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7 min read Benefits of Personalisation in E-Commerce

9 Benefits of Personalisation in E‑Commerce: Why You Should Personalise Shopping Experiences

Key Takeaways

  • Personalisation in e-commerce means connecting with your customers as much as possible, resulting in improved engagement and loyalty.
  • Many businesses struggle with personalising shopping experiences due to outdated data collection tools and overwhelming datasets.
  • Any business can get involved in personalisation, no matter their budget. They just have to be prepared to learn new technologies and methods.

What is personalisation in e‑commerce?

Per­son­al­i­sa­tion in e‑commerce refers to the prac­tice of tai­lor­ing the shop­ping expe­ri­ence of a cus­tomer to their indi­vid­ual pref­er­ences and behaviours.

E‑commerce per­son­al­i­sa­tion can be achieved by analysing cus­tomer data about things such as pur­chase his­to­ry, brows­ing behav­iour, and demo­graph­ic infor­ma­tion, among oth­er factors.

This infor­ma­tion is then used to make tar­get­ed prod­uct rec­om­men­da­tions, offer per­son­alised pro­mo­tions, and pro­vide cus­tomised content.

Research shows that con­sumers are OK with shar­ing their per­son­al infor­ma­tion if it will enhance their expe­ri­ence of your online shop. In fact, 57% of online shop­pers say that they’re hap­py to pro­vide retail­ers with per­son­al data as long as it’s used for their own benefit.

We can learn from this sta­tis­tic that busi­ness­es should­n’t shy away from using cus­tomer data to per­son­alise their expe­ri­ences but that they should be trans­par­ent about the prac­tice if it’s to work effectively.

9 benefits of personalising shopping experiences

Why should you invest in per­son­al­is­ing your cus­tomers’ expe­ri­ences? Well, there are sev­er­al pos­i­tive out­comes, includ­ing increased cus­tomer engage­ment, loy­al­ty, and sales!

Not con­vinced? You can expect the fol­low­ing ben­e­fits if you per­son­alise your cus­tomers’ shop­ping experiences:

1. Increased customer satisfaction

Cus­tomers can eas­i­ly become frus­trat­ed when they receive lots of irrel­e­vant con­tent and prod­uct sug­ges­tions from brands. They’ll just feel bom­bard­ed and over­whelmed and may unsub­scribe from your mail­ing list.

On the oth­er hand, per­son­al­i­sa­tion helps to cre­ate a more enjoy­able and rel­e­vant shop­ping expe­ri­ence for cus­tomers, lead­ing to greater sat­is­fac­tion when inter­act­ing with busi­ness­es that offer cus­tomised messaging.

2. Repeat purchases and increased sales

When cus­tomers feel that you under­stand their needs and have had sat­is­fy­ing inter­ac­tions with your brand, they’re more like­ly to return to your online shop to make future purchases.

Plus, high­ly accu­rate prod­uct rec­om­men­da­tions or offers have high­er suc­cess rates than gener­ic ones, increas­ing your sales. In fact, per­son­alised dis­play ads have a 10x high­er click-through rate than tra­di­tion­al adverts.

3. Improved customer loyalty

Since per­son­alised mes­sag­ing res­onates and does­n’t feel spam­my or irrel­e­vant, it can help to build stronger rela­tion­ships with cus­tomers, lead­ing to increased loy­al­ty and advo­ca­cy. As men­tioned above, per­son­al­i­sa­tion can encour­age repeat pur­chas­es because cus­tomers are nur­tured to be loy­al to brands through trust, under­stand­ing, and relevancy.

4. Higher average order value

Per­son­al­i­sa­tion can appear at every point in the buy­er’s jour­ney (or sales fun­nel), includ­ing the check­out point. By sug­gest­ing per­son­alised prod­uct rec­om­men­da­tions based on a cus­tomer’s inter­ests and pur­chase his­to­ry, brands can encour­age high­er order val­ues before vis­i­tors click ‘con­firm’ on their baskets.

5. Enhanced customer engagement

Since per­son­al­i­sa­tion cre­ates a more engag­ing shop­ping expe­ri­ence for cus­tomers, they are more like­ly to spend time brows­ing your web­site and inter­act­ing with your brand.

