Delivering a personalized eCommerce experience is crucial to making your offerings stand out in the crowd. Customers expect to be taken on a journey that reflects their individual interests, intent and preferences.
Your customers don’t just want to go online and simply buy a product — they expect a whole experience around it. Today’s eCommerce retailers are increasingly taking on the role of publishers. They need to go beyond offers and product recommendations, by wrapping all sorts of content — whether it’s videos, buying guides, blogs, and reviews — around a truly personalized shopping experience.
Real-time personalization for eCommerce marketers
Various attempts at personalization in eCommerce have often fallen short of the mark, amounting to little more than putting the customer’s name at the start of an email or on a bottle of soda. Far from being treated to an experience that addresses their feelings or and goals (or both) in one particular moment, users have been offered a cheap form of personalization that merely scratches the surface of their interests and needs.
Effective personalization means growing closer to your customers – learning who they are, what they are looking for and what makes them tick when it comes to that purchase decision. You need to know what device they’re going to be on at a given time of the day, before shaping your messaging in order to appease their situational needs or wants at that moment in time.
Fuse data and create individual user profiles
eCommerce retailers are targeting website visitors and app users by fusing their first party data with the real-time data that they’ve gathered about their online behaviors.
By building up a personal profile of each individual user, eCommerce retailers can recognize the various complex human needs of their customers — each and every one, separately.
Most importantly, these profiles allow eCommerce marketers to offer the products, content, promotions and advertising that match their customers’ moods, interests and shopping lists in the right place at the right time — whether that’s while they’re browsing on a tablet at their bedside table, or craving some retail therapy during their Monday-morning commute.
Manage insight in a customer data platform
The starting point for any personalization approach is to create an effective data layer that can gather all the relevant information from a given user’s online journey. Granted you have the right tools, the information that you’ll have at your fingertips reaches far and wide:
- Past purchase behavior
- What particular product or service they’re interested in
- Household income
- Education levels
- Real-time user behavior insight
The 1-to-1 relationship is finally within reach
Identifying individual users across their digital channels occurs through data fusion. This can be done, for example, by fusing real time data with conventional data from your CRM. From there the personalization algorithms get to work, responding to the signals that users give off automatically, offering them a genuine one-to-one experience.
The long-held promise of eCommerce — to create a one-to-one relationship between buyer and seller — is finally within reach.