How On-Site Personalization is Used in eCommerce to Deliver Tailor-Made Shopping Experiences That Convert
11-minute read
Published 24, Nov 2020
eCommerce Personalization is a set of tactics and techniques that are must-have weaponry in the arsenal of digital marketers, software developers, business analysts, and a chain of other pros in the world of etail. In this piece, we mean to immerse our readers into the sub sphere of this  complex subject, onsite personalization, while setting up email marketing, social media targeting, SMS-marketing. Do you employ NLP (natural language processing) to perform sentiment analysis that is followed up with a concrete action after detecting a negative comment? A whopping 81% of shoppers would feel frustrated if their shopping experience remained unchanged after providing negative feedback. Have you been exposed to an ad for something that you are not in the market for or are not interested in? Apparently 60% of users would be irritated by such targeting. Have you been shown content irrelevant for your gender? Sixty-five (65%) of customers wouldn’t like that. If you are considering commissioning a retail website development with enough topic expertise to formulate your detailed vision, the insights below will help you wrap your head around onsite personalization, its methods and efficiencies.

Personalization Statistics: Status Quo

To get a better understanding of the current state of affairs, let's check out some of the statistics on the personalization techniques widely used in eCommerce, user expectations, channel effectiveness, and other key parameters. State of Personalization Report findings help us to better comprehend the impact of providing a personalized shopping experience and its impact on a user: Personalized recommendations tend to trigger impulse buying and wait until you see the stats on this phenomenon. If you think ladies are easily tempted into unplanned purchases – you got it wrong. But let’s take it one step at a time and check out generational trends first. Generation-wise, it’s millennials who easily buy when given a product suggestion that is based on their preferences. Almost half of Gen X confirmed they made an impulse buy within the last three months compared to a quarter of Boomers. Millennials lead the way with 63% of all respondents having made an unplanned purchase when prompted by recommendation engines.
Percentage of shoppers who have made an impulse buy in the last 90 days
Interestingly enough, those onsite personalization strategies yield the best results with 22% of those spontaneous emotional purchases made due to exposure to online checkout upsells, with off-site techniques faring poorly by comparison: email sitting at 16% and push notifications at 6%. When broken down by gender, gents give in to impulse buying way more often than ladies. Online checkout suggestions, for example, worked for 28% of men, yet only for 15% of ladies. Should this ring a bell to a budding etailer? Quite possibly it's worth it to A/B test a checkout by gender to see if a flow without any upsells yields a better conversion for ladies. Could they feel manipulated into buying more if presented with upsell options that late into the funnel? But the answer to the question of why 87% more men are tempted into impulse buying, compared to women, could help drive more sales.
impulse buying in per-cents
The perception of efficiency of personalization across different channels sheds light on expected improvements in the eyes of the user. The great news is that the web is not only the most important channel where clients expect a top personalized approach to be fully in place, it does live up to this standard too, while brick and mortar has the longest way to go to bridge the gap between expectations and reality.
the personalization breakdown by channel

Channels for Sourcing Data For 360 Degree Customer Overview

The more etailers know their customer, the better user experiences a buyer will ultimately get. This is why entrepreneurs the world over make sure their online store has powerful integrations with many tracking and analytical tools. Major sources of information about the clients include:
  • Website behavioral data, inclusive of purchase history
  • Email activity
  • Brand-related social media engagement
  • CRM
  • POS system in the brick & mortar store
  • Mobile interactions
  • Sales associate data
major sources of customer information
Monetate personalization study 2017: channel of data split
Another question in this study opens up the curtain on how the data derived from all those sources is later used to ensure customers get exposed to highly relevant marketing content based on demographic, social & behavioral signs available to an eCommerce brand. We will spell out only a few of the on-site techniques for providing personalized shopping experiences, while you can check out the off-site ones in the image:
  • 75% dynamic content / promotion generator
  • 73% real-time chat
  • 71% product recommendation engine
  • 69% online targeting to adjust digital experiences based on behavioral aspects
  • 62% web experience engine
  • 59% A/B & MVT Testing
  • 58% Ad retargeting based on site activity (this one belongs to both onsite & offsite techniques at the same time)
off-site techniques for providing personalized shopping experience

