What is eCommerce Personalization and Why it Matters

Written by Dynamicweb on 31.03.2022, 00:00
What is eCommerce Personalization and Why it Matters

Across the globe, eCommerce shopping is one of the most popular online activities. Every year, the eCommerce share of total retail sales worldwide is growing. In 2019, eCommerce sales accounted for approximately 13.8% of global retail sales. In 2022, eCommerce sales is projected to comprise 19.6% of global retail sales. 

In 2021, global retail e-commerce sales totalled 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars. That number is expected to increase more than 50% over the next four years, reaching approximately 7.4 trillion U.S. dollars by 2025.

To meet consumer expectations and distinguish themselves amidst growing competition, brands must deliver personalized eCommerce experiences that are relevant, on point and make customers feel appreciated.

What is eCommerce personalization?

eCommerce personalization is the practice of responsibly using explicit and implicit customer data to create dynamic content displays that are appealing to and relevant for each consumer. Pertinent customer data includes information given by the user as well as information that is determined based on observations of a user’s behavior and context. The incoming user characteristics and on-site behavior are used to improve micro and macro conversations between the customer and the brand. The inbound characteristics include settings like browser language, IP address, and delivery via an email campaign. The onsite behavior includes elements like products and pages viewed, and time spent on those pages. 

In the age of big data, it is important that personalization is responsible and respectful in order to deliver the most positively impactful results. 70% of consumers report feeling comfortable with personalization provided that brands are using their own data and not purchased data. 

What’s an example of eCommerce personalization? 

eCommerce personalization can take on many different forms including personalized homepages based on browsing history, tailored product recommendations, cart abandonment marketing emails, and more. 

Nyfors, the Danish electricity company, uses eCommerce content personalization to display content based on users previous visits and clicks. To learn more about how eCommerce content personalization works for Nyfors, read this case study.

Suggestion: insert an image that showcases eCommerce content personalization on the Nyfors website. 

To listen to an explanation of content personalization and watch a behind-the-scenes video of eCommerce personalization at work, visit this link

According to a 2020 survey of marketing professionals in the United States, 64% of respondents conclude that improved customer experience is the leading benefit of eCommerce personalization.In 2020, 56% of retailers said that personalization is their top customer engagement priority. 

How important is personalization in eCommerce and why?

Personalization in eCommerce keeps customers engaged, supplements in-person experiences, tracks behavior throughout the conversion funnel, and delivers meaningful experiences. The role of personalization in eCommerce is important because it guarantees that the offers presented to your customers are relevant and timely, and that directly impacts conversions. As 39% of B2B customers prefer self-service when accessing pricing information, and only 2% prefer to speak directly with a company representative for any reason, personalization is a critical way to give focused attention to clients and close sales through the website. Personalization creates a sense of ease throughout the customer journey, so that at every step in the process, the customer’s needs are fulfilled. 

Substantial data shows that consumers highly value personalization. 60% of consumers report that a personalized eCommerce experience will likely lead them to make repeat purchases. 80% of consumers are more likely to complete a purchase when provided with a personalized eCommerce experience. The opposite is also true. When a shopping experience is not personalized, consumers are not likely to make a purchase. Instead, they will likely choose a competitor who caters to their unique needs. 

For companies, the benefits of eCommerce personalization translate to noticeable improvements in the bottom line. A survey conducted in 2020 showed that 93% of B2B professionals worldwide found that eCommerce personalization efforts generated revenue growth. In a survey conducted among marketing professionals in the United States and United Kingdom, 26% of respondents reported that every dollar spent on personalization generated 3-5 dollars ROI. This was closely followed by 21% of respondents who reported that every dollar spent on personalization generated 6-10 dollars ROI. 

eCommerce Personalization vs. Customization

Personalization and customization are sometimes conflated; however, they are two distinct approaches. Customization refers to the eCommerce seller changing functionality and user experiences to meet customer requirements for their industry or product. Personalization is orchestrated by brands on behalf of customers. Brands leverage data to anticipate the needs of consumers and provide desirable and enjoyable shopping experiences. 

