Personalisation: Get out of your children’s shoes

Part 1: Personalisation option in OXID eShop – the (market) theory

The topic of personalisation is on everyone’s lips. Fired by the hype about artificial intelligence, the “interest-related delivery of content” (content, products, offers…) or, in other words, “the right offer at the right time” in e-commerce is currently entering the hot phase. There is hardly an event, congress or newsletter where the topic is not brought closer to you. But what about the individual customer approach in the web shop? Have merchants recognised the relevance of the topic and are busy taking action in the background? Or why is it so strangely quiet with the suppliers and nobody boasts about a really successful personalisation strategy?

“Personalisation: the automatic tailoring of sites and messages to the indivuduals viewing them so that we can feel that somewhere there’s a piece of software that loves us for who we are.”

David Weinberger, author

Status Quo personalisation

Some time ago, the Internet World Business magazine put it to the test. After 4 weeks of online shopping at some of the largest shops in the industry, it published its experiences in terms of personalised shopping. The results are sobering to disappointing. The team reports about shops that each time asked for the size of their clothes anew, despite login and generous personal data in the test account. The volunteers report of “wtf” moments when the shop wanted to offer summer shoes, although winter shoes were searched for during the last visits.

The conclusion: “Classic browsing and good filters led to the right product much better and faster. Obviously it will take some time until the algorithm really learns to understand the shopper’s soul.” For customers, there is not yet much to be felt of tailor-made offers to suit current demand.

Personalisation between demand & reality

The customer’s requirements

The experiment reflects what we perceive in the market. Everyone is talking about it, but only a few shop operators are working on an appropriate concept to make the online shop fit for the age of the individual with tools and technologies. People expect increasingly more the personal offering and do not want to search eternally for the desired product. If one believes the numerous studies, which analysed customer behavior, the desire of personalised information is fact:

  • 75% of visitors leave a shop immediately when they see a product that is uninteresting to them
  • 48% of interested people abandon the purchase if it is not tailored to actual needs 
  • Personalisation vendors report average conversion increases of up to 25% using appropriate technologies

The effectiveness of personalisation in online commerce is undisputed. Retailers who don’t upgrade urgently will lose customers for whom the next supplier is just a mouse click away and who may be making the right purchase offer.

„48% of all users stop shopping if it is not tailored to their actual interests.“

Accenture, 12/2017

The reality of the dealer

So why isn’t the topic really getting off the ground in everyday shopping? Obviously there are many reservations against personalisation.  Shop operators generally have many reasons why the topic is a hot potato for them:

  • fear of high workload and high project costs
  • fear of high prices for corresponding solutions
  • the right way to deal with data protection, tracking, Big Data
  • concerns about the use of AI and how it could impact the business
  • the complex handling of customer data
  • difficulties with installation and operation
  • the attitude of customers who don’t like to leave behind their data

Personalisation as a real competitive advantage

In spite of all the pain points that many manufacturers and service providers on the market have professional solutions for: right now is the moment for online retailers to get in! While many still hesitate, one can position oneself accordingly and move forward courageously:

  • In order to offer the customer a demand-oriented, convincing shopping experience.    
  • convert more prospects to customers
  • convince hesitant or price-sensitive customers
  • significantly increase the order value of a shopping basket
  • achieve more interaction in the shop through 1:1 communication with the customer
  • increase the circle of regular customers
  • scale business through real-time personalisation

So all in all, generate more sales in the shop! Doesn’t that sound tempting?

„65% of all retailers register sales increases after using personalisation measures.“


Bottom line

The time has come to abolish webshop homepages that promote the top-seller on a daily basis, regardless of whether the customer is young, old, male, female, fat, thin, rich or poor. Personalisation is the conversion lever par excellence. It is now a question of applying it. The range of good solutions from experienced service providers and manufacturers is there. Inform yourself and use it. Talk to us or download our whitepaper (in german) here:


Nicole Lipphardt studied German and Political Science at the University of Freiburg. After completing her studies, she went directly to Marketing Communications at GE Healthcare IT and later at Testo AG. In these positions she developped deep insights into the various facets of marketing. Nicole now lives out her passion for the editorial field as Content Marketing Manager at OXID eSales AG.