Ecommerce is undergoing exponential growth. Already on the rise pre-pandemic, the last two years have pushed this buying and selling approach into overdrive: Recent predictions noted by Forbes suggest that global ecommerce sales volumes will soon hit $4.2 trillion.
And it doesn’t stop there.
Along with spending more money online, customers are also more willing to share their data. Survey data from Merkle notes that 77% of customers are now willing to share personal information with brands in exchange for more personalised experiences.
Known as ecommerce personalisation, it’s now a critical facet of digital customer service.
But how does ecommerce personalisation work in practice? How does it benefit your businesses, and how can you effectively implement this approach?
What Is Ecommerce Personalisation?
Ecommerce personalisation is the use of customer-supplied data to create personalised online shopping experiences. These experiences may include customised ecommerce storefronts or product pages along with emails, newsletters, and social platform messaging that include personalised deals or discounts, curated product suggestions, or early access to new products.
How To Achieve Effective Ecommerce Personalisation
To achieve effective ecommerce personalisation, you must:
- Collect key data such as customer demographics, browsing habits, purchase histories, and preferred device usage; and
- Leverage this data to create a personalised profile that informs ongoing sales and marketing campaigns.
How Does Personalisation Benefit Your Business?
Ecommerce personalisation offers three key benefits for your business:
According to McKinsey & Company, “consumers now view personalisation as the default standard for engagement.”
In other words, if content isn’t personalised to a consumer’s needs, chances are they’ll take their business elsewhere. And even if they do stick around, they’re less likely to interact with your brand across social and email channels, in turn reducing the chances of a successful conversion.
Not surprisingly, effective ecommerce personalisation drives increased sales. Consider a customer who visits your site and agrees to share data. If your marketing team uses that data to create a personalised profile and then send customer-specific offers or discounts for preferred products directly to the consumer, they can shorten the distance between lead generation, engagement, and conversion.
Reduced Customer Churn
Also according to Merkle, 88% of consumers perceive a brand’s products as having higher quality if they feel like the brand is listening to their needs. This provides an opportunity to reduce customer churn.
With businesses of all types and sizes now making the move to online sales and buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) options, companies need to stand out from the crowd by making it clear that they’re interested in meeting customers where they are — not where they’d like them to be. Personalisation makes this possible.
Worth noting? Ecommerce impacts aren’t uniform worldwide. While PwC reports that 63% of U.S. consumers are more open to sharing their data for a product or service they truly value, the numbers are lower in Europe, according to Consultancy.eu.
The UK leads the way with 29% of customers willing to share their data, with countries like France and Sweden coming in slightly lower at 26% and 22%, respectively. Germany and Finland, meanwhile, round out the bottom of the pack with just 15% of Germans and 8% of Finns willing to share their data.
These findings speak to the need for personalisation programs capable of aligning with local conditions to meet customer expectations around data sharing, marketing communication, and product preferences.
What’s Required for Effective Ecommerce Personalisation Implementation?
Of course, it’s not enough to simply recognise the need for improved personalisation — companies must implement best practices that underpin the effective collection, curation, and connection of this data to actionable outcomes. In practice, these include:
Comprehensive Data Collection Strategies
Ecommerce personalisation starts with data collection. As a result, it’s critical for companies to develop comprehensive strategies that include clear communication about what data is being collected, how it’s being used, and how customers can revoke consent at any time.
Next, retailers must recognise the dynamic nature of ecommerce behaviour. From broad analysis to more in-depth evaluation of audience preferences, ongoing efforts are required to stay ahead of emerging trends.
Customers now expect brands to be reachable across any channel at any time. As a result, ecommerce personalisation means creating an omnichannel framework that empowers customers to get in touch on their timeline — and uses data to ensure their time isn’t wasted when they connect with an agent.
Customised Product Pages
The final step before a sale? Your product page. Just like everything else in a personalised ecommerce approach, these pages should be tailored to consumer expectations. This might mean showing customers a curated selection of products they might like based on their preferences, or it could mean allowing them to customise purchases directly from product pages to get exactly what they want.
This Time, It’s Personal: Realising the Benefits of Ecommerce Personalisation
Effective ecommerce strategies are now essential for companies to succeed in a digital-first market. But better websites and streamlined storefronts only go so far. To stay competitive, retailers must connect with customers where they are by creating customised, personalised experiences that improve engagement, encourage connection, and drive conversion.
Ready to make the most of expanding ecommerce markets with improved customer personalisation? Start with Salsify’s “Complete Product Page Toolkit.”