How Online Retailers Can Improve Their Personalization to Engage Customers
4/11/2017 10:21 AM Posted in News By Alex Hoff
Online merchants are constantly searching for new ways in which to increase their conversions, improve customer loyalty, and drive more sales and revenue for their eCommerce store. The problem is that this is becoming more difficult as digital technology improves and customer expectations reach an all-time high. Providing an exceptional experience for your customers is no longer going above and beyond—it’s necessary in order to compete in eCommerce.
One of the key ways in which you can improve customer engagement (and your subsequent sales) is by making their experience more personal. In fact, personalization is considered a must-have strategy for any marketer as we head into 2017, but many are still failing to do it properly. According to a recent study, 85 percent of marketers are using personalization. However, over half of them (55 percent) gave themselves a grade of “C” or lower.
If you resonate with those who gave themselves a “C” or lower, then don’t worry. There are a few key strategies that you can start using to customize your shopper’s experience and achieve results:
Turn Your Customer Insights Into Action
Before you begin to personalize the experience for your customers, you need to know as much about them as possible. With the help of customer data and analysis tools, you can use this insight to tailor your customer’s experience and increase your sales. Here are a few ways in which you can put your customer data to good use:
Use the Power of Segmentation
By obtaining customer data, you can segment your customers and deliver more relevant and individualized ads. Some of the different types of segmentation include behavioral, demographic, and social data segmentation. Each can prove to be extremely value when it comes to customizing your consumer’s shopping experience.
Improve Your eCommerce Site and Products
Gathering customer data can also help you identify serious flaws in your eCommerce site that are bringing your sales down. For example, if you notice on Google Analytics that your pages have a high bounce rate and low average time on site, you know that something isn’t resonating with your visitors. Maybe you have too much duplicate content that is causing visitors to leave your site. With this data, you can take action by installing an extension that takes care of duplicate content and improves your SEO.
Email Marketing Campaign
Email campaigns are one of the most effective marketing channels for eCommerce store owners and a great way to personalize your customer’s experience. With customer insight, you can improve your email’s open rates with personalized headlines and content. If you have a customer abandon their shopping cart, you can use < a href="https://xtensiongalaxy.com/follow-up-email.html" target="_blank">a follow up email extension that will send an email to your customers to help lead them back to complete the sale.
Improve Your Multi-Channel Marketing
Delivering personalized content across multiple channels is an effective way to engage customers and generate more leads. To do this, your eCommerce store needs a strong multi-channel campaign that targets customers at right stage in the buying process. Here’s what you need to make it successful:
Make it Easy to Communicate Across Channels
According to findings in The Realities of Online Personalization, 40 percent of consumers buy more from retailers who personalize a customer’s shopping experience across channels. This is because a customer may view a product on one channel, but end up buying it on another. By making it easy for customers to travel across your channels, you can significantly increase the chances of finalizing the sale.
Recover Lost Sales With Retargeting
Your data shows that the customer viewed a specific item, but they left the page before they could buy. This may be frustrating, but you can possibly recover that lost sale by using multi-channel retargeting. You can do this by using an automated system that makes it easy to engage with customers and find out why they abandoned the sale. In addition, retargeting ads across.
Using an automated system, you can engage with your customers and find out why they abandoned the sale at a specific point and convince them to make the purchase. Retargeting ads are also effective at bringing back lost customers. You can display ads to prospects on their social media pages to keep your product on their mind.
Personalize Your Web Content
It may seem like addressing as large of an audience as possible would be better for capturing more sales, but this is not the case. Targeting a specific audience with your web content is much more effective at increasing your conversions because you are targeting your ideal customers. This type of content will be good enough to persuade visitors to share it across other channels.
Give Your Customers More Control
Putting customers in control of their level of personalization can also pay off for online retailers. Known as permission-based marketing, online marketers can seek permission from consumers before sending personalized messages to them. By letting customers control how personalized their experience is, you can avoid scaring them off by accidentally overstepping your boundaries.
Accessing User Data
If you think that your customers won’t willingly hand over their personal information, you might be surprised. A study by Digital Trends found that 73 percent of consumers prefer to do business with brands that use personal information to enhance their shopping experiences.
When users offer up their data willingly, it is known as explicit data. Online marketers can obtain this data from surveys or questionnaires. Implicit data, on the other hand, is data that is not freely given and can include data based on a customer’s actions on a website or their search queries. Both are valuable and can be used to offer a customer personalized shopping recommendations.
