4 ways to create personalized customer experiences

Today’s consumers expect a personalized 1-2-1 experience and in a crowded digital landscape where your competitors are a mere mouse click away, first name personalization in your marketing emails just isn’t going to cut it.

In fact, research shows that by the end of 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. So it’s time to convert more shoppers and delight loyal customers with personalized experiences throughout the customer journey. 

In this post, we’ll look at life beyond first name personalization with 4 ways to create personalized customer experiences. 

1. Welcome message 

Any good store clerk who wants to make a sale goes out of their way to welcome each shopper with a friendly hello and perhaps even greet a returning customer by their name or inform them that the items they were browsing last week are in the sale now. Ecommerce stores can take a leaf out of the successful store clerk’s book and display a personalized welcome message to their online visitors. 

For new visitors to your site, the lack of behavioral data to go by doesn’t mean you can’t give them a personalized greeting. Famous Outfits start the customer journey off with a welcome pop-up tailored to the visitor’s referring traffic source.

For returning visitors who didn’t make a purchase, use a popover to remind them of their last viewed product. Shoppers will appreciate the gesture, as they don’t have to remember what they searched for last time. Include an image of the product, and make it clear why the popover is appearing. This example from Cottages.com gives a helping hand to returning customers, without obscuring the rest of the information on the page.

2. Navigation bar

Your website’s navigation bar is often the first touchpoint your visitors interact with to guide them to specific products or categories. So it’s crucial to ensure your navigation bar is as helpful and engaging as possible. An uninspiring or frustrating navigation experience could result in site abandonment and high bounce rates.  

Use your drop-down space wisely by adding dynamic content that showcases product recommendations, special offers, and more to kickstart your personalized customer experience and help visitors discover the best your website has to offer.

Space NK showcases new arrivals in their ‘New In’ category, providing shoppers with real-time pricing information alongside each product. Recommending your newest products builds excitement around the shopping experience and is particularly impactful in sectors driven by fast-moving trends, such as fashion and beauty. 

For returning customers, the highlighted products can be tailored according to the shopper’s preferred category.

3. Product recommendations

Offering product recommendations is a tactic as old as retail itself. The successful store clerk who welcomes everyone to their shop will also be looking for opportunities to cross sell and up sell by pointing out a shirt that compliments the shopper’s jeans or suggesting the best brand of bird seed for the customer’s pet parrot. Ecommerce is no different. Product recommendations are a proven conversion booster for online stores and can generate sales uplifts of up to 11%

For new visitors to your site where you don’t have any past purchase or behavioral data to go by, show them trending products and best-sellers. Without the ability to try on, touch and see products in the flesh, customers are more likely to be swayed by other shoppers’ opinions. 

You can also use your visitors’ browsing data to personalize the customer experience as they shop. Killstar’s real-time homepage banners change once a shopper has browsed a handful of products, recommending products for males or females depending on what the shopper has browsed. This allows Killstar to keep new shoppers engaged by showing them products that are most likely to spark their interest, despite not having any historical purchase data.

For returning visitors and customers, harness the power of familiarity and suggest products that this individual shopper has browsed or purchased frequently. This is a great option for newsletters where it’s appropriate to show a mix of different product types. Timeout uses an email newsletter to remind customers about products and experiences that they are already interested in based on their previous browsing behavior. 

4. Triggered emails

The best customer experiences are intuitive, reaching customers at the right time with personalized content that addresses their needs and interests. Triggered emails are a prime example of this. Marketers are empowered to treat customers as individuals by sending a message linked directly to their shopping behavior. 2 in 5 shoppers would consider not shopping with a retailer that emailed them every day with irrelevant information, making triggered emails all the more important.  

Cart abandonment emails are perhaps the most well known examples of triggered emails and for good reason. Along with browse abandonment emails, they’re a proven revenue booster. In fact, the average Fresh Relevance client doing cart and browse abandonment emails sees a sales uplift of 12%

Rip Curl gently jogs their shoppers’ memories with their cart abandonment email by including product images, descriptions and prices to help shoppers recall the items they added to their cart. This tactic has paid off for Rip Curl, as they’ve seen a 10.3% sales uplift from their abandonment emails.

Another way to personalize the customer experience is with price drop emails, a triggered email that lets everyone who has shown interest in the product know that it just got cheaper. These emails encourage price-conscious shoppers and increase loyalty by providing useful information. With sales lifts for this specific type of alert averaging 3%, this is a triggered email tactic worth trying. 

Details of the browsed item should be included in the email to remind the shopper what they looked at and make the offer more compelling, as Country Attire does in this example.

Back in stock and replenishment emails are another great way to use triggered emails to personalize the customer experience and add value for your shoppers. 

As consumers are faced with more choice than ever, providing a personalized customer experience could be the difference between converting a shopper into a customer or losing out to your competitor. With the wealth of data available at the average marketer’s fingertips and the right tools, delighting your customers with a personalized experience from start to finish has never been easier. Learn more in our free eBook: 10 ways to personalize the customer experience with behavioral targeting.

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