Why a personalized consumer experience matters in the eCommerce world
Leon Rbibo is President of The Pearl Source, one of the largest online pearl jewelry retailers and distributors in the United States. The Pearl Source specializes in offering high quality customized pearl jewelry to their customers at up to 80% off retail prices. In this guest post, Leon gives us a rundown on personalization in the eCommerce industry.
Although most eCommerce companies choose to compete over prices and product ranges, it’s now proven that consumer experience is what will really help your business make the difference. Leaders in Consumer Experience deliver, on average, 17% of revenue growth within 5 years, whereas poorer consumer experience departments deliver only 3% over the same period.
Improved consumer experiences have become one of the main key success factors for retailers to win and retain shoppers. Indeed, today, a totally satisfied customer contributes 2.6 times as much revenue as a somewhat satisfied customer, and 14 times as much revenue as a somewhat dissatisfied customer.
So how do you make sure your shoppers’ expectations are met and exceeded?
Virtual Reality could be the answer...
Online stores must offer more personalized services and interactions in order to compete with their rivals.
What's a personalized consumer experience?
The best way to explain this is to put you in the shoes of your local brick-and-mortar retail store owner. Picture yourself knowing the names of every single person who comes into your establishment. Sounds personal, right?
Now, imagine yourself knowing which of your products each one truly loves, and which are considered their favorites. You understand exactly which language they speak and the offers and deals they jump on regularly. Your memory bank keeps up with every single item they’ve ever purchased from and you know when they’ll need those items again.
This is possible, without needing perfect memory. Having all of this data on your customers allows you to create a personalized and customized consumer experience that matches their wants, desires, and needs. With that, comes the ability to plan each step a consumer needs to take in order to get them to make a purchase from your store.
Personalized consumer experiences can also extend post-purchase, allowing you to keep in touch with them even after they’ve made a purchase. So, every once in a while, you could simply send them a quick note to see how their purchase is going or let them know about new product launches and current deals and sales on items you know they actually like.
Make each individual purchase a customized consumer experience
For an eCommerce site, personalized consumer experiences are all about customizing the shopping experience for each individual customer or potential customer. These are the types of experiences keep your customers returning to your site for more!
No doubt, personalizing your customers’ online experiences could be the key to taking your site’s revenue over the top. According to Shopify:
- 75% of online shoppers like brands to personalize their offerings and messages
- 74% of consumers get frustrated by content that isn’t relevant to their lives
- Your online conversion rate can improve by about 8% with personalized online consumer experiences
By implementing this marketing tactic, you’ll continue to succeed and win for years to come!
Benefits of personalizing your consumers’ experiences
Most online retailers have already implemented some type of customer personalization strategy. But for a site to flourish, you need to graduate far beyond simple entry-level tactics. Getting past structural obstacles and various barriers allows you to come up with strategies that are tailored to your product, your industry, and your type of customer.
A survey recently conducted found that 55% of online users in the US ranked Amazon as the #1 digital platform, citing them as having the “best personalized consumer experiences.” Other online moguls, such as Google and Netflix, have invested heavily in personalized experiences, knowing its value. They’ve customized content as well as recommendations, driving click-through rates through the roof.
These days, most online shoppers prefer to use mobile devices to browse for products and savvy shoppers expect their suggestions to be relevant to spend less time browsing. They want to find what they’re looking for quickly and, repeat shoppers like to easily find products they’ve purchased in the past..
How to implement personalized consumer experiences on eCommerce sites
Online shopping is the way to go for most consumers. This requires a different approach for retailers who are used to having brick-and-mortar locations. When shopping at brick-and-mortar locations, consumers can see products up close, touch them, try them on, etc… But, when shopping online, your customers need to be able to ask questions and voice concerns about your products because they can’t physically interact with them.
Struggling to find a creative way to personalize your consumers’ experiences on your eCommerce platform? How about giving them the ability to chat with your customer service team in real-time? Now, that’s a valuable way to provide support that feels personal and makes consumers feel valued.
One of your goals as the owner of an online business should be to prevent your customers from becoming frustrated between the browsing and buying stages. Making purchases on your site needs to be enjoyable, painless, and most importantly, fast.
5 quick ways to implement personalized experiences for online eCommerce customers
1. Personalized customer communications
One-size-fits-all style emails aren’t personal enough to reel in valuable clicks. In order to build a loyal customer base, you need to invoke those fuzzy, warm feelings that create connections.
Yes, you should send out regular emails to keep in touch with your followers. But, know what your goals are in preparation for you emails. Are you looking to grow the number of subscribers on your list? Optimize click-through rates? Or increase traffic to your site?
One way to encourage this is to create multiple lists or groups. This allows you to send your customers newsletters that actually bring value to their lives. You’ll also be able to create multiple personalized landing pages, so each group ends up on a webpage that’s relevant to them personally.
2. Offer relevant discounts & coupon codes
As an online eCommerce site, your overhead costs are generally lower than brick-and-mortar stores. Plus, your platform completely automates the selling and buying processes, saving you time and money. So, why not extend some of those savings to your loyal customers?
Personalize the types of discounts and coupon codes you offer your customers based on past orders and future needs. For example, those who purchased printer ink six months ago might need a refill. Make sure their discounts specifically relate to their past purchase in order to stay relevant.
3. Engage your target customers with video content
Instructional videos are great ways to increase your email subscribers. You can personalize many different types of videos to meet various customer needs, including:
- Product-specific tips and tricks
- Strategies relevant for your audience
- Product tutorials
Use videos to educate your customers online about your products, your business, and their interests. Make sure you keep videos engaging and entertaining. Here are some ideas for making instructional videos for your eCommerce site:
- How your products work
- Useful ways to use your products
- Unique uses for your products
- How your products differ from the competition
- Ways to NOT use your products
- Funny anecdotes and bloopers sent in by customers who use your products
Post your videos on your eCommerce site, social media networks, even email newsletters. This will help grow your subscribers over time.
Why? The simple answer is… videos engage online users. Plus, instructional videos allow you to connect a human face to your brand. This increase in brand engagement helps increase conversions.
How The Pearl Source offers personalized buying experiences
You must provide personalized a consumer experience through email marketing strategies and customer communication tactics to give your customers confidence when buying online. This is especially important when purchasing high-ticket items.
When shopping for pearl jewelry online, for example, customers want a retailer who will answer their questions before they make purchases. We are one of the few online jewelry stores that actually encourages customers to call on the phone because we know customers will always have questions. This builds trust and improves overall online sales!