How to Implement Content Personalization in Your eCommerce Business

Consumers expect and need content personalization throughout the entire customer journey. Delivering consistent and extensive personalization requires implementing strategies in many locations throughout the eCommerce experience. 

See this short 2 minute on how to apply content personalization with Dynamicweb >

Within the B2B marketplace, an online website is a valuable resource for suppliers. A worldwide survey conducted in 2020 showed that businesses primarily interact with suppliers’ websites before purchasing products or services. Here are several important opportunities and strategies to implement personalization content in your eCommerce website. 

Home Page

Frontpage personalization involves changing the homepage based on the interests of the visitor. The home page is often responsible for creating a strong first impression, and is a great place to begin the personalization features. The entire homepage or just the banners can be personalized. The home pages of sites may be personalized with items visitors have purchased or viewed in the past, pertinent location-based information like displays curated for the weather where the visitor is situated, or special offers for users in specific geographic areas. 

Related blog: Use IP-tracking to personalize web content >

Products

According to a survey in 2020 of marketing professionals in the United States and United Kingdom, personalization is most used to recommend or suggest products to purchase, matched only in popularity by predictive customer service. eCommerce product personalization can take the form of up-sell and cross-sell recommendations. The recommendations can coincide with browsing history, previous purchases, and other data insights. 

Content

In order to be relevant, present and useful for consumers, content needs to be localized and targeted. This way nothing gets lost in translation, and you stand on solid ground to build strong and close customer relationships. Personalization leads to content that is relevant to the location, language, demographics, and interests of each user. These features can appear in banners, blogs, and product descriptions. 

Discounts and tailored promotions

Discounts on previously purchased products or services can inspire shoppers to become repeat customers. Data can also be used to personalize discounted bundles that will likely appeal to the customer. 

Website Navigation

At the very minimum, your business website needs to be easy to navigate and capable of handling flexible volumes of traffic. At a more sophisticated level, the website navigation can be adjusted to follow the browsing patterns of a customer’s previous experience. Tailoring the website navigation to each visitor can usher shoppers through efficient and successful journeys. For example, a B2B and B2C recreational vehicle provider might provide one site experience for whole units, like ATVs, and another site experience for spare parts, for dealerships and partners.

Site Searches

According to Forrester Research, 43% of visitors immediately use the search box upon entering an eCommerce site. Site search boxes are important paths for customers to take to a purchase, and should be optimized with personalization. Site searches can be populated with suggestions and recommendations that cater to each user’s interests and browsing patterns. 

Watch on demand webinar: The importance of eCommerce search >

User-generated content

As word-of-mouth marketing, user-generated content is popular and effective. Peer referrals are powerful drivers of brand promotion and loyalty. Word-of-mouth marketing delivers 6 trillion U.S. dollars in sales every year across the globe, and referrals result in 5x more sales than paid ads. and the reverse is also true. It is important to cultivate opportunities to share and promote user-generated content so the power of word-of-mouth works in your favor. 

PIM

Let’s discuss PIM in eCommerce and how it relates to eCommerce personalization. As the application that collects, manages, enriches, and presents product information, PIM is the backbone of your eCommerce personalization strategy. It enables better functionality for managing product details, digital assets, variants, product groups, and languages - and integrates with your master product data and logic in your ERP. PIM enables import and export of product data in various formats, and groups products in structures that support your business. 

For more information, download this white paper that explains why PIM is key to your eCommerce success. 

Omnichannel

eCommerce personalization experiences can and should extend beyond the website, to social media channels, wearable devices, email marketing, print media, and brick-and-mortar stores. Consistency conveys a strong and memorable brand identity and fosters trust between consumers and brands. Omnichannel personalization experiences connect online and offline touchpoints so that customers can seamlessly interact with products and services. The goal is to ensure that no matter how many touchpoints are created, the user experience always feels smooth and seamless. Linking the online and offline data can also enhance future personalization efforts. 

What are the benefits of eCommerce personalization? 

eCommerce personalization is critical for persuading customers to choose your business over the competition, but why? Let’s explore some key benefits. 

