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How can e-tailers take advantage of personalisation?

Rose Labdon - Lucky Cart

By Rose Labdon
On 8 June 2017

Personalisation is perhaps one of the fastest growing trends in the retail and eCommerce sectors. This comes as no surprise when, according to McKinsey, personalisation can reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50%, lift revenues by 5 to 15%, and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by 10 to 30%.

Personalisation plays an essential role in every stage of the conversion funnel on your eCommerce website. So how can you take advantage of it?

Personalisation in the acquisition stage

Personalised offers

Recognising search terms before a user lands on your website allows you to offer highly specific content. For example, if a customer arrives on a fashion e-tailer’s website after using the search terms ‘summer beachwear’, the e-tailer can utilise keyword data by pushing added-value content such as an eBook on the latest trends in summer outfits.

Personalisation in the activation stage

Location identification

Of course, identifying a user’s physical location from their IP address enables you to offer your website in the relevant language and currency. An example of more sophisticated personalisation based on location identification, however, is by dynamically displaying products based on the weather, as Very demonstrates here:

 

Personalised Homepage - Very.co.uk

Personalised Homepage - Very.co.uk

 

Navigational personalisation

This method of personalisation simplifies and tailors the customer’s navigation path on your website. The result? Customers have access to personalised menus featuring product recommendations, wish lists, shopping lists, exclusive offers and much more without having to sign in, thanks to cookies. Amazon demonstrates this with ease here:

 

Navigational personalisation - Amazon

 

Personalised content

This is perhaps the most well-known form of personalisation and includes welcome messages, previous purchase history, basket history, saved items and of course, recommended products. Here’s just one example of personalised content on the Amazon homepage, which is said to generate an additional 10% to 30% in revenue for the eCommerce giant.

 

Product recommendations - Amazon

 

ASOS is hot on Amazon’s heels, offering a highly tailored shopping experience with the use of product recommendation pop-ins:

Product recommendation popin Asos

Personal stylist

Zalando offered an innovative personal stylist service back in 2015, in which customers filled in a questionnaire based on their preferred stylist offered by Zalando. The chosen stylist then contacted the customer by telephone to discuss outfits based on their profile and existing shopping data.

 

zalando-personal-stylist-2015

 

Personalisation in the desire stage

Personalised promotions

One of the latest innovations in personalisation is the use of personalised promotions in real time. Personalising your promotions allows you to target customers representing the biggest commercial potential. You can tailor your promotions based on a user’s character, product preferences and buying habits. Every element of a promotion can be personalised, from the message and product on offer, to the conditions and generosity.

 

personalised-promotion-Rose

 

Retargeting

Retargeted ads allow you to personalise the customer experience even when the customer has left your website:

 

Retargeting ads - made.com

 

Personalised reminder emails

Leveraging a user’s browsing history with personal reminder emails is an effective way to increase conversions and optimise the customer experience. Debenhams masters this method of personalisation:

 

Personalised email reminders - Debenhams

 

Incentive emails

Cart abandonment is one of eCommerce’s biggest problems. According to eMarketer, the digital shopping cart abandonment rate in Europe across Q1 2016 was an astonishing 71.5%. One way to avoid this issue is to send out incentive emails, as Boohoo demonstrates here:

 

Incentive email - Boohoo

Personalised emails such as this are based on user segmentation. Benefits include high open rates and engagement, and enable you to close the loop.

 

Personalisation in the post-purchase stage

Retention emails

The New York-based mattress company Casper, voted 2nd most innovative retailer in the world after Amazon, excels in retention marketing. With simple and intelligent copy, and an eye-catching image, Casper tempts customers to accompany the mattress with the whole set.

 

Retention email - Casper

 

As you can see from these examples, personalisation and data go hand in hand. Data gives you the tools to target the right customer, at the right time, on the right device. Experian observes that 87% of customers find it acceptable for brands and retailers to use their data as long as it is relevant to them or it’s from companies they have recently purchased from. And so, as methods of personalisation are becoming increasingly sophisticated e-tailers must always be transparent with customers about ways in which data is being used.

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