Web personalization is one way to increase conversions, by designing the most suitable path for every traffic segment from your e-commerce website. As we have said before, using web personalization in e-commerce is a critical component for your business nowadays. In order to personalize, there are several basic things you need to know. In this article, you will find information on how to use web personalization methods to stand out and differentiate from competitors.
Unless you know your audience, it’s almost impossible to personalize the website because you have no idea to what customers react and what is the incentive that makes them buy and promote the online shop to others. Focusing on customers has great benefits, and it’s a huge opportunity to create a bond with them, a connection that defines the brand.
Customer behaviour can be investigated using two types of data: statics from a web analytics site and qualitative information straight from customers. Statistics give a hint on the traffic segments that convert more and are very useful when it comes to identifying the problems on the main pages of the website. Thus, you can discover new opportunities to develop business, possible future customers, potential traffic segments, etc.
Once the main segments have been identified, use that information to personalize every element on-site. Segment traffic carefully, according to what criteria suit your business best. For example, weather segmentation goes perfectly for fashion e-shops or beauty&cosmetics online stores. Display a pop-up saying “It’s sunny outside! Protect your skin with our 30 SPF body cream” can do wonders for conversions.
Here’s an example of weather segmentation from the fashion online shop Topshop:
Localization segmentation is another helpful method for online personalization. Impress customers with free delivery in the city they come from or redirect them to a translated version of your website. Peter Farago, CEO at easyling.com, states that 52.4% of buyers preferred to buy in their language. Furthermore, people with no or low English skills were six times more likely not to buy from Anglophone sites than those who were proficient in English, based on a research by Common Sense Advisory.
These little things make customers come back on your website and use it again and again. Use the word “Free” as much as you can, because who doesn’t love to get free stuff?
Some other segmentation criteria are:
- behaviour segmentation (pages seen, time on the current session, new vs. returning visitors, number of days since last/first visit);
- purchase history segmentation;
- keywords segmentation;
- source (paid, organic, direct);
- device segmentation;
- operating system segmentation;
Companies say they personalize the customer experience using on-site behaviour, user preferences, browser history, purchase history and, last but not least, personal data. 6% of them use “social graph” to personalize content, and 42% say they can personalize using anonymous data. The same research concludes that:
- 88% say social graph personalization is highly effective;
- 77% say personalization based on purchase history has great impact;
- only 27% test to see how different versions perform;
A very important part of this research is the tips&tricks on how to create the perfect personalization in 4 easy steps: consent, control, trust&context and incentives. Be honest and give full disclosure about the collected data. Also, let users opt out when they want and do not forget that trust is essential when building connections with consumers. Using credibility indicators such as testimonials, reviews, easily available customer support and return policy, will help you increase trust in your brand.
Read more about how credibility indicators help marketers and entrepreneurs to increase conversions here.
It’s important to provide real benefits customers have by using your website. Emphasize those incentives and people will be more willing to leave their data or to complete a survey. Analyzing a recent study by Retention Science, marketingproofs.com says that the incentives that perform the best are:
- Percentage-off discounts are the most effective incentive for driving sales;
- Free or discounted shipping ranks second, followed by dollar-off discounts and dynamic discounts that are tailored to the specific customer;
The same research reveals which is the most popular form of website personalization for large and small companies in the United States (the study was conducted in July 2014, on 139 marketers with online retailers in the United States): product recommendations.
According to some studies, 61% of online marketers understand the power of personalization in e-commerce, but about 51% of them are not sure how to implement it. So, more than half of marketers realize they could have more buying customers by improving the e-shop, but that’s not enough to encourage them to test and personalize. It’s interesting to see that even though some marketers are not sure what to do when it comes to web personalization, 59% of them are experiencing good ROI after personalizing their online store.
In another study, we can see that 52% of the marketers surveyed by Econsultancy and Adobe agree that “The Ability to personalize web content is fundamental to their online strategy” and 27% disagree. In the actual context and competitive market, it’s vital to provide targeted content to make customer experience more and more relevant and positive.
Along with email, mobile, automation and multichannel, personalization is one of the 2014 e-commerce trends, according to vibetrace.com. So, adapt to the e-commerce marketing trends and allocate a part of the marketing budget to web personalization. Surprisingly, even though marketers have budgets larger than 1 milion dollars, they do not apply web personalization. The Retention Science infographic, reveals the sad fact that 79% of marketers with larger budgets do not personalize offers and incentives on their website in any way.
In conclusion, web personalization might be the answer when it comes to solving conversion problems on your e-commerce website. Even though it is an important technique to engage customers, it cannot work by itself: web personalization is directly linked to customer’s needs and preferences (data from analytics and segmented surveys) and A/B Testing.