What Kind of Personalised Experiences Should eCommerce Offer?
We shop online to browse and buy goods, but is that the full story? Of course not! Shopping has always been about more than the products you take home at the end of the day, and eCommerce is no different. Google research finds that “most fashion, beauty and home shoppers spend up to two weeks researching products before they buy them”. That two-week window is a great opportunity for brands to offer a unique shopping experience.
Prolog Fulfilment works with brands to enhance their customer experience, and this includes ways to personalise eCommerce shopping. Let’s have a look at what’s possible.
Shoppers Are Searching For Inspiration
The majority of online shoppers surveyed by Google said that their browsing was about looking for inspiration, rather than shopping for a specific item. For many consumers, shopping online – like shopping on the High Street – is about using the experience to determine who they are, and how they want to express themselves through what they buy. Personalised shopping has a positive role to play in this process.
Examples of eCommerce Personalisation
‘Going out to the shops’ is usually as much to do with spending time with friends as it is about shopping. Purchases often happen in an indirect manner, as a result of conversations about style, personality, and choice. Often, there’s no specific intent to buy, and purchases tend to happen spontaneously as part of the shopping event.
Browsing online is a completely different activity. It’s usually done alone, and any sociability tends to occur via messages or sharing. eCommerce brand personalisation has the opportunity to create a version of the High Street shopping experience by recognising shoppers as individuals, and engaging with them as they browse. Here are a few examples:
- Fast, fun quizzes to help define taste and style.
- Individual product recommendations based on style/colour preferences.
- Individually customised products.
- Providing shoppers with the option to ‘try before they buy’.
- Personalised emails alerting shoppers to individually selected promotions.
- Ways to chat instantly about the products on offer.
- Using the shopper’s preferred channels to contact them.
Do Brands Benefit From Personalised eCommerce Shopping?
Creating a shopping experience for visitors to your eCommerce site takes effort, so what benefits are brands likely to gain from it? Take a look at 5 ways that personalised eCommerce shopping can boost your bottom line:
- Personalised Engagement Grows Sales
Simply recognising a returning customer by their name brings rewards. A recent survey discovered that three-quarters of consumers would be more likely to buy from a brand that recognised them by using their name. That’s quite a result. Add in an experience like ‘try before you buy’ and a browser will feel like the shopping experience is all about them.
- A Safe and Friendly Space for Customers
Many of the stories we hear about online experiences are negative, so it’s up to brands to create a space where their visitors can feel safe, nurtured and protected. Ensure that customers understand their data is secure, that the payment methods you use are fully regulated. If shoppers have concerns or questions, make it easy for them to chat or message so they can get the information they need.
- Optimise Customer Lifetime Value
Once brands start to get to know a customer, it becomes easier to offer helpful suggestions about products and how they buy. Repeat purchasers may be interested in finding out about the advantages of a subscription service you offer. A shopper browsing for seasonal gifts may be delighted to hear about your customisation service. Selling in a tailored way to customers brings them back to your brand for more.
- Make Your Brand Unique
Every brand wants to stand out from the competition; personalisation is an excellent way to put your brand ahead of the rest. Shoppers who have had a great experience with your brand will tell their friends and family about it. Word of mouth is the very best advertising; you’ll develop a growing number of visitors who not only want to take a look at your product, but also experience your brand for themselves.
- Understand Who Your Customers Are
The collection of data is a trade-off when it comes to eCommerce personalisation. The more value you offer to customers in the form of personalisation, the more data you will be able to collect. An ongoing analysis of preferences, buying habits, and expectations allows you to manage your inventory more efficiently, market more effectively, and offer ever more value to shoppers.
Many shoppers bought goods online for the first time during the pandemic lockdowns. Now that the bricks-and-mortar shopping option is back, eCommerce brands need to enhance the experience they can offer to their customers. Recognising them as valued individuals who are looking for more than a transactional experience, builds additional value into consumers encounters with brands, and makes online shopping feel more sociable.
About the Author
Amanda Price – Digital Content Executive and Researcher for Outsource Your Marketing . Amanda joined the Outsource team in 2019, she brings to the business an expertise in social media, SEO, copywriting, and blogging.