The competition in eCommerce is growing more intense with each passing year. For online marketers, this means identifying and strategizing the key to sustainable competitive advantage for your eCommerce brand. You’ve probably heard it before: personalization is the future of eCommerce. And, if you’re a savvy marketer, you realize that the future is now.
Say hello to eCommerce Personalization
What exactly is eCommerce personalization? eCommerce personalization means presenting relevant, actionable suggestions to consumers in such a way that enhances the online shopping journey to be a more efficient, enjoyable and rewarding experience. Another fun fact: nearly half of US consumers say they’re more likely to make purchases with companies that personalize experiences, according to Accenture. That’s a lot of sales opportunities that online marketers cannot afford to miss out on by not offering their customers personalized shopping experience. Amazon excelled suggesting products relevant to visitor search by offering cross-selling and alternative products.
- Example of Amazon’s personalized product recommendations
Personalization of shopping experience
When it comes to competing against the largest retailers, such as Amazon, all is not lost for small to medium business online marketers. Fortunately, you can use a sophisticated marketing automation platform that can easily transform your marketing campaigns into responsive, cutting edge eCommerce personalization campaigns. It’s estimated that by 2020, eCommerce businesses who use a smart personalization software will see as much as a 15% increase in their profits, according to Gartner. It requires harnessing the power of marketing automation and segmentation to gather, analyze, and react to data regarding shoppers’ web behaviors, demographics, and other relevant inputs.
The bottom line is that personalization makes the shopping journey easier and hassle-free for users. And, satisfied customers spend more money.
Personalization of Delivery
The Smart Home Trend:
It’s 2019 and Smart Home is almost here. This trend can personalize your order delivery like never before — allowing delivery services to enter homes via smart systems to provide in-home delivery. Although letting delivery people who are complete strangers into your home might seem like something that most people would say “no” to — or, more likely, “No way. Not in a million years”, actually, there is a growing trend that shows an increasing amount of people are likely to give it a try, and it might even soon become a deciding factor in purchasing.
- stux / Pixabay
Following a recent 3-month long in-home delivery pilot program launched by smart lock maker August, 90% of clients who participated later said that if the service of in-house deliveries from merchants would continue to be available, they were happy enough with it to want to continue using the service. On the other hand, only 10% of participants didn’t wish to continue using the in-house delivery service after the pilot ended
Although eCommerce brands should put time and energy into offering an increasingly personalized experience to customers, this doesn’t mean that you should be selfish and only invest where you see an automatic boost in your ROI. One example of where brands can create a platform where they stand out from the crowd and win over customers resulting in boosting their ROI in a less direct strategy is by implementing green eCommerce practices.In 2019, Etsy became the first global eCommerce company to completely offset their shipping emissions — since shipping accounted for 98% of the company’s carbon footprint. They are accomplishing this ambitious goal by looking to help international green causes from giving resources to protect a forest in Minnesota, to building wind and solar farms in India. This pulls at shoppers emotional strings and unites over a cause. Who doesn’t want to save the planet?
- Etsy is the world’s 1st ecommerce company oferring green shipping
Personalization of Customer Support
Customer support is a key factor in building customer loyalty. Here are some awesome examples and tips on how the personalization of customer support can enhance shoppers’ experiences and build a brand’s trust:
AI Bots for customer service
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is paving the way for the next generation of customer service in eCommerce. This breakthrough technology allows marketers the ability to automatically answer questions based on frequently encountered issues, and suggest relevant information based on customer inquiries. Some of the benefits of using AI for customer service are:
- Data processing: AI has the ability to collect and process large amounts of data at speeds and accuracy humans cannot
- Communication: AI can understand Natural Language
- Predictions: Based on detected patterns, AI can accurately predict behaviors
- Provides resolutions: AI can calculate risks and solve problems resulting in marketers providing faster, most relevant customer service solutions
With 42% of B2C customers being influenced to purchase following a good customer service experience, according to Zendesk, it’s no surprise that eCommerce is looking to AI bots to help convert users. The benefits for using AI is that it allows businesses to deliver faster more accurate resolutions to customer issues by implementing solutions learned from repeated issues that are frequently resolved successfully. In fact, Gartner predicted that by 2020, over 85% of all customer support communications for online businesses will be done using AI, not customer service representatives.
360 view of the customer
The benefits of combining AI with an integrated CRM solution to build a holistic profile of your customer are endless. The result is a dynamic 360 view of your customers, allowing your customer representatives to see recent interactions and previous complaints and well as open inquiries in order to best tailor support.
- Understanding your customer personas: How is a 360 view of your customers obtainable? Simple. AI helps eCommerce brands process and sort large volumes of data from your CRM solution and therefore, you enhance customer relations by better understanding your customers and offering them a more personalized experience. ECommerce marketers can use AI and CRM to identify and create uber-accurate personas of your users. In turn, you’ll have a more efficient data management system, enabling you to respond faster and more accurately to your customers’ specific requirements.
- More personalized experiences with predicted behavior: Ecommerce marketers can use the information gathered by the CRM solution and analyzed by AI to make customer service uber-personalized and relevant to each and every individual customer by predicting behavior.
An example is redirecting customers to provide them the greatest values in their shopping journey. This works by gathering data from social networks and digital interfaces with an integrated CRM solution and allowing AI to interpret customer behaviors based on analytics. The result? Marketers are able to provide greater value by improving their brand’s marketing strategy resulting in boosting leads and conversions. Example of Chat Bot used within Facebook Messenger.
You should take it personally.
There’s no denying that the landscape of eCommerce is evolving as a result of the growing global eCommerce marketplace and implementing personalization. The biggest companies are setting the pace and trends. However, every marketer can use eCommerce personalization to influence shoppers’ entire buying journey — from the product research phase, to whether they purchase or not, and more — all in real-time. The future is today. What does your marketing plan hold?