When it comes to advertising online, personalization and one-to-one marketing reign supreme. Consumers, especially millennials, are tired of intrusive, irrelevant ads. Personalized content lets your customers feel like they’ve discovered you and takes pushy sales tactics out of the equation. Customizing the way customers interact with your brand gives customers what they want to see.
And what do consumers want to see? Across the board, people have reported that they want content that is helpful and useful to their wants and needs. In a world where 40% of laptop users in the US employ ad blocking software, giving them what they want is necessary to get your store seen.
One-to-one marketing and personalization can seem like a daunting task, but it’s not! You’ll have to do some research and legwork up front, but most personalization tactics can be automated. Once you know how you’re going to customize your shopping experience and you’ve done the research, it’s just a matter of finding an app to carry out the function or having a custom app made.
Not sure how to use personalization to get your business in front of customers? We’re going to go over some of the most popular ways to do it.
Ways to Personalize the Shopping Experience
Personalization can look a few different ways but there are two very popular, effective tactics you can use to tailor your customer’s experience:
Customized communications. When you send marketing emails or texts, be sure to personalize them. Cookie-cutter emails kill your one-to-one marketing efforts and do nothing to help build and strengthen your relationship with your customers. Not sure what kind of communications you should be sending? Here are four types of emails you need to use in your business, especially if you're looking to maximize your personalization efforts:
- Cart abandonment emails. When a customer shops with you but doesn’t complete the transaction, cart abandonment emails are a great way to encourage them to come back and finish what they started. Try including a discount code or free shipping offer in these emails and see if your conversions are higher!
- Follow-ups. Sending a quick message after a customer has ordered (and preferably after they’ve received your product) gives you a chance to thank them once again and ask for a review.
- Recommendations. If you’re a Netflix subscriber, you’ve probably gotten a few emails from them recommending TV shows or movies based on what you’ve previously watched. Emails like this are excellent ways to keep your business in the minds of your customers and show them things tailored to their tastes.
- Win-Back emails. Have a customer you haven’t heard from in a while? A short “we miss you” or “what you’re missing” email, sometimes called a “win-back email”, can be a very effective way to remind them you’re still here for them.
- Recommendations based on browsing & shopping habits. Whether you share recommendations via email, your product detail pages (PDP), or on the shopping cart page, they help customers discover new things they might like. In addition, providing recommendations will give you a chance to upsell. Use consumer reviews in your recommendations to tie in some social proof and take things to the next level.
How to Decide Which Personalization Tactic is Right for your Store
To help you decide which method is right for you, we put together a few questions you can ask yourself:
Grab a pen and paper (no, really) and answer these questions:
- Do you have a list of customer email addresses?
- Yes: Try cart abandonment emails, follow-up messages, and/or win-back emails.
- No: Use these communications with the emails that you do have and work on collecting more email addresses on your site.
- Are you interested in upselling?
- Yes: Put recommendations on your product pages or shopping cart page and try personalized emails à la Netflix.
- No: Get interested in upselling!
- Are your customers dropping off right before finishing their transaction?
- Yes: Start sending cart abandonment emails and check out our post on fixing holes in your conversion funnel.
- No: Great! Be sure to send follow-up emails to your customers.
With all of this in mind, it’s important not to be off putting with your personalization efforts. You can get a lot of information on your ideal customers but if you use it to get too personal, you’ll end up turning your buyers off in a big way.