- COVID-19 put increasing pressure on brands to operate at a higher level with less resources including reduced paid media budgets.
- Data-driven engagement and personalization can drive the necessary improvements for user engagement metrics to make up for these inefficiencies.
- Setting up new personalization tactics can seem intricate but with a strategic approach, it can be an easy way to increase page views on a restricted budget.
- Understanding how each customer shops and meeting them where they are to create a completely unique and custom fit experience will make a retailer’s website stand out, decrease media spend, reduce bounce rates and increase ecommerce revenue.
As 2020 comes to a dramatic end, brands are looking to cut costs wherever possible to combat the tremendous operational difficulties faced this past year. A recent report by Totem Media highlighted that 80% of traditional brick and mortar stores reported losses this year, and as a result, paid media budgets have taken a major hit across the retail industry. Yet, there are ways to make the most of a reduced budget, including utilizing personalization to decrease bounce rates and improve other critical ecommerce metrics.
Our recent research across our customer base shows that deep personalization can increase ROI tremendously. The study found that when shown three pages, the conversion rate for consumers who saw personalized content on each of the three pages was 100% higher than those that saw non-personalized content.
Furthermore, the cart associated with the personalized shopper journey was 74% higher than their counterpart who saw the generic pages. This heightened experience can be the difference between a viewer becoming a customer or bouncing to visit a competitor’s website.
The above scenarios are already taking place across the retail industry with recent examples from retailers like CVS and Nordstrom utilizing personalization to maximize their holiday efforts.
For example, CVS Pharmacy recently discussed how it uses its customer data from its loyalty program to analyze individual baskets, amount spent, shopping frequency and categories for each individual consumer.
What’s more, Nordstrom is utilizing its “Wishlist” feature to better gauge customer demand for popular items for its annual anniversary sale and adjust in real time to customer demand.
Getting started with personalization
Setting up new personalization tactics can seem intricate but with a strategic approach, it can be an easy way to increase page views on a restricted budget. When starting the process, the most successful e-retailers have a few clear things in common, including:
- Goals for their personalization programs that align with business goals and KPI’s
- Roles and responsibilities to ensure each team’s accountability
- Priorities when it comes to customer-orientation and value-drivers
The most common reason for a high bounce rate is unpredictability. The number one reason why someone leaves a webpage immediately upon arrival is because what they saw on the page was not what they expected or wanted to find. Beyond that, if consumers are unsure of what they should click on once they’ve arrived on the page, they are likely to bounce, as well.
Shoppers are looking for ease, especially in the tumultuous times we are living in today, and if the website doesn’t meet their needs, they will move on. To offset the confusion, there must be a relevant landing page for every search. Pages should have a clear, concise (and ideally, personalized) call to action making it evident what the consumer should do next to elicit the desired action.
Every search result needs to efficiently guide the user towards what they are looking for with an easily identifiable, next click around every turn, in order to motivate the users to follow through with a clear action, purchase, connection or information inquiry.
For example, luxury brand Saks Fifth Avenue recently relaunched their ecommerce website with new personalized elements that guide the consumer through their journey, just like a sales associate would in the store.
The new additions include an “edit” tab that show an entire collection at once, so customers can scroll through without navigating to new pages. Saks has also included a “Complete the Look” section that gives customers the option to add related items directly to their cart without going back to the search filters or department tabs.
This high-level of personalization throughout the customer journey can be accomplished through a personalization engine. This software creates a unique profile for each visitor as they browse the website.
Once created, the user profile is refined and enhanced via advanced artificial intelligence capabilities to further inform the retailer of the customer’s shopping habits and buying patterns along with their tastes and interests.
The customer data can then be leveraged to create a customized site that is of greater interest to that particular customer upon each visit, developing a more engaging experience for the shopper at every visit.
Additional benefits of personalization
The customer data can also aid retailers in tailoring their suggestions and outreach towards consumer preferences. Personalized recommendations can be drawn from the user profile to determine desired items they might not have seen during their visit to the ecommerce website.
Increasing the number of customized choices leads to a higher likelihood of conversion and ultimately, higher lifetime customer value.
Retailers Home Goods and TJ Maxx are known for having completely different stock selections per local store. With AI-driven personalization they create a unique experience for every shopper based on what’s available in their local brick and mortar store.
This simplifies the user experience because the shopper knows they are not in competition with people all over the country for a particular item, giving them the option to safely pick up the item from their nearby location if they choose to.
By personalizing the experience, Home Goods and TJ Maxx can create an online atmosphere that is similar to their beloved in-store experience.
Personalization in today’s changed environment
Today’s shoppers are more sophisticated than ever. With a majority of shopping taking place online for the first time, consumers are used to navigating the internet to find what they need. But, that also means each ecommerce website has to stand out that much more.
Understanding how each potential customer shops and meeting them where they are to create a completely unique and custom fit experience will make a retailer’s website stand out, decrease media spend, reduce bounce rates and increase ecommerce revenue.
Lisa currently serves as CMO of Kibo, coming to the company via the 2019 acquisition of Monetate, where she was also CMO; Lisa was also the only c-level executive to be carried over through the acquisition. She has led the evolution of many high-growth technology companies, including Monetate, NewsCred and AppNexus. She has driven company revenue by building and leading diverse, agile teams of top-performing marketers to match the growing needs of global customer brands. Lisa is a frequent speaker at industry conferences on building company and client brands, as well as organizational culture initiatives including women in the workplace, and diversity and inclusion. She was the founder and co-chair of the AppNexus Women’s Network.
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