Finlay Mure
Finlay Mure 28 September 2021
Categories Ecommerce

Ecommerce Personalisation: Three Steps Every Retailer Should Take

Retail business has shifted, and with new trends emerging and consumer expectations on everyone's minds, how can brands keep up?

Ecommerce has not just transformed retail businesses, it has changed the way buyers shop and their expectations on service, personalisation, and communication. This industry is an ever evolving one and trends are constantly setting in and changing. Brands need to keep up and stay at the forefront of ecommerce experiences if they are to achieve long term growth.

Successful ecommerce businesses are adopting three strategies to move forward on their growth trajectory: Implementing marketing automation, adopting recommendations, and scaling and optimising.

1. Marketing Automation Drives Customer Retention

Customer journeys have become complex and fragmented, with consumers researching options, engaging with brands, and completing purchases across multiple channels and a range of devices. This phenomenon has been accelerated during the pandemic.

Marketing automation is the foundation that enables companies to keep up and streamline communication. It measures marketing workflows so they can increase operational efficiency. It enables marketers to build up their customer databases, segment them into groups based on interests and behaviour, and send out tailored messages across customer touchpoints. 

A common solution in the industry to support this process is a Customer Data Platform (CDP) that can connect with platforms like Facebook, Google and Mailchimp. Brands can ensure seamless exchange of data between modules, linking them together with marketing, product information, and analytics.

In conjunction with automation tools such as abandoned cart technology, brands also have the ability to recover sales and reduce the number of bounces away from the checkout cart.

When a customer makes a purchase, usually after 3 days an email is sent, followed by a survey. A marketing automation platform handles the process at scale, freeing up your marketing team to focus on the content of the messages and their effectiveness.

2. Product Recommendations Boost Conversions

As they move forward on their business trajectory and see their ecommerce operations grow, brands can take advantage of product recommendations to boost their conversion rates by as much as 20%. In the long run, product recommendations also help to increase the average order value. This is because customers are served the right products at the right time, based on their interests, so their needs are being met at speed.

For example, retail giant Amazon makes 35% of its revenue from product recommendations. For product recommendations to work effectively, the company does need to have more than 500 products in its store to collect and understand customer behaviour.

The effectiveness of product recommendations is also dependent on how frequently visitors come to the site. If customers visit the site more than once, and take actions on the site, product recommendations will yield better results.

So how does it work? Recommendations can seal the deal using clickstream data.

Clickstream data shows the path a customer takes from search to purchase in real-time in order to understand their journey and, based on this data, a number of suggestions are made to them. Specific product types can be narrowed down and recommended, in colours and styles that most suit their preferences.

This hyper-personalisation can stick with them, even if they leave the site, to remind them to follow through with the purchase of products they’re interested in later. Product recommendations work particularly well for visually appealing items often associated with impulse buying.

3. When Personalisation Meets Scale

After putting in place marketing automation and product recommendations solutions, brands can optimise growth and further elevate their ecommerce experiences with comprehensive loyalty programmes and personalisation features.

Personalised landing pages based on behaviour are designed to target returning customers to show them products and services they might be interested in. Companies can choose to add certain customisations like pop up campaigns, offering incentives in return for customer data (emails).  

Finally, it is important to invest in your ad spend to drive global growth and direct customers to your owned platforms where you can delight them with personalised ecommerce experiences at scale.

The Role of a Personalisation and Marketing Automation Suite

As businesses grow to have vast numbers of products in their online store and thousands of customers to serve, they want to be able to do marketing automation, product recommendations and personalisation at scale, all at once and using one solution.

A personalisation and marketing automation suite reduces manual processes and helps to create streamlined, personalised experiences. Crucially, it helps develop and nurture trusting relationships that will drive customer loyalty and meet the ever increasing customer expectations – now and in the future.

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