What Is Personalization?
Personalization is the practice of using available data to create a uniquely tailored eCommerce experience for each individual customer.
It ensures that targeted shoppers are presented with relevant products to enhance their user experience. It delivers the right message at the right time.
Examples of data used to create personalization are:
- Demographics (geography, age, gender, language)
- User Intent
- Browsing history
- Previous purchases
- Device usage
Where Can Personalization Be Used?
Personalization should be used across your site, across all interaction points in your store.
Examples of places personalization can be used are:
- Landing page
- Site Search
- Product pages
- Email & SMS marketing
Why Is Personalization Important?
In brick and mortar stores, a sales assistant guides a customer around the store to locate products relevant to them. This creates a seamless and productive shopping experience.
Personalization recreates this online. Matching the shopper with products they are interested in removes friction. Shoppers can purchase their needs quickly and efficiently.
The Benefits Of Personalization
1. It Drives Revenue
Personalization has been proven to create a 20% increase in sales compared to non-personalized sites. 80% of customers are more likely to purchase with personalized experiences.
The figures show the main benefit; boosted conversions and AOV.
2. It Improves Customer Experience
Despite being good for the merchant, the customers’ experience is greatly improved by personalization. They don’t have to waste time searching for unnecessary products, their past actions and preferences are taken into consideration, and their product discovery journey is simplified.
3. It Creates Brand Loyalty
When customers’ user experience is improved, they can tell that the brand cares about them. They feel valued and that their interaction with the brand matters. This leads to repeat customers, and even lifetime loyalty.
4. It Can Deepen Your Customer Knowledge
By following how customers relate to personalization; what works and what doesn’t, you can develop a deeper understanding of your customers. This can affect future business decisions and goals, as well as product stock and inventory decisions.
Data creates data; so following personalization campaign results means future personalization can be fine-tuned.
5. It Gives You A Competitive Advantage
Since personalization is so well known, customers expect it. If your site doesn’t offer personalization, there’s a chance shoppers might go somewhere else. For this reason, it’s a necessity. If your competitors don’t offer personalization, you have the upper hand.
How To Optimize An Ecommerce Personalization Strategy
When planning your eCommerce strategy it is important to remain customer driven. If the customers’ needs are considered first, the merchant will automatically benefit from this.
Considering business goals and objectives are important. These should play a part in deciding how the campaign should work, but if the shopper can sense that the personalization is not for their benefit, it is undermined.
The focus should be on visitors consuming how they want, achieving their goals in every stage of the process. Every visitor interacts with the business differently; powerful personalization combines this with business goals.
Taking this into consideration also means a focus on omnichannel optimization. More users than ever are shopping over mobile devices, social media and through apps, but the website must remain optimized at the same time. Ensuring that personalization is present and thriving across all channels is key.
Party Data Levels
Zero Party Data: Zero party data, or explicit data, involves information made explicitly available by customers. This involves voluntary partaking in surveys, forms, polls; direct consensual often incentivized by a discount or deal at the end.
First Party Data: First party data is data gathered through customers interactions with websites, apps, products or social media. This is through tracking users’ IP addresses, logins, browser credentials, demographics and more.
Second Party Data: Second party data is data that has been gathered, and then shared with you through a different company. They might have access to first party data that helps you.
Third Party Data: Third party data is collected by a business or company that does not relate to you or the customer. This can be stitched together by various sources, sometimes governmental, non-profit or academic sources. This can be bought in bulk.
Anonymous Personalization: Solving Data Security Problems
As we move towards a cookie-free future, ensuring that data privacy is respected is becoming ever more important.
69% of Europeans believe that businesses misuse personal information they collect, which is a worrying statistic. Being transparent is key.
Personalization can still be achieved without cookies, and with no PII. This is through creating real-time click profile data that follows shoppers from the time they log onto the site.
By offering personalization that matches their present experience, they can still feel the benefits of personalization without having any data privacy infringed.
Using audience segments is a great way of allowing wider personalization to be used across your site. This involves identifying different shopper groups (or segments) that personalization can be applied to more widely (rather than focusing on the individual).
These can be informed by parameters such as:
- New visitors/Returning users
- Traffic sources (where they arrived from)
- Geolocation/IP address
- On-site behavior
- UTM parameters
- Device (mobile/tablet/desktop)
Dynamic content can then be delivered to each of these groups depending on the segments they are in.
- First time visitors may see a discount code for their first purchase
- Returning customers may see recently viewed items
- Close geographical locations may be offered free shipping
A benefit of this, is that through click-profile usage, data privacy can also be maintained to audience segments and to first-time anonymous users.