In a 2013 SAP-sponsored, Forrester thought leadership paper “Delivering New Levels Of Personalization In Consumer Engagement”, it was stated that:

“Personalization Will Enable Firms To Achieve Their Future Strategic Marketing Goals.”

It’s a short message with so much depth. Isn’t that the goal of all firms? Of yours?

Picture this. You’ve been invited to the grand opening of the Amazon Rainforest Cyber Cafe, where fresh, hot meals are delivered to customers via drone.

After your first 10 meal orders, the cafe’s digital servers will have developed a pretty good knowledge of what your dining habits are. As your visits to the diner become more frequent, your menu is increasingly personalized and custom designed to your tastes. Culinary delights based on your dining patterns are offered in a non-obtrusive fashion. You might be offered special VIP value meals. Local offers to shop and save are also displayed on the tablet-based diner app.

Amazon is personalizing the diner’s experience. and the conversion rates on the menu offers are soaring. For instance, upon an average of 8 visits to the diner, 80% of diners are choosing what they want from their personalized menu. 25% of them are converting on the special offers displayed.

There isn’t a consumer out there in the world of e-commerce shopping who wouldn’t want to see the item(s) they came for upon visiting a brand’s site. If not exactly what they came for, to see content that is highly relevant to where they are in the present. Contextual content.

If an existing customer buys a fair amount of baby clothes on a regular basis, then showing them special offers on baby shoes might turn them into converting customers. Showing them that buying a second pair for half off might get them as well. Perhaps offering them content that reviews the best day-care facilities in their immediate area. Personalizing the shopping experience. That’ll get your conversion rates up. There’s NO question about it.

Win Win for Brands and Customers
The above scenarios paint a picture of a win-win situation. The site wins because they not only make their customer happy and increase loyalty and engagement, but they also sell more. The customer wins because they’ve received a personalized shopping experience that not only delivered the content they wanted, but got them a great deal on baby shoes, not to mention a hot meal delivered via drone.

Now, you’ve been through A/B testing and it just takes a lot of time. Besides, you have just two pages, A and B. You want to get your conversion rates up much higher than just 7% in the next quarter and you have so many variations to test.

Beyond A/B Testing
Let’s move to another scenario that takes you beyond where you are, and puts you in the conversion optimization driver’s seat. It’s a place where you decide what content variations, what calls to action, what landing pages and even live display ads are served to what customers and when. Where you have a whole bunch of pages being optimized while you sleep. Don’t you think that will get your conversion rates up?

Make it Personal
E-commerce continues to shatter records with every passing shopping season, and companies need to strongly consider website personalization as a way to improve their conversion rates. By personalizing, I’m not talking about including someone’s first name after your Dear Customer XXXX thank you letter. I’m talking about deploying sound website personalization around the entire online experience.

Personalization isn’t just another strategy used to test. This strategy has been proven time and time again, and when implemented correctly will increase sales.

The core of website personalization’s importance can be supported with the following stats:

Nearly three-fourths (74%) of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content (e.g. offers, ads, promotions) appears that has nothing to do with their interests.
Source: Janrain & Harris Interactive

56% of consumers say they would be more inclined to use a retailer if it offered a good personalised experience.
Source: The Rise of Me-tail

Data Drives Personalization
You have a lot of historical data on your customers. And if you don’t, start getting some of the right data soon. What’s right depends on your business. Personalization gives you the ultimate reason to make good use of that data, in your bid to increase sales and customer loyalty. Read this article about how Amazon utilizes their data to achieve success.

Offer your customers in a certain demographic a different type of promotion every time they visit. Deliver them fresh content based on what you know about them. Deliver what they want. When they want it. Show them the benefits of being a customer of your brand. Bottom line, you’ll be increasing sales and loyalty in no time. The time has come to get personal with your audience.

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