But why is that? Is it just another buzz that will eventually fade? In this case, the answer is no. In competitive, crowded markets the power shifts to the consumer, and whenever they wish to buy online, they can choose from at least two vendors who offer a similar assortment, similar prices, similar delivery options, and similar payment options.
The only remaining differentiator in a competitive landscape that lets businesses stand out in the minds of the shoppers, is their customer experience.
Shoppers have grown accustomed to retailers delivering a personalized experience and expect them to
– let them discover products they are really interested in, in a short amount of time,
– anticipate their specific needs and desires,
– and create a familiar, personable environment that resonates with them
Tapping into and applying personalization methods is no longer an option for small and larger businesses. It fosters customer trust, increases conversion rates and generates repeat business. It simply works, and big players like Amazon and Wal-Mart have shown us how well.
In short, a personalized experience is always favored over a generalized experience. The proper alignment of the right personalization techniques with actual customer expectations is what makes the difference. What works for one business, their shoppers (and their budget) may be a hit and miss for others.
These are 5 valuable personalization strategies to deliver personal experiences.
1. Product recommendations
Showing product recommendations based on the current or past browsing session or based on the behavior and interest of similar visitors.
2. Guided Selling
Interactive product advisors, product finders or quizzes allow you to deliver an undeniably personal experience as it
- founds on a better understanding of a shopper and his/her explicit, individual needs rather than on crowd wisdom
- effectively serve relevant content, products, and offers to your shoppers
- generate valuable data and insights to integrate and further improve other personalization methods
3. Personalized Ads
One of the easiest ways to serve highly targeted ads is retargeting. Services like Google Remarketing let you target your customers with relevant ads according to the products or pages they have been browsing at your website.
4. Dynamic content
Do also sweat the “small stuff”. Once you know more about visitors to your site, such their language preferences, their location, colors they like, or even their name, you should use that information to dynamically adapt the website to create a friendly and familiar setting.
5. Personalized Emails
While it’s not practical to send individually written notes or emails to everybody in your subscriber list (though we are moving towards that slowly), it’s certainly possible to divide them into different segments and infuse relevance into your targeted messages.
Remember that marketing is only effective when it is relevant. So you need to find the right balance between automation and personalization.
As earlier suggested, finding the right combination of personalization is a gradual process, and the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. It is the future, and already here.