The topic of this text is a white paper created by InternetRetailing in association with Kameleoon. The main subject of this report is personalization in e-commerce. It shows why personalization is so important for shoppers and why you should implement it. We covered the most important issues from this report and collected them in the lists of highlights for you. If you are interested in reading the whole piece, you can download it here.
The report is designed in such a way as to reflect the need for personalization best. Experts from the trade industry speak in it and present specific examples of companies that have gained from the implementation of this solution.
Personalization starts from the beginning of the sale process and lasts much longer after it ends
In stationery stores, sellers get to know their customers and see which products they are interested in. Or simply ask about their preferences. When it comes to e-commerce, this matter is not so easy. Information on preferences should be found in customers’ purchasing choices, “favorites” lists, and what products they browse when visiting your store.
It is a crucial issue to understand that personalization is not only using the client’s name in the e-mail. It is much more. A very well-received procedure is asking for opinions and whether the product has met the client’s needs. After some time, you can also send an e-mail asking if the product that the customer bought three months ago has not run out and the client does not want to replenish stocks. This tactic works well, for example, in online drugstores.
Thanks to personalization you can improve customer experience and many more
There was a survey conducted for the purposes of the report, which clearly indicates that most companies (68%) introduced personalization to improve the user experience. The Boston Consulting Group also believes that customers are then more likely (110%!) to place additional goods in their shopping cart and 40% more likely to spend more money. Doesn’t that sound promising? Kameleoon’s Marketing Director, Anne-Claire Bellec, explains that well-done personalization can become the key to increased customer engagement. He also emphasizes that personalization helped many businesses during the lockdown when online traffic was higher than ever. At that time, it was important for the customer to feel attached to the store and finally made the purchase there. Many experienced companies emphasized that it was necessary to properly understand customers’ needs during this challenging time and satisfy them in the best way. Personalization allows e-commerce to build customer relationships that will survive even after the pandemic has passed.
Other benefits mentioned in this report are greater lead generation, retention of customers and users, reduction in churn. As you can see, personalization can be beneficial.
Companies don’t see personalization’s potential
According to Kameleoon’s data, more than half of consumers were disappointed by the personalization level they had been provided. The other side of the process, which means the retailers are also not satisfied enough. Almost 30% (26%) admitted that their personalization’s effectiveness was worse than their competitors’. Only 11% believed that they were better than the competition, while 63% of retailers admitted that they were at a similar level to their competitors.
It should be emphasized – only 41% of respondents use fundamental personalization strategies, while 11% do not use them at all. Only 6% admitted using real-time, predictive personalization at scale. It is not a good result as companies have to be able to respond to the dynamically changing needs and preferences of customers. They need a unique experience that will be more than simple segmentation. And it is why new-generation personalization is required.
A very good example of a company that investing in personalization is Auchan. Online sales increased by 2.5% and CTR by 16%. All thanks to showing customers the appropriate product categories based on their interests. As a result, customers learned about the products that were useful to them.
The value of personalization is its correctness in implementation
The biggest concern of marketers when it comes to personalization is getting it done right. Here, the key is not only to understand the challenge of properly implementing personalization but also to find a way to overcome it. Here are the three most common problems and how to overcome them:
- A lack of ROI – what you need to do is define your aims for personalization. It would help to create your business case.
- Accurate skills – relying on technology alone is not a good idea. We are almost sure that you and your team have some skills which may be useful during implantation. Check which of them will be the handiest to use the full potential of personalization.
- Managing customer data challenges – Kameleoon advises using anonymized behavioural data collected in real-time instead of focusing on transactional data.
Technology as the key aspect of real-time personalization
To generate benefits in the future, some decisions must be made now. Thanks to real-time personalization, which can be used based on AI, your business will earn in the future. As Frédéric De Todaro, Chief Product Officer at Kameleoon admits, the average customer spends 15 seconds on your site before continuing searching. It perfectly illustrates the need for real-time activities. Thanks to the processing of behavioural data, the marketer can predict and meet customer expectations. A very good idea is duplicating tried and tested offline strategies, but transferring them to the online reality.
Effective personalization takes time
Anne Debertonne, Team Leader Digital Experience at Auchan, describes personalization well as a “comfy relationship that relies on hard work and history.” This means that you need to create a bond with customers and get to know them well for personalization to be successful. Before the best reward, you need to put hard work. It is the main principle of business, which is accurate in this case too.
To sum up
In this text, we have only presented the most important aspects of this InternetRetailing report. If any of them interested you the most, read the full piece for the bigger picture. You’ll also find some examples of e-commerce businesses that have benefited from personalization.