Why eCommerce personalization relies on marketers getting to grips with a data management platform

22 May 2017 | By Tobias Arns

Personalization is one of the hottest trends in eCommerce, because if it’s done well, it works. Nearly 8 in 10 customers say personally relevant content increases their purchase intent for a brand's products and services.

It engages prospects, helps make meaningful connections with new and existing customers, turns occasional website visitors into regular ones, drives sales, and encourages repeat purchases.

Don’t get lost — let your data layer and insight guide you

As an eCommerce marketer, what do you need to ask yourself if you feel like you’re getting lost in the data minefield?

  • Do you know who your customers are, what they want, where, when and on what device? Are you able to personalize your website preemptively?
  • Have you got the right technology embedded in your website or app to help you track your customer’s behavior and their individual product preferences?
  • Can you see your customer’s actions in real time and are you capturing enough data?
  • How are you customers responding to your current attempts at personalization?
  • Are you making full use of first-party, third-party data, and your customer’s data streams from across devices?
  • Are you merging your customer’s multiple digital fingerprints into one comprehensive profile so you can deliver ever more relevant experiences?

To personalize well means to do it in real-time

Innovations in technology, particularly around big data, mean that personalization is constantly evolving and brands that don’t embrace it run the risk of becoming irrelevant. The future of successful personalization relies on the quantity of data you can collect about your customers. But the quality of that data is even more crucial.

You need a mixture of first-party and third-party data to establish the following in real-time:

  • Who your customers are and what they’re interested in
  • Previous purchases they’ve made and what similar people have bought
  • What they’re currently looking to purchase
  • Their age, gender and geographical location
  • The time of day they're most active on your website
  • What device they’re using to connect with your brand

If you think it’s enough to just gather this data, then you need to think again. As personalization gains momentum, that approach is not going to cut it.

Understand, analyze and create actionable insights in a data management platform

What drove a prospect or customer to your site – was it a link shared on social media for example? What sort of device are they are using? Analyzing this data will help you make strategic decisions about the products you use to personalize their experience.

Average smartphone conversion rates are up 64% compared to the average desktop conversion rates, so it’s essential you’re personalizing in the right areas.

The bigger the customer profile you create with data, the more personalized the customer experience. The data you gather can help you to understand what works and what doesn’t. With this information, you can refine your offering, measure its effectiveness and improve your site's personalization so that you can turn fly-by visitors into loyal customers.