An Introduction to Ecommerce Personalization Techniques

Ecommerce personalization means extending offers, recommendations, and other media by retailers specifically targeted to potential customers based on their personal preferences and interests instead of throwing blind messages to people. An Accenture study says that businesses lose hundreds of billions of dollars each year due to customers’ switching loyalty driven by lack of personalization in services, along with an element of distrust. These statistics show the importance of eCommerce personalization. Personalization has many facets, so let’s have a brief look at some of them here.

Navigation-based personalization

By learning the personal behavior and activity of users from previous visits on your site, you can identify their specific interests and preferences to guide them to potentially interesting sections accordingly.

Homepage personalization

When a user is on your homepage, they must be welcomed with relevant offers and the product information based on their previous browsing style and behavior. In other words, there must not be a single common homepage for all. Instead, every customer must be presented with a homepage configured and styled as per the visitor’s tastes and preferences.

Personalized search results

Results of product/information search by customers must be based on their preferences. Proper onsite personalization will give priority to the most relevant data and appropriate information.

‘Recently viewed’ section

This form of customization has great potential. It displays the products the customer had viewed earlier but not necessarily bought. The retailer can get the information on what items they clicked and how long they stayed on those products’ pages, which makes it easier to determine the clients’ preferences and tastes. Though the clients did not purchase the items for any of the numerous reasons, instead of pushing the information to oblivion, a ‘Recently viewed’ section can prompt the customer to revisit the products, and maybe purchase them.

Targeted emails

Email marketing has been a very common method of conveying information to any potential customer. However, most mailboxes are flooded with spam today, so sending only the most relevant information is critical. Send only recommendations for products the users are interested in instead of blindly spraying them with irrelevant material. Follow-up emails after potential consumers leave your website must be based on their preferences and behavior while on it.

Location-based personalization

Understanding the geographical information of the users is necessary for good eCommerce personalization, so that you may lead them to the version of your website created to suit that particular region instead of a general page.

Weather-based personalization

Weather is an often ignored but pretty relevant factor in marketing. Weather-based recommendations can get more customers to purchase your products. It is especially true for outfit brands so that the users may be attracted by the recommendations based on the weather/climate of their region and season of the year. WeatherUnlocked is an example of an online tool that will help do this kind of personalization.

Omni-channel personalization

All the above forms of personalization may be extended to any channel or mode the customer use to access the retailer. The customers’ information from the history of previous in-store purchases must be utilized to personalize their communication when they access the same retailer online.

How to personalize effectively?

Many factors can help you in your eCommerce personalization processes. Right from the ‘cookies’ managed by your site to paid help from dedicated services, the options are plenty.

­Information related to the online customer activity and behaviour, such as the buttons clicked by the customer on your site, pages visited, products viewed, or time spent on each product, page, or section can all supply a lot of information about a client. In certain cases, external data or information from third-party sources can also be of great help.

However, if you are not clever at all this, then there are ample software and service providers that will do the job for you. Qubit, Salesforce (formerly ExactTarget Personalization), and Sailthru Engine are some examples. Such expert services rely on Data sciences and Machine Learning (ML) technologies to provide all sorts of personalization eCommerce requires today.

Onsite personalization aims at avoiding the waste of resources and profit maximization. Marketing/advertising activities must bring positive results, while good personalization can bring down costs and increase conversion rates of potential customers.