One of the most important steps you can take to increase your conversion rates and grow your e-commerce business is to incorporate personalization on your website. Personalization is important because it provides a better online shopping experience for your customers, and it has countless benefits that will help your business thrive.

Consumers expect relevant product recommendations and other e-commerce personalization when they visit an e-commerce website. In fact, research shows that roughly 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from businesses that offer a personalized shopping experience.

Considering all of the ways that personalization can help your business, it is well worth it for you to start using this tool for your e-commerce website. 

Here are nine useful tips that will help you create an effective personalization setup for your e-commerce store:

1. Use personalized homepages

First impressions matter! Your homepage is the very first thing that consumers will see when they visit your website. Why not make a strong first impression by showing your website visitors that you value their time and their interests by showing them relevant products, offers, and product categories.

When people visit a traditional brick-and-mortar store, they do not have to spend hours wandering around the store to try and find the products they need (and they likely would not even stick around the store long enough to do so!). There are helpful employees who can suggest products and point them in the right direction so that they can find what they are looking for as quickly as possible.

You should be able to do the same thing for your e-commerce website. From the moment a consumer visits your website, they should see a layout with helpful and relevant recommendations tailored to their needs. This way, instead of clicking through multiple pages or, even worse, seeing your homepage and thinking that you do not have the products they need, consumers can find what they are looking for right away.

Imagine you have a consumer who is a huge soccer fan. If the homepage for your sports apparel store only has pictures of basketball players, recommendations for basketball merch, and calls-to-action tailored to basketball fans, this shopper will probably head to a different website that seems more “soccer-fan friendly.”. However, if you used available data to determine that this consumer was a soccer fan, you could have your homepage tailored to his specific interests, encouraging him to continue shopping on your website instead of abandoning it for another e-commerce site..

You have data from cookies and other resources at your fingertips. Use this information to create personalized homepages for your website visitors.

2. Send out surveys

A great way to show customers that you value their opinions and want to offer them a better, more personalized shopping experience is to gather information from them directly. This lets customers know that their preferences and shopping experiences matter to your business, and it gives you the chance to gain information that you can use to reach these shoppers in the future.

Take this survey request that MeUndies emailed to its previous customers for example:

Email surveys like this, as well as other forms of surveys, are not only an efficient way to connect with customers, but also a way to gain valuable feedback and information you can use to improve the way you use personalization with your e-commerce website.

You can take personalization a step further when you use surveys by offering a personalized discount in exchange for the consumers’ time and energy.

Does a customer typically buy a specific brand of pet food? Try offering them 10% off of their next bag if they complete a survey for you. This personalized offer will increase the likelihood that the customer will take the survey, and it will give you useful data to help market to them in the future.

3. Show recently viewed products

Sometimes when consumers visit your website, they will click on different products and leave your site without actually adding these items to their cart or making a purchase. A great way to help consumers take that last step and actually buy a product is to remind them of the items they were interested in the last time they visited your website.

When customers see that black dress that caught their eye or the pair of boots that they talked themselves out of buying the last time they were on your e-commerce site, they will be tempted to click on this product again, which will make them more likely to buy it this time around.

Using cookies and other existing data, set up a section of your website to show your shoppers items that they have looked at recently and you will notice an increase in sales.

4. Display product recommendations

The most effective and efficient way to use personalization on your ecommerce website is to show product recommendations:

  • Is someone looking at a cute winter scarf for sale on your website? Recommend a nice pair of mittens or a cozy hat to match. 
  • Did someone recently buy a phone from your website? They would probably appreciate recommendations for a new phone case.
  • Has someone searched for potting soil on your website’s search engine? Give them some popular soil options that will suit their needs.

Product recommendations help customers find products that they want or need with ease and they help shoppers see items that they may not have otherwise looked for on your site, which gives you the opportunity to satisfy your customers and make more sales.

Even if you do not have a lot of data from a shopper to create the most relevant product recommendations, you can always recommend they look at the products that are most popular. 

BreakingT, a company that sells t-shirts and other apparel reflecting current sports moments, uses this strategy to help drum up business:

Chances are if a lot of other online shoppers chose to buy these items, they will be relevant and of interest to your new shoppers, too.

