Jeff Bezos once said that ecommerce personalization converts buyers into promoters and boosts sales by large margins. In line with Bezos’ vision, it is apparent that Amazon has been keeping personalization as an important element in its strategy to maximize revenues.
When Amazon buyers login into their accounts, the personalized list of product recommendations, fetched with respect to their previous buying and browsing behavior compels them and often end up buying the products.
According to a report from McKinsey, Netflix, and Amazon drove 75% and 35% of their sales through recommendations in 2013. This gives us an idea on the effect of personalization and the magnitude of sales it can bring using customer experience.
Until a few years, personalization has been the forte of large-scale companies who could collect all that data and run algorithms to churn out insights and trigger actions. But not anymore!
E-commerce apps providing personalization as service and product offerings have opened this avenue for everyone to benefit.
The idea of personalization is not simplistic though. Apps providing personalization services for ecommerce businesses carve out their product features with respect to three basic strategies that are followed. These are-
Offer based personalization
Personalized Web Pages
While these three may have many intersecting areas, the fundamental ideas from which these three basically evolved are quite different.
Behavior-based ecommerce personalization
Behavior-based personalization focuses on creating different content types and targeting them to buyer personas derived out of the customer or user behavior.
The way to go about behavior-based personalization is to create consumer segments. As already mentioned, several buyer personas may be generated which represent certain segments of users you must target with your product.
This is done by creating different types of web content on your website with respect to the buyer personas you are targeting. These may be web content, e-books, free tools etc.
Content-based ecommerce personalization is often accompanied rule-based personalization where buyers are categorized on the basis of certain actions that must be taken on those pages such as an ebook download.
Consider a b2b product such as Orderhive that defines 3 buyer personas.
- Business size- Small
- Orders fulfilled/month- >200-500 orders/ month
- Knows about inventory software- may be
- Targeted content- blogs that contextually explain the features for their advantage.
- Action Undertaken- When the user lands upon a blog post and then to a feature, ebooks with complete feature list must be made to download in return to capture the e-mail.
- Business size- Very Small
- Orders fulfilled- just started selling on Amazon/ new sellers
- Knows about inventory software- Not likely
- Targeted Content- Free spreadsheet to calculate inventory provided for free download.
- Action Undertaken- Send emails with resources explaining the advantages of using a software instead of a spreadsheet.
- Business size-Small Medium
- Orders fulfilled/month- >2000 orders/ month
- Knows about inventory software-yes
- Targeted Content- Business page explaining advanced features and CTA
- Action Undertaken- If the users sign up, emails must be sent with respect to hassle-free onboarding and value promotion
Behavior-based personalization is one of the most basic forms of personalization which need not use large data sets or Artificial intelligence for results.
Touchpoints for behavior-based personalization can be –
- Web Content Optimized for different buyer persona
- Social media posts
- Email marketing (drip campaign)
Offer based personalization-
Offer-based personalization is the idea of mixing two or more variables and creating a large data set in order to craft personalized offerings.
For example, using an ecommerce personalization app, you can look at the age of the visitor and then tie that up with the products that have browsed. A user aged 17-18 years, browsing through prom costumes suggest that the user is an upcoming graduate.Depending on the sex and their products, offerings can be made that are often coupled with discounted prices to drive a sale.
Offer based personalization may also include more than one factor to create a personalized form of offering. A large data set with clear business objectives is always a recipe for success. Ecommerce apps providing offer based personalization often employ Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to get the task done.
Personalized offerings are sent via e-mails with discounted prices. The CTA lands users straight into the cart with the product added at a discounted price. Along with the body, email subject lines can also be personalized with respect to the users.
Adroll and other remarketing tools that run on data derived from cookies.
Personalized Web Pages-
If you have ever shopped at a large online marketplace, you must have experienced this type of ecommerce personalization. It is a common sighting on Amazon. Once you log in to Amazon, it shows you a selected list of items that you are most likely to purchase. The list is derived from items you have previously purchased or clicked. This is the product recommendation engine from Amazon.
Personalization software provides this feature for ecommerce sites by combining a set of factors to identify the user and gauge their preferences. One of the ways to accomplish this is to go for user ID tracking. Once, the cookie is dropped, subsequent visits then carry relevant product suggestions.
Often, the user signs up with their email IDs. This is when you can start creating attribution data for these users.
Personalized web pages can also be sent using customized email templates to different users. While some attributes of the design may remain uniform, the recommended products/web pages may differ.
E-commerce personalization has taken the world by storm. For all the small and medium players out there, it is no longer a luxury that can be overlooked. With a plethora of e-commerce personalization tools making their way to the market, personalization is going to become an important element in the sales strategy for a large number of ecommerce businesses.