Hey there fellow ecommerce store owners and marketers. If you're like me, you know driving conversions is the lifeblood of any successful online business. But it can sometimes feel like you've tried everything to boost those conversion rates, and you're just not seeing the needle move like you want it to.
Well, I've got some good news for you. There's a "secret weapon" that some of the savviest ecommerce brands are using to ignite their conversion rates, yet it remains unknown to many. And today, I'm going to let you in on it.
This secret weapon is...drum roll please...website personalization.
Now I know some of you just groaned audibly. Perhaps you're picturing annoying pop-ups asking for your name and email. Or worse, those creepy ads that seem to follow you around the web after you search for something one time.
But today's website personalization is far more sophisticated than that. And when done right, it could be the key to unlocking exponential growth for your ecommerce business.
So in this post, we'll cover everything you need to know to leverage website personalization and join the conversion rate revolution. Here's what we'll talk about:
- What website personalization is (and isn't)
- The benefits of website personalization
- Types of website personalization
- How to get started with personalization
- Personalization best practices
Let's dig in!
What Website Personalization Is (and Isn't)
To start, it helps to clearly define what today's website personalization is all about.
Website personalization refers to dynamically changing a website's content and/or layout to match the specific interests, preferences, and behaviors of each individual visitor. The goal is to create a more relevant, engaging experience for every customer.
For example, an outdoor retailer could display different products on their homepage depending on a visitor's past browsing history and purchase behavior. Someone who bought hiking boots recently might see a banner for new arrivals in trekking poles.
Meanwhile, website visitors who are first-timers might get introductory product recommendations based on their interests and demographic data. The experience caters to where they are in their customer journey.
Some key clarifications on what website personalization is NOT:
- It's not just about slapping someone's name in a generic email. True personalization uses data to make the experience meaningful.
- It's not intrusive and disruptive overlays. Today's personalization blends seamlessly into the experience when done right.
- It's not discriminatory. Ethical personalization simply helps you connect visitors with the most relevant products and content through data.
- It's not manual. Modern solutions rely on automation and algorithms, not human effort, to personalize at scale.
Simply put, website personalization leverages data to tailor content and ecommerce experiences to the individual. And as you'll see next, the benefits of taking this tailored approach can be immense.
The Benefits of Website Personalization
So why should you care about joining the website personalization revolution for your ecommerce business? Well, consider these stats:
- Personalized product recommendations can deliver up to 15% higher conversion rates.
- 71% of consumers say they want personalized interactions with brands.
- Personalization can lead to a 5-15% increase in revenue.
And here are some of the specific ways properly implemented personalization can pay off:
Drive More Repeat Purchases
Winning new customers takes work. Personalization makes it easier to get existing ones to come back and buy again. Features like customized product recommendations based on purchase history make it effortless for loyal shoppers to find their next purchase.
Personalization gives you endless opportunities to upsell and cross-sell once you know more about each customer. You can dynamically recommend higher priced items, additional products that round out their purchase, and smart bundles tailored to their needs. This naturally leads to bigger order values.
Stand Out with Relevance
In a sea of ecommerce sameness, personalization helps your brand stand out. By serving up tailored recommendations and messaging, you demonstrate that you truly understand each shopper. This builds loyalty and authority.
Reduce Bounce Rates
Generic homepages and product listings often lead to bounces. But personalization techniques like behavior-based content panels keep visitors engaged. When you echo their taste and priorities back through curation, they stick around.
Boost Conversions Earlier
New visitors need help and guidance. Personalized site experiences fast-track new shoppers down the conversion funnel by quickly showing them relevant products, offers, and layouts based on their needs from the start.
As you can see, the business case for personalization is pretty hard to argue with. Let's look next at the different forms it can take.
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Types of Website Personalization
Alright, hopefully I've gotten you fired up about the potential of personalization. Now let's explore some of the main ways ecommerce brands are personalizing their site experiences today.
Here are the most impactful website personalization approaches:
Personalized Product Recommendations
This is arguably the most powerful application of personalization for ecommerce. Product recommendations use purchase history, browsing behavior, and machine learning to showcase the most relevant products to each individual shopper.
Popular variants include:
- "You Viewed" recommendations based on recent browsing
- "You Purchased" suggestions based on order history
- "Recommended For You" picks based on total behavior profile
- Similar products to the one they're viewing
- Curated collections and bundles tailored to the user
Personalized Email Content
Don't just blast the same generic emails to your list. Segment and customize your emails. For example, send promotional product recommendations tailored to the recipient's interests and behaviors. Personalized email subject lines alone can generate 6x higher open rates.
Personalized On-Site Messaging
Go beyond the standard one-size-fits-all banners and pop-ups. Tailor your on-site messaging to reflect where someone is in their journey. For example, target new visitors with introductory discounts. Or remind less engaged customers about abandoned items in their cart.