Another way to help increase conversions (and your bottom line) is to show customers product recommendations with eye-grabbing copy like “More products you might like.”

Here you can recommend products that are similar to the ones that a shopper is currently looking at or products similar to the ones they have added to their cart.

Doing this puts new products in front of customers and encourages those who might have only been interested in buying one item to consider buying something else as well.

Take a look at BreakingT again, for example: 

Whenever customers select a t-shirt, hoodie, face mask, or any other product from their website, they are able to see similar products that will likely draw their interest. 

Using this e-commerce personalization tool will draw your consumers’ eyes and persuade them to look at (and potentially buy) more products than they were initially planning to browse, which will translate into more sales.

5. Keep location in mind

An easy step you can take to start incorporating personalization into your e-commerce store is to make personalized product pages that keep shoppers’ locations in mind.

If you own an online shoe store in the UK, your US shoppers will probably be annoyed if they have to convert all of your shoe sizes and the currency on their own. Simply using geo-targeting and location data can help you provide the right information to your shoppers so that their shopping experience is smoother.

You can also consider location when making product recommendations. If someone lives in Mississippi, they probably are not looking for a thick parka to wear in the winter. If someone lives in Michigan, they are probably not interested in a t-shirt featuring the Texas flag. Make sure that you are using location to help show products that are most likely to be relevant to each of your website visitors.

Use location data to make the shopping experience as seamless and simple as possible for your online shoppers.

6. Use personalized popups and campaigns

Imagine seeing someone that you have talked to several times before at a dinner party and walking over to say hello only for them to say, “Nice to meet you!” That would probably sting a bit, right?

Well that’s exactly what you do to your loyal, repeat customers and your existing email subscribers when you greet them with welcome popups, campaigns encouraging them to sign up for your email newsletter, and all of the other information you typically show to first time website visitors.

The popups and campaigns that repeat customers or website visitors receive should not look the same as the ones you use for your brand new customers. Try using a popup that says “Welcome back!” or personalized campaigns that show you recognize and appreciate their previous business instead.

7. Send personalized emails

You can make sure your email subscribers know that they are more than just a number to your business by sending personalized emails. When people know that they are valued and that you care about their specific needs and interests, they will be more likely to do business with you in the future.

There are several ways for you to take your email marketing to the next level with email personalization:

  • Use personalized email subject lines: According to Campaign Monitor, emails with personalized email subject lines rather than generic subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.
  • Send “finish your purchase” emails: Sometimes people get busy and forget to complete a purchase. This type of personalized email is a friendly reminder that they did not finish shopping. Use catchy subject lines like “forgot something?”
  • Send birthday or anniversary emails:If it is a subscriber’s birthday, wish them a happy birthday! If one of your subscribers has been on your email newsletter list for a year, send them a discount and say happy anniversary!  This simple recognition will go a long way.

  • Use your email subscribers’ names!: Nothing adds a personal touch like mentioning your subscribers’ names. Try including names in your email’s subject line and/or body to help make your emails more personable and personalized.

8. Consider your traffic sources

If a consumer is browsing your website after swiping up on your Instagram stories, they are probably interested in different products or services and at a different stage in the purchasing process than someone who found your website from listening to a podcast or someone who searched for one of your keywords online.

Keep track of where your traffic is coming from and use that information to guide your e-commerce website personalization.

Someone who clicked through to your website after looking at an ad featuring a large fish tank will probably be more interested in shopping on your website if your online pet store’s homepage has fish-related products and fish food rather than cat-related information or items for dog grooming.

9. Use personalization tools

While all of the tips above might seem helpful, they are easier said than done. Typing personalized emails, keeping track of important data for product recommendations, and providing personalized homepages for your website visitors can be a lot to manage. This is where personalization tools can help.
Tools like Weave by ConvertCart will help you tailor personalized online shopping experiences to each and every one of your website visitors and email subscribers. This tool is easy to use, and it allows you to gather key location and behavioral data and use that information to help you put your customers first. When you use personalization tools like Weave, you can guarantee that you are able to provide top notch product recommendations, campaigns, and other e-commerce personalization features to your website visitors so that they will eventually turn into lifelong customers.

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