Personalization Parameters Used for Onsite Implementation

Multiple attributes serve as parameters for the eCommerce algorithm to start applying a specific technique. Some of the major aspects used to differentiate clients for further personalization of content are:
  • Real-time & past behavior on-site (time on page, videos viewed, categories checked, price range chosen, filters used, etc.) & off-site (email, social media comments, calls)
  • On-site search results
  • Purchasing history (from producers, prices, rankings filtered to color and size of the clothing)
  • Location (IP address helps to pin down a user)
  • Demographics (gender, age group, marital status)
  • Weather (you will be surprised how much a weather-based personalization can help you boost conversions)
  • CRM data (this can be as diverse or as fields in your CRM of choice. Best Customer Relationship Management systems have custom fields, which means any data point can be part of segmentation)
  • Session dynamic data (cart value)
  • Contact form input/questionnaire answers
  • Social data (education, role, company industry)
  • Referral (which channel and/or campaign brought the customer to the online store)

On-site Personalization Techniques That Make Users Feel at Home

Behavioral Targeting

This is tailoring a piece of eCommerce store content to a specific target segment if users consider it highly relevant to their category of customers, making them feel welcome and at home. Shopping experiences based on behavioral targeting are diverse and span both realms: the site itself and the rest of the off-site channels.

Dynamic Promotions

One of the ways to ensure your customers get the personalized experience they deserve is to offer promotions based on their past purchases, location, and demographics. New clients may feel shy about using a platform and need a welcoming offer, while others may have reacted positively to free shipping promotions. Another category of customers might have a proven interest in specific products during the holiday season based on location.
Dynamic Promotions from Yieldify

ABM (Account-Based Marketing)

Account-Based Marketing allows companies to work on the top 20% that yields 80% of revenues as a standalone strategy. With this state-of-the-art technique, it is possible to provide highly relevant content to specific B2B customers or high spenders in B2C retail, creating an entirely unique experience for them across all channels.

Weather-Based Personalization

Not only are weather-based recommendations a great digital icebreaker (which makes a user feel the connection), they are also amazing for boosting sales of specific weather-related items during specific seasons. It's not just about the high demand for umbrellas when it rains, but also it concerns chocolate & red wine cravings for the cold times in winter or lemons and mint for iced tea, mojitos and margaritas in summer.

Recommendation Engine

This is the key pillar of personalization that keeps evolving and bringing more money to the eCommerce table. The more relevant your recommendations, the higher the conversions those suggestions will produce. Before you know your customer well, region-based or age-, and gender-based suggestions are part of the algorithm, whereby suggestions are offered based on the purchasing history of users who are similar to the new shopper.

Dynamic Landing Pages

Landing pages that differ based on a specific parameter, be it weather, geolocation, gender, holiday, or promo feel relevant and welcoming. A/B testing is recommended for almost every part of the landing page to bring the most ROI. A savvy digital marketer will A/B test it all: from copy, fonts, colors, to CTA.
dynamic landing pages example
Screenshot from Shoe Market NYC

Social Proof Custom Content

Just like any other part of the content, social proof can be personalized too. A video with a recommendation or product review by a girl feels more relevant for a teenage female audience, while the same product reviewed by a grey-haired gent will trigger more credibility in the elderly male audience.

Banners Targeted by Segment

Pop-ups and banners that appear at the right time to the right client may increase conversion significantly. These features can be programmed based on multiple factors that signal exit intent, indecisiveness, or hesitation. There are a few ways to technically implement personalization features that you want to see in your online store. Depending on how your site is built – be it a custom development, eCommerce platform like Shopify or a WordPress site with WooCommerce plugin, you can choose ways to further integrate onsite personalization features accordingly. There are third party applications and software that can be used in case you are looking for turn-key quick solutions:

We Take It Personally: Software Development Company Zoolatech

From extensive experience in retail software development, we have been exposed to the benefits of integration of personalization features into online shops first-handedly. Zoolatech team works with clients like Nordstrom and Tailored brands, so we are now in a position to recommend a thing or two to our new clients from the perspective of hands-on experience. Rooted in Palo Alto, CA our management team will ensure western-style business procedures are adhered to, while our Kyiv-based development team engages top technical talent at reasonable Eastern European rates. Contact Zoolatech Software development company to get your free consultation on onsite eCommerce personalization today.
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