Behavior-Based Content Curation
Dynamically change up your content presentation and layout based on visitor behaviors. Highlight certain articles, blogs, and videos for specific segments. Bring abandoned cart offers front and center for users with cart additions. The content itself doesn't change, but the curation adapts.
Personalized Site Search
Make your search results page more useful by having it factor in the individual's past site interactions. Someone who bought hiking boots should see related products atop their searches, not generic rankings. This creates a feedback loop for your most engaged shoppers.
Targeted Cross-Sell Offers
Go beyond standard post-purchase upsell tactics by personalizing your cross-sell offers after checkout. Identify complementary or higher-end products based on what they just ordered. Tailor unique offers and discounts to incent the next purchase.
As you can imagine, blending these personalization approaches can have a profound influence on the entire shopper journey. Now let's get into the details of how to actually implement personalization.
How to Get Started with Website Personalization
Maybe you're feeling pumped about personalization, but unsure of how to actually make it happen. Have no fear, I'll provide a high level overview of how to get up and running:
The first step is selecting a personalization software solution. You'll want a platform that makes it easy to create tailored experiences at scale. Some top options to explore are Optimizely, Evergage, and Adobe Target. We use Optimizely ourselves and have been thrilled with the granular segmentation and targeting.
Set Up Data Tracking
Your personalization tool needs data to work its magic. So you'll need tracking set up to capture information on visitor behaviors, purchases, web analytics, etc. Most platforms offer APIs, tags, and integrations to pull in data automatically. Enable whatever makes sense for your stack.
Define Your Segments
Now it's time to categorize your customers into different groups for tailored experiences. Look at past behaviors, interests, demographics, purchase history, or anything else relevant. Examples could be first-time visitors, high AOV shoppers, subscribers vs non-subscribers, etc.
Map Out Experiences
With your segments set, map out different experiences you want to deliver to each group. Think through what content, product recommendations, special offers, and design treatments would resonate best. Set up A/B tests to dial in what performs for each segment.
Roll Out and Refine
Pick a couple high-impact areas like product recommendations or on-site banners to roll out first. Monitor performance and continuously refine the experiences. Expand to more areas of your site over time. Set up reports to share results and prove ROI.
Supporting personalization day-to-day requires involvement across teams like marketing, tech, and product. But the heavy lifting is done by the technology once properly implemented. Let the algorithms crunch the data to serve up tailored experiences at scale.
Now let's get into some pro tips for maximizing the impact of your personalization efforts.
Personalization Best Practices
Here are some best practices to follow as you leverage website personalization to boost your ecommerce results:
With the majority of traffic now coming from mobile, optimize for the small screen. Messaging needs to be crisp and recommendations focused. Let personalization make the mobile experience feel tailored.
Think beyond just product recommendations. Get creative with personalizing content, offers, aesthetics, and more. For example, dynamically change category pages based on visitor demographics.
While the power comes from tailored experiences, avoid going overboard. If a user feels like it's too creepy, they may disengage. Keep it relevant but resist overtly invasive tactics.
Focus on Add-Ons
The easiest way to boost AOV through personalization is cross-sell related products. Recommend combos, required add-ons, and complementary purchases with each product.
Go Beyond the Purchase
Look for personalization opportunities post-purchase too. Examples are tailored receipts, incentivized reviews, and next-purchase discounts.
Test, Test, Test
Continuously test and optimize your personalized experiences. The power is in the algorithms, so let them run A/B tests and self-optimize over time.
Allow user preferences and privacy controls. While most will approve of value-add personalization, choice is reassuring.
Keep it Timely
Personalized content that goes stale quickly, like promotions for specific products, should be updated in real time. Take advantage of timeliness.
Watch performance trends over time and by segment. Look for areas where personalization lifts key metrics like conversion rate or AOV. Share results internally.
Consider working with a personalization consultant to kickstart your efforts. An expert can help avoid pitfalls and accelerate your ROI.
Let Technology Do the Work
The best personalization leverages machine learning and automation. Don't try to get hands-on with manually cobbling together experiences. Bring in technology designed to do the heavy lifting.
Joining the Conversion Rate Revolution
As you can see, implementing website personalization provides one of the most exciting opportunities to move the revenue needle today. When done right, it creates experiences where shoppers feel truly understood and catered to at every touchpoint.
Now that you know what modern personalization entails and how to put it into practice, are you ready to join the revolution? With a tested strategy and the right technology, you have everything needed to allow personalization to transform your ecommerce conversion funnel.
The savviest brands today realize generic one-size-fits-all ecommerce experiences just don't cut it anymore. To win loyalty and stand out, you need to get personal. Help every individual find value in your brand by serving up exactly what they need when they need it.
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So take the first steps on your personalization journey today. Test targeted recommendations, tailored content, and visitor-specific messaging to delight customers and unlock new revenue growth. With personalization as your not-so-secret weapon, get ready to hit those conversion rate goals out of the park!