Among the many advantages ecommerce merchants enjoy is the ability to know so much more about their customer than a brick and mortar shop owner ever could. There’s real power in knowing every customer’s name, what they’ve bought in the past, and how much they typically spend. Further, you know what they’ve searched for and in some cases what they’ve discussed on social media. In short, you’re perfectly positioned to show your customer exactly what they want to see. With that in mind, here’s how to personalize ecommerce shopping experiences.
Like so many relationships, it all starts with communication. Because you know so much about your customer, why take a shotgun approach with your newsletters, mailers and advertisements? Targeted promotional emails with the customer’s name in the subject line have a much better chance of being opened. Since you know so much about their buying habits, present them with content specifically reflective of their tastes and avoid presenting ads to them featuring items they’ve just bought. The idea is to give your shoppers carefully curated communications, speaking directly to their interests.
Because you know so much about your customer, you can literally conduct them on a guided tour of your offerings. You can even include a personalized greeting in which they are addressed by name. Just as Netflix shows users video programming they’re likely to enjoy based upon their demonstrated viewing habits, you can make the version of your home page a customer sees reflect their individual tastes. The best website builders for ecommerce include this functionality. Presenting your wares in this fashion helps your customers find what they need more quickly, reduces their frustration factor and makes them more likely to purchase.
You know what they like, you know a little bit about what’s going in their lives, so you should also have a pretty good idea of what kinds of impulse items they might be most tempted by. Use that information to ensure relevant items you need to clear out are presented to them with discounted prices. Odds are, if they like it and it looks like a deal, they’ll consider the purchase. Here, you need to be careful however, as you don’t want to cannibalize your full-price goods. After they check out, present discounted items under the heading, “You Might Also Be Interested In,” with discounted prices evident.
Customers who shop with you a lot, or who spend a lot of money with you in aggregate should be acknowledged for doing so. Create a loyalty program, with special offers, incentives and perks. Follow Amazon’s lead and offer free shipping for customers after they’ve spent a certain amount with you, crossed a particular threshold, or signed up for a membership. Treat your best customers like VIPs; you’ll get tons of repeat business and strong word-of-mouth referrals.
All of these suggestion fall under the general heading of good customer service. Everybody wants to feel appreciated and everyone loves special treatment. When you have the ability to know so much about your customer, failing to address them personally is more than just a lost opportunity, it’s bad business. With competition becoming more and more fierce in the ecommerce sector, the little things you do are what will set your business apart from the crowd. Make your customers feel appreciated and they will appreciate you — in the form of more sales.