How Important is Personalization Marketing in eCommerce?

When eCommerce came to life, only a few retailers would’ve expected it to become the next big thing in the industry. Little did the others know that they would turn out to be absolutely
right. Online buying is projected to account for 17.5% of all retail sales in the world in 2021. Nonetheless, it is also true that the competition too is increasing.

Given the reduced attention spans of customers, you must run the extra mile to get your customers to focus on your and only your brand. Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can do, being more efficient and precise than ever.

Businesses are using all sorts of mediums like social media and eCommerce websites, but is it really enough? If you think you’re still at the beginning of the road, chances are high that you haven’t even started yet. Coming to the point, if you want your customers to focus on your and only your products, you need to make them feel that your products are made for them, and only them. Long story short, personalization to your customer is as important as every individual customer is to you. It’s just a term to give more weightage to it, and to be honest, it does.
If you don’t believe in stories, the stats are here for you: 80% of customers are more likely to buy a product when offered personalized experiences. However, only about 7% of organizations were known to cite personalization as their priority.

The History of Personalization

Do you remember the email threads we used to receive in the past? These emails, if sent today, would ooze out spamminess. First, because they were never personalized, only one email would be drafted and sent to all, irrespective of the prospect’s age, sex, or needs. Second, although on an unrelated note, they were super cringeworthy – but they did the job
if they landed on the right person (one in a million..?).

However, the industry evolved to become a little personalized. We started receiving emails with our names on them – behaving like they were addressed to only us. Later, when we would read into them, we would realize that the email wasn’t exactly for us. The name? …well it was sent by a computer. They would be like:

“Hello XYZ! Buy this Diaper Pack 60% Off!”

You receive this – whether on email or in an Instagram ad – and you don’t have a child, nor do you know anybody who does. Would you make a purchase or even click on it? Although this is too typical of an example, if you think of it, irrelevance is why most ads are skipped. And this irrelevance occurs due to non-personalized campaigns. Obviously, this level of personalization had to be upgraded and we’re now approaching the bottom.

Upgrading Personalization – The Present

To make your customers feel like your brand only exists for them is indeed not a piece of cake, but isn’t too hard. Marketers now are working extraordinarily hard and smart to get it on point. We’re using data science and machine learning to deliver a one-to-one personalized shopping experience to consumers.

Personalized marketing, employed well, can make shoppers believe that you’re paying full attention to them and their needs. According to a survey, this approach can increase the average order value by up to 5%.

Personalization marketing isn’t only limited to sending customers emails or ads with their names, it’s now done by taking into account multiple factors, such as demographics, location, order history, abandoned items, preferences, likes-dislikes, search engine history, birthdate, and more. This means that you can’t be completing your job by drafting two-three common notification or email drafts to all your customers, you have to make your portal smart enough that it works based on all these important factors. You must be familiar with such personalized notifications that we receive from popular food ordering and apparel buying apps. Many social media apps now ask whether you want your ads to be personalized, in which case, they use your likes and engagement history to send you only the ads that are relevant to you.

For example, a prospect on your, say apparel website/app, searches for trousers and successfully places an order. Would you send them personalized suggesting them to check out other trousers? We’d suggest no. You could send them suggestions for some shirts and tops to pair their newly ordered trousers with, or perhaps the perfect shoes with the pair.

To summarize, present-day personalization is as smart as your smartphone is – it may just look like a screen, but effortlessly and single-handedly runs businesses of most.

How to Personalize Ads?

Data processing is the crux of personalization. The more information about your customers you have, the better experiences you can serve them. But this data isn’t easy to gain. Typically the first step towards harnessing the data is by offering a free newsletter or ebook to the customers and taking their email addresses for it. This starts a trail of personalized offers, ads and reminders straight into the inbox of the potential customer. This is followed by gathering their search engine history, time spent and navigation on your website, and personal history.

The following is the data you’ll need to be looking into:

1. Demographics: age and location are essential
2. Product categories browsed
3. Products in the wish list or abandoned in the cart
4. Engagement and interaction platforms
5. Content consumption on different platforms
6. Order history
7. Consumer behaviour: which include birthdate and birthday products, occasional and seasonal buying, and brand preferences

The next step is to gather the data and process it into one customer ID specific to the consumer and then send them the emails, ads, and notifications personalized exclusively for them. This increases their chances of making another purchase manifold.

End Note

If required to make one final note and make the long story short – the goal of personalization is to sound human. The more a consumer thinks that a computer is suggesting them products/services, the more they repel from buying. It’s 100% natural. You have to ensure that you’re sending in the right notifications, at the right frequency, and at the right time.
You don’t want it to look mundane or monotonous; neither do you want to sound too desperate. This is only possible by processing data very properly and building individual customer profiles.

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