Customer Loyalty

By delivering consistently relevant and satisfying experiences, eCommerce personalization drives customer loyalty. eCommerce personalization shows customers that they are valued by your brand, and serves as fodder for dedicated relationships. 70% of customers report that personalization impacts their sense of loyalty to a brand. 

Customer Engagement

eCommerce personalization enhances engagement by improving the ways that consumers prefer to interact with your brand. Better data can be used to show the products customers desire in ways that are contextually relevant and appealing. Through personalization, customers can form sincere, emotional relationships with a brand. Highly engaged customers are more likely to buy and promote with enthusiasm and demonstrate more loyalty. 

Increased Conversion Rates

eCommerce personalization increases conversion rates by showing site visitors what they are looking for before they make a purchase. Tactics like timely product recommendations can be used to highlight products that specific groups of users are likely to buy. In this way, personalization increases conversion rates for products that are popular within select audience segments. A study found that viewing 3 pages of personalized content converted at a rate of 3.4% in comparison to viewing 2 pages of personalized content which converted at a rate of 1.7%. 

Higher Average Order Values

eCommerce personalization makes the shopping experience as effortless as possible. When it is easy to buy products or services, customers are likely to spend more money. This leads to higher average order values (AOVs). The AOV for product recommendations and return visits is notable. When customers make return visits for recommended products, those visits yield up to 40% higher AOV in comparison to when customers return for non-recommended products. 

Learning Your Audience

The interactive and dynamic nature of eCommerce personalization is fruitful because it enables businesses to learn about their audiences. Understanding your customers is the essence of eCommerce personalization, and valuable information can be gathered as visitors navigate your site. As you learn your audience, you can enhance their experiences and shorten the customer journey. 

How can you utilize a CMS for content personalization?

A content management system (CMS) is for more than just publishing finished content. A CMS can be used by an enterprise to dynamically personalize eCommerce experiences. When a CMS is integrated into the content creation process from the very beginning, it can increase the effectiveness of your content. The right CMS capabilities and features can generate insights and apply those insights to every stage of the conversion funnel. The vast amounts of performance metrics and data that every business has access to must be used at the right times and in the right ways. A CMS with analytics insights can collect, interpret, and transform customer data into actionable information to shape your content strategy. This can boost the productivity and effectiveness of your team, and empower your company to achieve substantial business growth. 

Dynamicweb Can Help Personalize Your eCommerce Experience

Personalized eCommerce experiences are the key to shaping memorable, successful customer journeys. The Dynamicweb CMS is built to deliver powerful, personalized customer experiences for all devices and channels. It’s user friendly and scales to handle all your content including deployment for multiple sites, languages, and content editors from one, unified platform. 

The world is constantly changing, and the Dynamicweb CMS is built to turn content marketing trends and challenges into new opportunities. Download this white paper to learn how Dynamicweb can help your business prepare for whatever the future holds.  

Watch this 2-minute video. to learn more about Dynamicweb CMS.

Tips and Tools for eCommerce Content Personalization

As a part of a full suite of downloads, trainings, professional services, blogs, documentation, and newsletters about every facet of digital solutions, Dynamicweb has numerous resources to assist users with eCommerce content personalization. 

IP tracking is a key component of eCommerce personalization. It is important to understand the possibilities that IP tracking can offer to any B2B business, especially now that working from home has been taken to the next level. This related blog post examines IP tracking, and how it is a tool to turn anonymous web visitors into customers. 

With the only platform that combines CMS, PIM, eCommerce, and Marketing, Dynamicweb empowers businesses to optimize their innovate faster with less headaches. More than 4,000+ brands worldwide trust Dynamicweb to fuel their digital customer experiences. Our customers include leading brands like Lego Wear, Vredestein, Unilever, Winnebago, L’Oréal, Flying Tiger, Toyota, Europcar, and Skanska. Built on Dynamicweb, these customers are empowered to gain lifelong customer relations, increase revenue and grow their brands.

To improve the personalization of your eCommerce experience, contact Dynamicweb today.