10 eCommerce Personalization Trends & Tips for 2018

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OptiMonk is a powerful onsite retargeting platform that helps you increase your conversion rate and get more leads by recovering lost visitors. Today Csaba Zajdo, CEO of OptiMonk, gives 10 eCommerce tips for effective personalization for your Shopware shop.

Personalization means each of your visitor segments get different messages — and not just on your website. In-depth personalization should be carried out on your website and through your ads, emails, landing pages and offers.

There are 4 levels of personalization. Broadcasting a general offer towards all website visitors is the first level, however it’s not the best practice as it doesn’t necessarily engage your visitors.

On the second level, you divide your audience into two major segments based on their engagement: hot prospects and cold prospects. On the third level, you divide your visitors into several different groups based on relevant variables and reengage them with customized messages for each group.

And finally, you can use Dynamic Text Replacement to display a personalized message to each visitor. This is the highest level of personalization, ensuring a completely tailored user experience for each individual visitor.

At each level of personalization, you are able to create more relevant and attractive offers that speak to the specific needs of your customers. More personalization can quickly add up to more sales. So, what are the top 10 eCommerce personalization trends you should keep an eye on in 2018?

#1 - Basic personalization will become fundamental

The easiest way to personalize your site is to display your seasonal products, popular items and best-sellers on your homepage and product pages. Though we’re talking about personalization, this method actually won’t require any special personalization. You’ll show the same products for each visitor, but it makes the onsite experience better.

In the example below, you can see a “Seasonal Products” module from HealthAid. They display this module on their homepage to make navigation easier for visitors.

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#2 - Explore the power of artificial intelligence

Personalization is not about face-to-face interaction anymore; it’s now driven by technology. That’s why we can expect that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be a top trend for personalization in 2018.

AI, also known as machine learning, can help eCommerce owners track shopping habits, purchase history and market trends so they can make relevant suggestions in follow-up emails or visits. This leads to a much more personalized customer experience. And it’s all automated.

#3 - Use surveys to discover buyer preferences

You can spend hours analyzing data and sitting in meetings with your colleagues to figure out buyer preferences and the most relevant offers for your customers. But why don’t you just ask them instead?

Believe me, customers will be happy to share their preferences with you. The information you collect via surveys can be used to craft more personalized offers that are backed by real feedback.

#4 - Give customers reasons to stay logged in

Wishlists, easy reordering of previously purchased items, saved contact information, and fast checkout — all can be a good reason for customers to create an account and use it. And if they stay logged in, you will be able to learn more about them through collecting data from their onsite behavior.

#5 - Customer-centric content beats the ‘one-size-fits-all’ philosophy

61% of customers rely more on a company that is willing to create custom content. That’s why most content marketing professionals consider adding custom content to their marketing strategy, and you should too. Creating customer-centric content helps craft a unique experience for the customer. Here are a few tips to create personalized, customer-centric content.

  • You should communicate different messages to new visitors & existing customers. For example, for a new visitor, a standard message promoting your best offers or best content is good strategy. But for an existing customer, you should display individualized messages pertaining to their specific history or needs.
  • When you promote eBooks, white papers, or any other giveaways for visitors, you should pay attention to search terms so that you can offer something that is in harmony with their interests.
  • Creating offers based on the source of traffic is also a good practice. In the example below, you can see an offer that is only displayed to visitors coming from Pinterest.
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  • You can offer free shipping based on location to make your message more personalized. 
  • You shouldn’t redirect all visitors to the same landing page, especially when they are arriving from different ads. I’m pretty sure you have dozens of keywords set up in Google AdWords. You should create a specific landing page for each keyword. Not only does this help you track the effectiveness of your keyword campaigns, but it can make a visitor feel welcome right from the start.

#6 - Enhance your results with onsite personalization

Onsite retargeting is a great way to show relevant content to each visitor. For example, you can offer deals or giveaways for first-time visitors in exchange for their email addresses. And, for customer who abandon their cart, you can display a popup offering an exclusive discount or free shipping.

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When it comes to personalizing according to where a person is in the buying process, you can identify 3 stages: early-stage visitors, middle-stage visitors, and late-stage visitors.

  • For early-stage visitors, you should display relevant and useful blog posts, podcasts, etc.
  • Middle-stage visitors are already familiar with your business, so you can display educational and useful resources like webinars, events, discounts, or coupons.
  • Late-stage visitors are the most engaged prospects. For them, you can offer demos and free trials or product samples.

As one of the most effective retargeting solutions, OptiMonk helps boost your results with onsite personalization that displays custom messages to your visitors. OptiMonk can be integrated with Shopware so you can easily connect your store with this powerful onsite retargeting tool.

Try it for FREE

#7 - Use intelligent product recommendations

Displaying intelligent product recommendations based on a visitors’ browsing history or purchase history is one of the best ways to show truly personalized content. For this, you need to build a recommendation engine, which can take a lot of time and resources.

However, there are ways to introduce dynamic product recommendation — even for those who don’t have the resources to build their own engine.

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#8 - Smart content after subscribing

Email marketing remains an important part of eCommerce since it is one of the best ways to generate sales — especially if you do it right and use personalization.

There are many types of emails: welcome emails, promotional emails, cart abandonment emails, and transactional emails, such as order confirmation or shipping emails. Personalization is as simple as making use of the subject line – e.g. first name or company name – to increase your email open rate.

In the example below, you can see a cart abandonment email from Kate Spade that offers 15% off and also recommends products similar to those in the abandoned cart. 

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#9 - Personalize across all channels

Did you know that an average customer uses five devices in the purchase process?

Thus, one of your main goals should be to provide a consistent experience for your visitors across these devices. This includes a smooth experience with a similar layout and feel across desktop, phone and tablet.

You can also go a step further by personalizing across all channels: onsite, in-store, mobile apps, emails and even your call center. The more your customers feel recognized, the better.

#10 - Create dynamic, personalized, multi-channel campaigns

When you create multi-channel campaigns, you are able to show one message across many channels. Take it to the next level by adding personalization to your multi-channel campaigns: promote content that fits your visitors’ interests, buying stage and history. This helps you get the right message across to the right people.

A great way to personalize your ads is Google AdWords’ awesome tool for online stores: dynamic remarketing. With dynamic remarketing, you can include the products or services users viewed on your website within the ads they’ll encounter around the web. This allows you to show highly-customized messages and remind your visitors that you have something worthwhile for them: relevant content, a discount or free shipping – a personalized offer that will encourage them to return to your site and complete their purchase.

Summary

Personalization is a must for any website in 2018, and eCommerce personalization is a must for online stores who want to grow their sales next year. Customers will be seeking a customized shopping experience based on their interests, buying behavior and demographics.

With these 10 trends & tips, you’ll be able to perfect your eCommerce personalization in 2018. Start by spending a little more time getting know your customers, then start personalizing! Once you’ve incorporated these tips as part of your strategy, your conversions and sales increase, and your customer loyalty will too.

 

About the author

csaba-zajdo-Optimonk

Csaba Zajdo is the founder of OptiMonk and several other projects specializing in conversion. OptiMonk is an award-winning onsite retargeting platform that helps small and medium-sized businesses leverage the power of onsite retargeting. If it has to do with conversion optimization and eCommerce, Csaba is interested. He’s always looking for the best and brightest, and he’s constantly on the lookout for game-changing solutions. Csaba has been involved with web marketing, including search, lead generation, e-commerce, CRO, PPC, and analytics, for over 10 years.