Imagine walking into your favourite store and a salesperson is at the front door, ready for you - greeting you by name, bringing you to your favorite collection, and even remembering your shoe size!
That's how special you are.
While this type of experience is rare in physical storefronts, it's not uncommon to experience it shopping online. Thanks to the availability of user data, online stores can personalize their experiences to meet each customer’s unique needs - and spending the time to do this pays off.
First, what is personalization?
At its core, personalization is showing a visitor targeted content based on what you know about them. This can include anything from promotions to individualized product recommendations based on location, demographic, and shopping behavior, among other factors.
There’s quite a bit of evidence backing up the claim that personalization is good for business. More than 40% of U.S. consumers are more likely to make purchases with companies that personalize experiences, and merchants have found that customers spend up to 48% more when their experience is unique. Not to mention that it also improves the customer experience.
And when you consider that acquiring a new customer is up to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one, you’ll find that personalization really bodes well for profitability.
Create a special shopping experience
The goal of personalization is to meet users needs without being invasive. There’s a fine line between showing relevant content and making users feel like they’re being spied on. Amazon walks this line and is one of the best known examples of on-site personalization.
While you may not have Amazon's budget, there are still ways you can implement personalized features to give your customers a more tailored shopping experience.
1. Product recommendations ✔️
When it comes to personalizing your store, a good place to start is providing product recommendations. You can configure product recommendations to be based on logic like: past purchases, recently viewed products and demographics (think gender/ location/ age). Adding this detail can expose your customers to items they didn’t know you sold.
An easy way to add this to your store is with an app. There are many that are available which can help customize product recommendations (we like Findify these days, but there are others).
2. Remember preferences 🔍
A great way to reduce friction for return customers is by remembering previous size selections, purchase information and/or subscriptions.
For example, when you select a strength of glasses from Peepers, they will remember the strength as your browse through the site. No more extra clicks as you search through their catalogue - every style updates with the strength you chose.
3. Quizzes ❓
This is a fun, creative way to engage with visitors and provide them with personalized recommendations. Quizzes also have the added bonus of giving merchants some additional insight into their customer base.
Let’s take Beardbrand for example. They ask visitors to take a quiz the moment they land on the site, “What’s the best beard style for you?”
Users answer a set of 10 questions, and Beardbrand reveals their best beard style (go try it yourself!). Aside from giving shoppers insight into a beard style that suits them best, they are given a list of product recommendations as soon as they hit the View Products button.
Before Beardbrand makes the big Beard Style reveal, they ask users to sign up for their newsletter, a clever way to grab a visitor's email address. This gives Beardbrand yet another opportunity to personalize content to their readers.
Which brings us to our next step…
4. Personalized Emails 📩
There are heaps of ways to personalize emails, and we will touch on a few of them here. With a little creative thinking, and a little configuration within your email service, you can sell more products by adding personal touches (another reason we highly recommend Klaviyo. It was built specifically for ecommerce, so it has all sorts of fun features.)
Personalized cross-selling: Klaviyo's Product Feed tool selects the most relevant product recommendations for each reader by analyzing your store's historical data. You can easily use this feature in any of your emails. It definitely helps cross-sell and get more repeat orders.
For example, we added personalized product recommendations to Eczema Honey's Order Confirmation email, and this email is now converting a higher percentage of recipients into repeat buyers.
Action triggered emails: Klaviyo makes it possible to trigger emails off of a variety of different actions taken by your store visitors. For example, if a customer is browsing around your products and leaves without making a purchase, you can send a follow up email reminding them of the last products they were just looking at.
Take Paleovalley for example: when a shopper goes to the beef stick page and leaves without buying or adding anything to their cart, we send them a browse abandonment email shortly after to educate them on those exact beef sticks they were interested in and bring them back to the store.
Shopify Historical Data: With Klaviyo’s Shopify integration, you receive each customer’s entire purchase history directly within Klaviyo.
This means you know who bought what products, when they bought them, as well as how often they purchase from your store. This allows you to trigger different communications for different types of behaviors. Hence, you can create a highly effective and personalized email strategy.
For example, you can segment your top customers who have purchased from your store at least 3 times and spent over $500, to send them a little extra love from time to time.
Or you can send an incentive to those customers who haven't bought in a while and need a reason to come back.
As you can see, there is a big opportunity in email to create highly personalized and targeted content.
5. Location recognition 📍
Another way to serve customers is based on their location. Use their IP address (or if users are logged in, their shipping address) to show customers content depending on where they live.
This comes in handy for stores who sell products based on climate. For example, if you’re an apparel company, you can show Florida shoppers swimsuits on the homepage, while Boston shoppers see winter coats. This ensures all users see relevant products at all times.
A great example is Very weather, which personalizes the homepage based on the weather in your current location.
6. Make customers feel appreciated 🥇
This is a small touch, but it can make all of the difference. By greeting customers by their name, you can create an experience that feels unique to them.
7. Recommended sort on collection pages
Another nice touch to personalizing an experience is allowing customers to sort their collection pages by recommended products based on their past browsing and purchase behavior. This increases the likelihood customers will quickly find products that are relevant to them.
8. Tailor content based on where the customer is coming from
Acknowledge where your customer is coming from, and chances are you’ll create a more seamless experience for them. For example, create specific landing pages for visitors depending on the acquisition channel they’ve arrived from.
Visitors who arrive from Facebook tend to be at a different point in the sales funnel than those who arrive directly on your site. You can cater your content towards these top-of-the-funnel Facebook visitors by creating a landing page that calls out key product features front and center. This will often be more relevant then sending them to a standard product page.
Hypnax tells customers right away how their product works:
It all comes together
All of these little touches can add up to create the ultimate shopping experience for any visitor, while improving the customer experience along the way. By increasing the level of personalization on your shop, you’ll see an increase in customer conversion, loyalty and profitability.