Use Loyalty Programs to Gather More Data
Loyalty programs are a great way for eCommerce merchants to reward their loyal customers and enhance their personalized shopping experience. With a loyalty program, you can observe your customer’s purchasing habits and send them offers based on their personal tastes. Not only is the customer happy with a promotion that is relevant to them, but you also increase your chances of making a sale.
If you want to start converting visitors into profitable and loyal customers, the Sweet Tooth extension for Magento is highly recommended. This extension allows your customers to earn rewards through referrals, reviewing and rating products, like/sharing your products on social media, and much more.
Offer Benefits in Exchange For Information
When consumers sign up for your newsletter or register with your site, they are doing so because they hope that you will provide them with something of value. No one wants to give out their information and take a risk for nothing. By offering them incentives such as exclusive deals, you can persuade customers to share their information and gain their trust.
Start a Conversation
The explosive growth of social media over the past few years has opened many doors for personal marketing. In addition to being able to see what our target audience likes and shares, we can take personalization to the next level by engaging with them in unique ways.
However, social media isn’t the only place where you can start a conversation with customers. Here are a few suggestions for communicating one-on-one with your customers:
Give Them the Power to Rate and Review
Allowing customers to rate and review your products is a must for any eCommerce merchant. These reviews are incredibly persuasive and can convince others to purchase from you—even if some are negative! Reviews get a conversation going and help build trust between the customer and your brand.
Even if you don’t allow others to review and rate your products (and you really should), they can still rate your business on Facebook or other websites. If you receive a bad review, responding directly to the customer in the proper way can not only win that customer back, but also convince others to give your business a try.
Use Facebook Messenger For Customer Service
Facebook Messenger is beginning to revolutionize customer service for online retailers and help resolve customer issues in an effective way. Rather than anger consumers further by making them jump through hoops with your customer service on the phone, you can now start a conversation with them exactly how they want to be reached.
When a business does it right, providing customers with answers on Facebook Messenger is quick and easy. By chatting with them through social media, it enhances the feeling of familiarity and makes the interaction more positive for both parties. Simply put, Facebook Messenger is an excellent way to build relationships with your customers and provides online merchants with a better method of communication.
Retweet Your Fans
If you have a large following on Twitter, you may get the occasional tweet about how much a fan loves your product or service. When this happens, retweet it! Retweeting your fan’s message not only makes you look good, but more importantly, it makes that follower know that they are being heard. Too often, followers on social media feel as though they are just another sale to businesses.
By showing them that you read their tweet, you are letting them know (and others as well) that the conversation goes both ways. This also encourages other followers to tweet messages about your businesses and will significantly boost traffic to your site.
Keep Convenience in Mind
Personalization and convenience go hand-in-hand. The reason why customers are so willing to give up their data to online retailers is because they want convenience in exchange. If making things easier on your customers is at the forefront of your mind, your efforts at creating a personalized experience for them are less likely to backfire.
Personalize Mobile Devices
Mobile app personalization, or the process of tailoring a customer’s app experience based on their data, is another excellent way to enhance your customer’s convenience. By personalizing your app for each individual, you can send them push notifications for new releases or promotions that are based on their specific interests.
Why bother personalizing your online store’s app? According to Statista, there are over 4 million apps combined in the Android and Apple App Store. By using personalization, you can make your own app beat out the competition and increase your customer engagement and retention.
Offer Form Field Automation
When your customer is purchasing a product online and begins the checkout process, they can sometimes be deterred by the amount of information they have to fill out. To make the process convenient for them, you can take customer data that you have obtained and automatically fill out some of the information for them.
For example, automatically detecting their location can allow users to sidestep filling out their city, state, and zip code. Additionally, you probably know their name and email address, so you can autofill this information as well. Combining shipping and billing address information can also streamline the process.
This leaves everything but the payment information and personal details to fill out. Most users will not have a problem with this degree of personalization because it saves them the trouble of filling out tedious forms just to make a purchase.
Online shoppers are constantly being bombarded with ads and many have grown numb to these overused, generic marketing tactics. In order to stand out from the crowd, online merchants should use personalized marketing strategies that enhance the customer’s experience and boost their engagement across different channels. By doing so, online marketers can expect to see a significant increase in traffic and sales.