Personalization Best Practices to Drive Shopper Experience

When we surveyed ecommerce merchants at the end of 2021, we asked what the hottest issues/items were for 2022. The overwhelming response was “personalization.” And, so Searchspring set out to help with personalization needs. Both with products – see the recent release of Searchspring Personalized Search & Merchandising – and content. This included May’s webinar focused solely on personalization.
We enlisted two of our partners (and friends), Christina Dinozo, Senior Director of Brand Marketing at Yotpo, and Caroline Dau, Director of Product and Partner, at Verbal + Visual. Both Cris and Caroline have deep knowledge of personalization and helping merchants solve personalization problems.
At the beginning of the webinar, we asked the audience poll questions to better understand their challenges. The poll questions and results (in parentheses) are as follows:
How do you define “Personalization”?
  1. Recommendations on-site only (0%)
  2. Recommendations on-site and in other communications (32%)
  3. Using shopper behavior to drive site interactions (68%)
To what extent are you leveraging personalization on your website?
  1. Fully implemented a personalization strategy across our website (3%)
  2. Some personalization but still building and optimizing (55%)
  3. We have personalized very little / not at all (42%)
What do you feel is the biggest benefit of personalizing your website?
  1. Increase CTA and landing page conversion rates (29%)
  2. Make product recommendations more relevant (18%)
  3. Improve customer retention / loyalty (53%)
With an understanding of the audience, we started our discussion on personalization. I’ve captured some of the most important moments here.
If you’d like more detail, please listen to the entire Personalization Webinar.

Five Personalization Best Practices 

1. Start With “WHY”

What are you trying to accomplish? If it’s simply greater transactions, the answer to what personalization strategy is right for you is much different than if the goal is to build a long term relationship. Hint: You should be thinking long term relationship.

But, know the answer to the question “why personalization?” before getting started.

2. Connect With Your Customers
In most cases, customers tell you what they want, how much personalization they will withstand, and what information they will share. Talking to your customers gives you information about your brand – what they love and what they hate. This is invaluable in the personalization journey.
3. Collaborate Across Departments

The impact of personalization on your brand is across the entire company. Personalization isn’t created and delivered by a single team. It is across every team because you need customer data, pricing information, site development, merchandising, and executive buy in. Personalization does not flourish in the dark.

4. Get Started: Loyalty Programs and Recommendations
Loyalty programs are the cornerstone of any long term relationship play. Assuming you set up the advantages well, clients will give more information than you think. Recommendations are a great way to start with targeted personalization in shopping carts or emails. Plus, you most likely already have the data you need to get started
5. Personalization is About Being Human
“The root of Personalization is Person. Don’t forget about that very important person who is shopping.” Shoppers are not data points or faceless transactions. They are real people trying to solve a problem, buy a gift for a loved one, or treating themselves. A person’s path through an ecommerce site tells you their intent. The more you know about that intent, the easier it is to make their journey of discovery. The easier that journey, the better the experience. Amazing shopper experiences is what personalization is all about.
There are more takeaways from the webinar. In, fact, I received several emails from attendees with lists of their own, including:
  • Build landing pages for your best customers
  • Use quizzes and surveys to gather information in a fun way
  • Customer profile to include birthdays, social media follows, reviews and ratings
  • Focus on multi-touch attribution when tying actions to results
Don’t forget to register for the next webinar on June 18 where we’ll discuss recommendations.

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