Whenever a customer visits your product page, they’re telling you a story — what they click, when they bounce, how they search — it all reveals a tremendous amount about their shopping habits.
It probably goes without saying that an effective product page will minimise the elements that repel shoppers, while emphasising those that retain them.
The latest personalisation trends take this basic concept to the next level: With close user tracking, ecommerce brands can now provide unprecedented levels of customisation for each site visitor, all based on previous online behaviour.
Done correctly, personalisation empowers your brand to meet shoppers on their terms, in a way that can go far beyond traditional market segmentation. Rather than engaging with broad “types” of shoppers, this approach allows you to tweak your pitch at even the individual level.
As an increasing number of brands adopt ecommerce personalisation, more and more consumers have come to want (and expect) these types of offerings. In fact, 80% of customers are more likely to make a purchase when offered personalised experiences, according to Epsilon.
Learn more about three of the top ecommerce personalisation trends — and how you can incorporate these techniques into your own digital shelf strategy.
1. User-Generated Content (UGC)
Shoppers want to be able to trust the brands they interact with, but will almost always turn to third-party reviews before making a final decision about a potential purchase.
For example, 70% of U.S. consumers are likely to buy if there are personally relevant images, videos, text, and reviews on a product page, according to Salsify’s “Consumer Research 2022” report.
Furthermore, Salsify’s research found that consumers in the U.S. (49%), Great Britain (44%), France (35%), and Germany (37%) consider customer-generated content (reviews, videos, and images) to be must-know information before buying a product.
So, if your customers are generous enough to provide feedback, lifestyle pictures, or other types of content for your site, why not incorporate these materials into your brand experience? Some results-driven methods include:
Maintaining a comprehensive Q&A section on your product page will not only help customers find the product that’s right for them, but will also signal to others that your brand is a friendly and helpful one.
Featuring both positive and negative reviews will allow you to showcase your wins, as well as how your brand handles its mistakes and shortcomings. Be sure to engage with your customers’ feedback, and address any concern or confusion publicly and in a timely manner — especially the negative comments.
A UGC photo gallery is a great way to keep customers clicking through your product pages — and feature a product in its natural state of use across a variety of contexts.
Beyond just building customer trust and personalising your brand, featuring UGC on a product page is also a great way to enhance its search engine optimisation (SEO) and search ranking.
2. Layout Personalization Trends
Any realtor or online marketer will tell you: Success ultimately boils down to “location, location, location.”
While it’s well known that ranking can have drastic effects on the amount and type of products your company sells, most earlier efforts to optimise layout were based on appealing to a general audience. With effective personalisation, these efforts can become highly specialised.
For example, if a user’s data indicates the shopper is mostly interested in certain kinds of products — say, men’s clothing over women’s — those items can simply shoot to the top of their personalised product page or search results, leaving irrelevant products out of sight. Beyond the obvious benefit, this tactic also minimises extraneous information that might otherwise overwhelm the customer.
These same principles can be applied to “featured product” widgets, with highly personalised recommendations for the shopper. Even product descriptions can be personalised: perhaps the price is prominently displayed for cost-conscious shoppers, while the product brand or other features are highlighted for shoppers with a strong brand affinity.
Get creative, and your customers will thank you for it.
3. Artificial Intelligence (AI): Personalisation’s New Best Friend
Obviously, creating a personalised experience for each of your shoppers will require a tremendous amount of data — and analysis. This is why many brands are now embracing the emerging power of artificial intelligence to help make sense of it all.
How Machine Learning Helps Brands
Machine learning can help your brand:
- Identify behavioural trends and opportunities;
- Engage in trial-and-error testing (for example, A/B testing for product placement or descriptions);
- Optimise your search tool beyond simply correcting typos, with intelligent suggestions for the consumer (for example, suggesting “blankets” instead of “down comforters”);
- Manage complex algorithms to provide fine levels of detailed personalisation for each shopper, based on their shopping history
- Automate product ranking, based on sales or other factors.
As personalisation trends develop further, it seems almost certain that AI’s importance in constructing these experiences will continue to grow, too.
Things Should Get Personal
Your brand may not need to simultaneously adopt all of the personalisation trends on the rise to be successful. However, getting more familiar with or implementing user-generated content, layout personalisation, or AI in a way that suits your brand will certainly give you an edge.
Interested in learning more about how to meet the demands of omnichannel shoppers in our increasingly digital world? Check out our “Consumer Research 2022” report.