Plus, 59% of online shop­pers say it’s eas­i­er to find more inter­est­ing prod­ucts on online retail­ers that per­son­alise expe­ri­ences, show­ing that through cus­tomi­sa­tion, both nav­i­ga­tion and engage­ment are enhanced.

6. Reduced cart abandonment

Through per­son­al­is­ing things like prod­uct rec­om­men­da­tions (based on pur­chase his­to­ry) and ship­ping costs (based on loca­tion infor­ma­tion), many com­mon rea­sons for aban­doned carts are resolved, thus reduc­ing cart aban­don­ment rate.

In addi­tion, retar­get­ing emails sent to cart aban­don­ers can increase online sales by 20%, show­ing that send­ing this type of per­son­alised mes­sage is effec­tive at increas­ing con­ver­sions and awak­en­ing tired leads.

7. Better insights into customer behaviour

The process of per­son­al­i­sa­tion in e‑commerce allows busi­ness­es to gath­er mas­sive amounts of data on their cus­tomer base, reveal­ing a mass of infor­ma­tion on their behav­iour, pref­er­ences, and demographic.

These insights can be extreme­ly valu­able, not just for refin­ing future per­son­al­i­sa­tion efforts but also for prod­uct devel­op­ment, inven­to­ry man­age­ment, mar­ket­ing strate­gies, and sup­ply chain management.

8. Competitive advantage

By offer­ing a more per­son­alised shop­ping expe­ri­ence than your com­peti­tors, you can dif­fer­en­ti­ate your busi­ness from oth­ers, attract new cus­tomers, and gain a large advan­tage over sim­i­lar brands in your industry.

More­over, if your per­son­al­i­sa­tion efforts are com­bined with an eas­i­ly nav­i­ga­ble site and attrac­tive price points, your busi­ness will have the mak­ings of indus­try-leader status.

9. Improved brand image

Irrel­e­vant emails and spam­my prod­uct sug­ges­tions often do very lit­tle except annoy poten­tial cus­tomers. On the oth­er hand, per­son­al­i­sa­tion can help to cre­ate a more pos­i­tive and mem­o­rable impres­sion of your busi­ness, enhanc­ing your brand image and reputation.

Barriers to successful e‑commerce personalisation

Though there are so many attrac­tive ben­e­fits to invest­ing in per­son­al­i­sa­tion, many brands find it chal­leng­ing to exe­cute in prac­tice. The main bar­ri­ers include the following:

1. Com­pa­nies that have col­lect­ed cus­tomer data for sev­er­al years will have an over­whelm­ing amount of data from his­toric cus­tomers and a lim­it­ed amount from new ones, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to iden­ti­fy the most rel­e­vant trends.

2. Many busi­ness­es still use out­dat­ed data col­lec­tion and analy­sis sys­tems, which pre­vent them from under­stand­ing data accu­rate­ly and har­ness­ing it to a high quality.

3. It’s easy to over­look niche trends because they seem insignif­i­cant. So, busi­ness­es may only look for trends that are ‘sta­tis­ti­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant’. This is a mis­take because it excludes indi­vid­ual needs, which is the whole point of per­son­al­is­ing shop­ping expe­ri­ences. Strik­ing a bal­ance between com­mon and niche trends will be crucial.

So, how can brands start cre­at­ing per­son­alised shop­ping expe­ri­ences ways that are easy to exe­cute and reap the many ben­e­fits list­ed above? Well, it might begin with a tool or software.

Tools and software for e‑commerce personalisation

E‑commerce per­son­al­i­sa­tion soft­ware is used by e‑commerce pro­fes­sion­als, such as mar­keters, to learn more about their audi­ences and har­ness this infor­ma­tion to increase sales, ROI, and conversions.

These soft­ware assist with these goals by mon­i­tor­ing user behav­iour across chan­nels such as mobile, web, and email and using the col­lect­ed data to tar­get site vis­i­tors with cus­tomised messaging.

They can also analyse the effi­cien­cy of per­son­al­i­sa­tion cam­paigns, define and imple­ment new cam­paigns to tar­get seg­ments of cus­tomers and be inte­grat­ed to alter web­site fea­tures to car­ry mes­sages or rec­om­men­da­tions to site users.

