We live in an era of connection. It’s one of the reasons why we’re so technology-driven. Virtual outlets like social media platforms, texting, and telecom apps allow us to nurture connections while also giving us control over how personal we are online. However, our desire for connection doesn’t stop here. It extends into the consumer marketplace as well.
The expectations and buying behaviors of customers are constantly evolving alongside digitization. What has worked for your brand regarding product design, ad creation, and customer service years ago will no longer suffice today. Your customers know you’re capable of more, so they expect more from you. Gone are the days of mass marketing techniques and mass communication. Your customers now demand sophisticated personalization from your ecommerce business, which means traditional tactics could compromise your success in your industry (if they haven’t already).
Around 74 percent of people want brands to see and treat them as individuals, not as members of segmented groups like ‘millennials’ or ‘mothers.’ You may find yourself underperforming competitors if you thought your customers were oblivious to how you personalize your outreach.
Traditional personalization practices like addressing customers by their first names in email communications aren’t enough to convince your customers that you have their best interests in mind. Instead, ecommerce entrepreneurs must embrace artificial intelligence and big data to hyper-personalize the customer journey from beginning to end. By creating custom and targeted experiences, brands build more meaningful relationships with new and existing customers, which will enhance customer satisfaction, drive brand loyalty, and increase sales.
How can you hyper-personalize your ecommerce store? Below are some suggestions for effectively and efficiently delivering individualized content to your customers based on behavioral and real-time data.
Leverage data to better understand your customers
You can’t successfully implement hyper-personalization to improve the customer experience without understanding your customers. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many companies get this wrong. However, this is not limited to knowing the age, sex, or education level of your customers; it requires a comprehensive overview of their behavioral, geographical, and demographic data.
First and third-party sources will help you gain access to this information. First-party information includes data you already have access to, like a customer’s previous interactions with your brand, a list of products they’ve already purchased, their shopping behaviors, etc. Third-party sources should then be used to fill in the gaps of knowledge. You can gain access to a customer’s social posts, corporate partnerships, and other personal information to help you tailor content that is better suited for each individual’s needs. This is also where you should utilize more sophisticated AI innovations, like image recognition (which will help you understand the context of a person’s image) and sentiment analysis (which can extract a person’s social media content to determine language that is positive, negative, or neutral).
The combination of first and third-party data lends itself to true hyper-personalization because it gives ecommerce entrepreneurs the ability to gain insight into each customer’s interests and opinions to determine how to transform the customer experience from start to finish.
Hyper-personalize your marketing efforts
Don’t let the data you collect about your customers be in vain; use it to personalize the content you send to your customers. Below are two examples of how you can do this.
Customer location will have a significant impact on how they shop. For example, if you sell clothing, you don’t want to advertise your summer line to a customer who lives in a colder climate. Similarly, if you can only offer free shipping to customers in the United States, you can’t market that same benefit to your international customer base.
Sort Products Based on Interests
Ecommerce business owners can use recommendation platforms to filter what products show up when a particular customer visits your online store. This depends on how much time a customer spends browsing certain pages on your website, the items they add to their cart, as well as previous purchases they’ve made from your brand. Personalized product recommendations lead to an increased number of sales.
Hyper-personalize your outreach
A customer’s experience doesn’t end after they leave your website. In fact, communication between brand and customer should occur on a more frequent basis.
Take the time to personalize your customer outreach. This includes everything from welcome emails for first-time customers, reminder emails for customers who’ve abandoned products in their cart, and restock emails for customers who were interested in buying an item that was out of stock. By customizing these interactions, you not only strengthen the relationships you have with your customers, but the right messaging can also drive more sales.
However, emails are just one aspect of customer engagement. As brands embrace tools like chatbots to aid in their customer service efforts, they must also be mindful of how they can personalize these interactions. AI-powered chatbots have remarkable potential when it comes to personalization. In addition to conveying certain emotions with tone and emojis, they can also be programmed to recognize user data and address customers by name or even ask how they’re enjoying their last purchase. Consumers love the personal touch of talking with a person, but prefer the ease and convenience of using chatbots. If you can merge the two and create a more personal, human-like bot, you’ll see a spike in customer engagement.
Hyper-personalization is so powerful in today’s digitized world that brands that don’t leverage technology and data risk losing 38 percent of their customers due to inadequate personalization efforts. If you want to stand out from the competition, it’s time to get hyper-personalized with your customers.