely have larger orders. They will no longer be satisfied with one item they like; they will need to have all the products they love.

Improved customer loyalty: Because you are staying connected with personalised emails and making your customers feel special, they are more likely to stick around. They enjoy browsing your website and interacting with your brand, so they will continue to do so.

Gives you a competitive advantage: With personalisation, no one will know your customers better than you do! This will keep you relevant and leaps ahead of your competition.

Request a demo today