These soft­ware are typ­i­cal­ly stand­alone prod­ucts that inte­grate with shop­ping cart soft­ware, e‑commerce plat­forms, and prod­uct infor­ma­tion man­age­ment (PIM) tools to enhance an entire e‑commerce set up.

There are sev­er­al tools on the mar­ket to choose from, includ­ing, Insid­er, Yield­ify, and Active­Cam­paign. The best soft­ware for your brand will depend on sev­er­al fac­tors which you should con­sid­er before final­is­ing a purchase:

  • Cost
  • Ease of use
  • Sub­scrip­tion flex­i­bil­i­ty and free trial
  • Pre­vi­ous cus­tomer testimonials
  • Cus­tomer ser­vice rating
  • Scal­a­bil­i­ty
  • Omnichan­nel access
  • Breadth of data collection
  • Seg­men­ta­tion abilities
  • Abil­i­ty to gath­er data from new and anony­mous users
  • Micro (aka one-on-one) targeting
  • Auto­mat­ed and man­u­al capabilities
  • Inte­gra­tion into your CMS
  • A/B test­ing capabilities

10 best practices for e‑commerce personalisation

If you’ve already begun per­son­al­is­ing your e‑commerce shop and con­tent but aren’t see­ing the results you’d have liked, you might be doing some­thing wrong. To opti­mise your per­son­al­i­sa­tion efforts, you might want to incor­po­rate some of the fol­low­ing best practices:

1. Use a unified dataset

To enable effec­tive per­son­al­i­sa­tion, it’s impor­tant to have a uni­fied dataset that includes all rel­e­vant cus­tomer data. To achieve this, con­sid­er imple­ment­ing a holis­tic per­son­al­i­sa­tion plat­form that allows you to lever­age this data effectively.

2. Ensure seamless integration

To cre­ate a cohe­sive shop­ping expe­ri­ence, make sure to inte­grate per­son­al­i­sa­tion across all your mar­ket­ing and e‑commerce tools. The archi­tec­ture must be open, and all com­po­nents need to be com­pat­i­ble to ensure the inte­gra­tion is seamless.

3. Use automated analysis

Per­son­al­i­sa­tion involves analysing mas­sive amounts of cus­tomer data, which can be extreme­ly over­whelm­ing for many busi­ness­es. To stream­line the process and make it more effi­cient, you might con­sid­er lever­ag­ing auto­mat­ed analy­sis or machine learn­ing – espe­cial­ly as the busi­ness grows.

4. Choose the right platform

There are many e‑commerce per­son­al­i­sa­tion tools avail­able, each with dif­fer­ent fea­tures and capa­bil­i­ties. Make sure you choose one that aligns with your busi­ness goals and offers the tools you need to deliv­er effec­tive personalisation.

(See the check­list above to ensure you select the tool that’s best for your business.)

5. Start with clear goals

Every suc­cess­ful project begins with clear­ly out­lined objec­tives. Ensure you define the goals of your per­son­al­i­sa­tion strat­e­gy before start­ing and that each aim is measurable.

Whether your goal is to improve cus­tomer loy­al­ty, increase con­ver­sion rates, or reduce cart aban­don­ment, know­ing it will help guide your efforts.

6. Use segmentation

To ensure that your per­son­al­i­sa­tion efforts are as rel­e­vant as pos­si­ble, seg­men­ta­tion will be cru­cial to imple­ment. Sep­a­rat­ing cus­tomers into groups based on their brows­ing behav­iour, pur­chase his­to­ry, loca­tion, and oth­er demo­graph­ic infor­ma­tion, you’ll be able to deliv­er per­son­alised con­tent and pro­mo­tions to the most rel­e­vant individuals.

Seg­men­ta­tion will also pro­tect your mail­ing list, as peo­ple are less like­ly to unsub­scribe if the emails you send are rel­e­vant to them.

7. Leverage real-time data

Real-time data can be high­ly rel­e­vant in per­son­al­i­sa­tion because it is the most up-to-date.

