It’s time to move beyond mere product recommendations.
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Personalization is nothing new in the world of e-commerce. Consumers are now expecting personalized shopping experiences from all online stores. In fact, according to a RedPoint Global survey conducted by The Harris Poll, more than half of consumers (63 percent) expect personalization as a standard. The only difference now is that they want more.
While many e-commerce companies offer personalized product recommendations for their website visitors, you can go far beyond that to provide shoppers with a personalized experience from start to finish. Check out these five ideas.
1. Deliver personalized homepages.
Want to give your website visitors a personalized shopping experience from the moment they land? Try customizing your homepage for each unique user. Take a look at this example from the e-commerce site Very.co.uk, which delivers weather-sensitive personalizations. Based on the visitor’s location and the forecast for that area, the message and clothing items featured on the homepage banner change.
Shop Direct, which Very.co.uk is a part of, reported that soon after they started personalizing the homepage like this, they saw an increase in conversions and massive increase in revenue.
2. Adjust site navigation.
Easy site navigation is key to increasing e-commerce conversions. You want visitors to find exactly what they’re looking for in an instant. With personalized site navigation, you can show relevant options for specific brands or product categories based on the user’s demographics and previous session history.
For instance, if the last time a user visited your site they looked at furniture and appliances, you can display the those categories across your homepage banner. Instead of searching around the site for what they want, they can execute one click and start shopping.
3. Personalize search results.
You can also use the behavior and preferences of your visitors to personalize search results for them. This will help them find the items they’re interested in faster, which means they’ll head to the checkout faster too.
Here’s an example from the website for Forever 21. When searching for sweaters, at first the search results show women’s offerings, but after browsing the online store for men’s clothing and using the search a second time, the results display more men’s options.
You can even personalize your search results by showing more affordable items to shoppers that browsed the clearance section or display items from their favorite brands first.
4. Sort product lists.
Product lists on your website, such as the new arrivals or a list that shows vegan items in your shop, can also be sorted and personalized for each individual user. Similar to Forever 21’s tactic above, if a user has previously browsed men’s outerwear on your website, your newest-arrival list can show the latest men’s outerwear items first. And another user who’s interested in dresses will see dresses atop the list.
5. Display trust messages to new visitors.
Before a consumer buys from your e-commerce site, they have to trust you, which is why you should employ personalization to increase brand trust and boost conversions with new visitors.
For instance, when a new visitor adds an item to their shopping cart and abandons it, you can send a personalized shopping-cart abandonment email that displays reviews or testimonials for that item. This will make the new visitor feel more confident and encourage them to return to complete the purchase.
You can also offer new visitors an incentive to make a purchase. For instance, when a new visitor lands on your site, you can display a popup that offers them a discount off their first purchase, as in this example from Baublebar. According to a study from Episerver, 92 percent of consumers visiting a retailer’s website for the first time aren’t there to buy, but a personalized popup like this will help you win over more newcomers.
It’s time to step up your personalization game. With these tips, you can create a shopping experience that’s highly tailored to each of your website’s visitors, which will skyrocket your revenue.