Online shopping is no longer about the utility of the website or the moment the customer makes a transaction. Today’s e-commerce sites have become places to curate brand personality and create meaningful connections with customers.
Personalization doesn’t simply instill loyalty with tailored deals and flash sales, but having customers experience their journey through a brand prism. eMarketer forecasted earlier this year that Business-to-Consumer (B2C) e-commerce sales will increase by 20.1 percent reaching $1.500 trillion – with a large chunk of that revenue coming from expanding online and mobile user base in emerging markets.
With brands stepping onto the international e-commerce stage every day, the entire globe might as well be a marketer’s bull’s-eye. When it comes to targeting, the key is not what you say, but who you say it to. From enticing editorial content, such as a hotlist on the company blog, to streamlining customer experience across multiple platforms, there are simple ways marketers can personalize the customer experience to help uplift conversions without boiling the ocean.
The Devil is in the Details
Enticing content encourages customers to spend longer time on a website and not only informs customers, but helps them build a deeper relationship with the brand. This added level of involvement can often point customers in the purchasing direction. For example, Sony PlayStation’s blog provides a wealth of creative content to persuade new and existing customers to choose their games console over competitors.
Similarly, fashion brands can provide buying or size guides – particularly if the company has a nonstandard retail model. Offering unique size guides explaining exactly how the products will fit ensures that customers have as much information as possible before they purchase. Online retailer Farfetch, for instance, analyzed the value of different content pages by comparing the conversion rates of viewers and non-viewers and found that visitors who explored the site’s FAQ page had a greater propensity to convert.
Personalization in Practice
Implementing personalization techniques such as re-engagement through company blogs, campaign mirroring or retaining past searches can also help marketers drive quicker conversions.
Explicitly targeting customers that have visited a company’s blog with content will ensure that they remain connected with the brand. eBay attracts and rewards its readers through its blog. They integrate a strong social media strategy that draws upon their premise as a marketplace and encourages the communities of buyers and sellers to interact. Their social media sellers’ blog concept ensures that they empower the sellers to target specific visitors that would like their products, paying the strategy forward.
Campaign mirroring is another form of personalization which involves matching on-site content with other campaigns to remind customers of products and deals they have seen elsewhere. Office Superstore, Staples, targets returning visitors who have entered from a previous email campaign with related content.
In addition, having the inner workings of a site respond to visitor behavior can enhance conversion rates. For instance, in-page alterations have a greater effect on conversions than on-page, so incorporating banners that are altered according to the search term a visitor enters can help drive quicker results. Booking.com’s homepage illustrates this well. Not only does it remember the destination a visitor has searched for the next time they return, it also serves suggestions of other similar destinations in a section called “recent searches.”
Since e-commerce websites have become places customers visit to interact with the brand in addition to making a purchase, it’s important for marketers to personalize their experience at every phase of the visit. To further help with the personalization process, Qubit has created an ebook which offers marketers additional best practices to captivate and convert customers entitled, “40 Best Ways to Personalize.”
This post was originally published on Business2Community.
About the Author
Graham Cooke spent five years at Google, ending up as the global leader in charge of conversion rate optimization. In 2010, Cooke left Google to form Qubit, a new breed of data intelligence company. Qubit’s mission is to help businesses get closer to their customers by discovering behavioral insights in visitor data and delivering personalized content to improve the online experience. A budding entrepreneur from a young age, Graham started his first company at age 15 when opened a coffee shop at school after buying an espresso machine.