For exam­ple, you could rec­om­mend com­ple­men­tary prod­ucts based on what vis­i­tors have just added to their cart, dis­play cus­tomised dis­counts based on their pur­chase his­to­ry, or sug­gest prod­ucts that relate to cur­rent weath­er con­di­tions or local events.

8. Prioritise user experience

Per­son­al­i­sa­tion should enhance the user expe­ri­ence, not detract from it. Ensure that your efforts aren’t intru­sive, and make sure users can opt out when­ev­er they want to.

Plus, don’t neglect oth­er cru­cial parts of your e‑commerce efforts. For instance, improv­ing web­site usabil­i­ty or updat­ing email designs could be essen­tial to ele­vat­ing your strat­e­gy to the next level.

9. Test and iterate

The best per­son­al­i­sa­tion efforts won’t stay the same for­ev­er. That’s why it’s so impor­tant to con­tin­u­ous­ly test and iter­ate your per­son­al­i­sa­tion strat­e­gy to gain opti­mal results. You can do this by exper­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­sa­tion tac­tics, such as rec­om­men­da­tions, email cam­paigns, or per­son­alised con­tent, and mea­sur­ing the impact of these changes on cus­tomer engage­ment and sales.

10. Be transparent

As men­tioned at the begin­ning of the blog, users are hap­py for com­pa­nies to col­lect per­son­al data as long as they know it’s for their ben­e­fit. So, it’s cru­cial that busi­ness­es are trans­par­ent about col­lect­ing this infor­ma­tion, not just for eth­i­cal rea­sons but also to let cus­tomers know it will improve their experience.

Who knows! Know­ing this might even encour­age cus­tomers to fill out sur­veys and pro­vide your brand with even more per­son­al information.

Is your business ready to deliver personalised shopping experiences?

The answer to this ques­tion is a resound­ing yes! While larg­er busi­ness­es may have more resources to invest in per­son­al­i­sa­tion, there are plen­ty of ways that small to mid-sized e‑commerce busi­ness­es can get involved in per­son­al­i­sa­tion tech­niques, depend­ing on their budgets.

If your busi­ness has a lim­it­ed bud­get, it’s impor­tant to start with the basics. Even with min­i­mal invest­ment, com­pa­nies can still use seg­men­ta­tion to tai­lor their mar­ket­ing efforts to dif­fer­ent types of cus­tomers and offer per­son­alised expe­ri­ences with­out break­ing the bank.

Anoth­er cost-effec­tive way to get start­ed with per­son­al­i­sa­tion is to use web­site per­son­al­i­sa­tion tools. Many of these tools are avail­able at rea­son­able prices, mak­ing them acces­si­ble to busi­ness­es with a vari­ety of budgets.

For busi­ness­es with slight­ly larg­er bud­gets, invest­ing in cus­tomer rela­tion­ship man­age­ment (CRM) soft­ware can be a smart move. CRM soft­ware helps busi­ness­es man­age cus­tomer data more effec­tive­ly, mak­ing it eas­i­er to seg­ment cus­tomers and deliv­er per­son­alised expe­ri­ences. Addi­tion­al­ly, many CRM tools come with built-in mar­ket­ing automa­tion fea­tures, allow­ing busi­ness­es to auto­mate per­son­alised email cam­paigns or SMS mes­sages with­out the need for a ded­i­cat­ed mar­ket­ing team.

Final­ly, busi­ness­es with larg­er bud­gets can use more advanced per­son­al­i­sa­tion tech­niques such as AI-pow­ered prod­uct rec­om­men­da­tions or per­son­alised chat­bots. While these tech­niques may require more invest­ment, they can offer sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits to engage­ment, loy­al­ty, and sales.

The bot­tom line is that busi­ness­es of all sizes can get involved in per­son­al­i­sa­tion tech­niques, regard­less of their bud­gets. By start­ing with the basics and invest­ing in cost-effec­tive tools and tech­nolo­gies, brands can still deliv­er per­son­alised shop­ping expe­ri­ences that res­onate with cus­tomers and dri­ve results.

If you want to get per­son­al with your cus­tomer base but don’t know where to start, reach out via the but­ton below. Our expert team will be thrilled to help!

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