A real and significant problem for e-commerce stores is visitor choice paralysis. Customers often feel overwhelmed by the number of choices they have at your store, and can head off and buy from a competitor’s site largely because the competitor offers fewer products than you!
It’s easy for an e-commerce store to source additional products, and offering customers options that will suit them is important, but this has led to e-commerce stores that are brimming with hundreds or even thousands of options.
Presenting these options to the reader in a way that doesn’t overwhelm them is a challenge. Also, the more products you sell that don’t speak to them, the more they begin to consider that your business isn’t specially aimed at their particular needs.
Offer the Best Website for Every Visitor
Personalized e-commerce is the cure for this headache. Personalizing websites to show visitors only the items they’re interested in makes it easier for them to make a purchase and makes them feel that your brand is one that has been designed for their needs in particular.
There are many ways to personalize your website for each user. Automating most of the work by using software like DataCue saves you a lot of time and money, and allows for much better segmentation of users as well as smart cross-selling and upselling.
Here are some ideas that we can help you with when it comes to personalizing the e-commerce experience for your users.
Know Your Customer
One of the most important aspects of personalizing the customer journey is getting good data and putting it to good use. The more relevant data points you have on your users, the better positioned you are to know what they want and offer it to them.
Here are some things we track whenever possible:
- Past browsing history and on-site behavior
- Purchase history
- Customer engagement with email, social media, and our websites
We also want to keep a track of the general behavior of users to give us an idea of our “average” customer. We use that baseline to inform the products and services we show on pages when we encounter a user who appears not to have visited the website before, showing them the best we can based on the limited knowledge we have of them.
Every company is different, so one can’t simply stop there. Additional custom data points relevant to your business are key. Perhaps you want to store whether a customer has typically gone for sale items or whether they’ll spend more to get the highest quality, for example. This can be used to segment customers further and allow you to show them special offers and exclusives you know they’ll be interested in.
Personalize Your Website
Website personalization is popular as it allows you to remove superfluous items from pages and show customers what they personally really want to see.
Generally, we’re looking to increase the average amount of time people spend on the website, increase the average engagement they have with products, increase the number of products added to the shopping cart, and increase the number of people who convert from visitors to paying customers.
What can we personalize? Almost everything has a benefit.
- Offers – Knowing so much about the user, we can display the type of offers that have compelled them to act in the past. Automatically personalize the products that are on special offer, the price, the discount, the time limits involved, whether free shipping is included, etc. Instead of testing what works for most of your customers and going with that, a personalized website can automatically be the ‘best’ site for every visitor.
- Content – Consider how you’re presenting the products to the customer. Images can be personalized to show someone like the user solving a problem with the product. Features of a product can be personalized to highlight the ones most relevant to the particular user. Related products and services can take into account the user’s previous purchases.
- Notifications – Personalized notifications available with DataCue are a game changer. Users have been shown to respond to notifications that are tailored to their interests, and they’re not perceived to be annoying like popups. Notifications can take into account the user’s behavior and offer them an incentive to purchase if it looks like they’re going to abandon their shopping cart, for example. Notifications can be used to reminder other users of time-sensitive bargains, or to reward loyalty with something of value. As users only see notifications relevant to them, personalized notifications feel unique and special.
Personalized Product Listings
One of the biggest changes in e-commerce over the past decade has been in product recommendations. Product recommendations have become smarter, thanks to personalization.
How should you personalize your product listings? It depends on how much you know about the particular user.
- Best-Selling Products – When we don’t know much about the user then product templates can fall back on showing the products that sell the best. As soon as the user begins browsing the website’s pages we already begin to see the type of products he or she is gravitating towards, and our personalized site can begin to show them best-selling products that suit their needs.
- Similar Items – Your basic personalization template will show items that are related to the main product being viewed. If we know more about the user’s previous buying habits, we might choose to show them alternative products that are more higher-end in a bid to upsell, or instead highlight products that offer the best bang for the buck if they’re a dedicated bargain hunter.
- Cross Selling – Instead of showing alternative items, cross-selling shows complementary products in the hope that a customer will choose to purchase multiple items as a set. At the very least, you’re helping educate the user on how a product is typically used.
- What Others Bought – An interesting option, if you have a large inventory, is showing exactly what others ended up buying after viewing an item. Visitors appreciate being able to cut through to the chase and it also makes for good social proof.
This is just the tip of the iceberg where it comes to automatically personalizing your website. Get in touch with DataCue today to see how your website can become the best it can be for every single visitor you have.