Satisfying customer needs is the first thing we learn about marketing. In the end, all of a company’s efforts are orientated on accomplishing this goal while making a profit. If we’re looking at the major ecommerce market trends without even trying to sell something online, we will observe the increased difficulty in achieving this goal.
E-commerce managers and marketers have to deal with savvy consumers who are doing research like scientists. They’re analyzing all of the alternatives in order to find what it’s best for them. Expectations increase in the same time with the technological progress…and the biggest mistake that e-commerce marketers can do is looking in their own yard instead of looking at their customers’ needs.
The basic personalization actions like pre-filled lead capture forms or name/ account personalization is clearly perceived like something ordinary for experienced online shoppers. The cause of this behavior is influenced by the rising competition in ecommerce. Due to the increasingly number of consumers connected to the internet and owners of credit cards, the players in online selling and retailing have made huge efforts to adapt to these changes and make their websites perform better and better. Even companies that partially use the internet to run marketing activities use personalization as a manner to get closer to their customers. Remember the Coca-Cola campaign?
Technology didn’t encourage only the customers to change their shopping behavior and to use the internet to shop, to make reservations or get information. Web personalization can be done by any marketer with the help of an online tool. Such a tool is Omniconvert, which provides the possibility to apply web personalization and real time marketing tactics on any type of websites.
The most important thing when using a tool in order to personalize customers experience on site is having a strategy and implementing it properly. Without knowing what’s the purpose of applying different marketing or conversion optimization tactics, the efforts will have been run in vain.
According to eMarketer.com, real time marketing tactics are defined by marketers worldwide as:
a.Personalized content in response to customer interactions
b.Responding to the customers in the context of their web interaction
c.Responding to trends and events in social media
d.Live website chat
f.Engaging with customers on social media with content, offers etc
g.Mobile apps with geofencing
From this study’s results, the real time marketing tactics that interest us the most are the ones linked to on-site personalization. So, we will let aside social media, live website chat, mobile and email, for some other time to analyze.
Taking the decision to differentiate from the “crowd” is certainly the right one, but it requires sustained efforts in order to achieve great results. The main things you need to do in order to personalize your customers experience on-site are:
- Traffic segmentation based on behavior
- Showing customers the right thing at the right time using data driven insights
- Using behavioral patterns acquired trough observation and data analysis
- Learning and being patient: this is a complex process that requires time, knowledge and flexibility to adapt to any change
The orchestration of web personalization
The ultimate purpose of web personalization and all of the real time marketing tactics is to transform a website in an interactive medium meant to facilitate the communication between customers and companies. In addition, the first step in addressing differently to customers is to separate them into groups/cohorts.
Traffic segmentation can go from the very simple differentiation between new visitors and returning visitors to more advanced criteria like:
- Days from last visit
- Days form last transaction
- Customer Lifetime Value
- Average order value (AOV)
- Products category or sub-category
- Weather conditions – snowing/ raining/ temperature
- Coming from a specific traffic sourse
An advanced segmentation based on previous actions taken by visitors or customers on a website is the key in succeeding with web personalization. You can collect data about your customers with every order they place on your website. By acting in this manner, you will anticipate their behavior and create a very personal offer for them.
- Objectives and methodology
If it would be to look at web personalization from a manager’s point of view, one may postulate that this is just a complicated tactic that requires investments and does not bring results in time. Before going further with any other statement, I think it’s useful to talk a bit about goals.
What type of goals should be considered in the strategic planning? Chris Goward, from Wider Funnel, has an effective approach on this process that I strongly recommend you to take into account:
Web personalization is a tactic that helps marketers to apply the conversion rate optimization strategy. A strategy only shows how things should be done, while a tactic is the exact action that needs to be done to implement a strategy.
Being aware of these basic principles will certainly prevent headaches, disappointment and negative results in terms of profit.
Here is a scheme that will help you to have a clear perspective over web personalization. Based on the Lifetime Value and the number of days from the last transaction, we’ve created a sample of visitors to be monitored and analyzed. Lifetime Value is a vital key performance indicator that we care about due to the fact that it reveals the earnings generated from a customer in his entire lifetime.
This scenario reveals 4 segments that can be approached with real-time tactics:
- New visitors
You don’t know a thing about a new visitor that arrives on your website. On a first visit, a visitor may leave in just a few seconds a website without regrets. First impression matters and that’s not a cliché. In this phase, it would be great to capture an email address in order to make sure that you can benefit from a second visit. Moreover, the email address is the only element that can be used in tracking a visitor who doesn’t complete the order from his first visit…and that does not happen so frequently.
Getting new visitors to subscribe to a newsletter from their first visit is a certain way to drive them back to your website and start to apply web personalization tactics. Here are a few examples of welcoming new visitors with a pop-up, on-load:
- Lifetime Value < 200$
Reactivating customers that haven’t visited the website for a long period of time should be done through email. The email’s subject line and content should be attractive, catchy and relevant. A surprise, a great deal or a personalized offer should drive the customer back to a landing page properly built to persuade.
- Lifetime Value: 300-500$
Customers who have bought recently items form an e-commerce website should be approached differently from other types of visitors/customers. In this phase you can choose to offer a discount at exit, as a surprise. This is an example from ShoeMe:
- Lifetime Value >500$
These loyal customers deserve to be treated well because they’re the ones who sustain your business. The principle under promise over deliver works for them too so you can choose to offer free gifts on the cart page.
How to use real-time marketing tactics with Omniconvert
Our tool allows triggering real-time interactions in an automated manner, without any programming efforts. If you want to apply all of the above tactics, use Omniconvert. You can test our tool for FREE, for a 30 days trial period.
This is a step by step guide to applying web personalization tactics with Omniconvert
1.Upload your artwork (we name it creative)
Create your own artworks according to your goals. If you want to welcome new visitors think about what you want to accomplish: getting their email or increasing trust.
This is an example of a welcome message to increase trust, by using a brand ambassador to communicate with the audience: free returns, guarantee and a social proof.
2.Create a new experiment: Interactions
3. Chose how to display the art-work( as a pop-up, ribbon, interstitial etc)
4. Set up experiment
- Include/ Exclude pages
Depending on your goals, you will add here the Homepage URL for welcome pop-ups or the Cart Page URL for an exit offer. Exclude the pages that you don’t want to use in the experiment( Thank you page, Contact us etc.)
- Select the creative
- Choose target & frequency
You can create segments in the application based on criteria like behavior, device, source and many others. An advanced segmentation helps you to personalize the customers’ experience according to their previous actions taken on your website.
- Allocate traffic & choose goals
There is no need to include all of the website’s traffic in an experiment. You can test different types of offers or incentives to see which marketing stimuli convince your customers to buy.
- Choose the period and start experiment
Finally, I would like to thank you for reading this and caring about your business. Please write in the comments any suggestion for future articles on our blog. Any topic suggestion or feedback is more than welcome.