Personalisation is a term now deeply engrained in the fibres of the marketing sphere – its value evidenced through increased bottom-lines. But in the midst of the hype surrounding the term, it's possible to miss the very real benefits it delivers to e-commerce businesses. Here we discuss a handful of its most important advantages.
At its most basic, personalisation is the understanding that no two customers are the same and, therefore, there's no one-size-fits-all approach to e-commerce. But, impossible just a few year ago, the technology now exists with the capability to individualise your e-store and site-search results to appeal uniquely to specific customers, based on factors such as search history, previous purchases, and demographic.
But why should you go to the effort of providing personalisation features on your e-commerce site?
Personalisation Builds Trust
Consumer trust in your brand, products, and services isn't a given; it has to be earned.
Achieving this is fairly straightforward for brick-and-mortar shops, where friendly staff members can build confidence and trust naturally. It's a lot trickier for e-commerce stores, where customers are eventually expected to enter their sensitive payment information on a website that might be completely new to them. Personalisation could be the perfect tool for building the trust required to facilitate online transactions.
Simple things like welcoming customers by name, and customising search results to show them items you think they might like, will go a long way towards building a relationship.
When done right, personalisation shows your customers that you understand their wants and needs, are willing to help them find the perfect product, and that your business appreciates them as individuals.
Personalisation Increases User Satisfaction
If customers have a great experience using your e-commerce store, they'll not only come back to buy from you again, they'll tell their friends and family about the excellent service they received. If those shop with you and are just as impressed, they'll tell their friends, and so on.
This form of word-of-mouth marketing is a clear indicator of how a fantastic user-experience (UX) can have a critical and pronounced impact on the success of your online business. And one of the quickest and easiest ways of improving UX is by offering smart and effective site-search. Not only does site-search have the obvious benefit of helping customers find the products they're looking for, but the best solutions use machine learning and AI to personalise the shopping experience, adapting product results to each individual consumer to increase their relevance.
This functionality is simply a must for e-commerce sites as we approach the next decade, not least because 60% of consumers now expect tailored offers as standard, with that figure only likely to grow in the years ahead.
Gone are the days of browsing through thousands of products. Modern consumers want to be inspired and informed about products and services they never knew they wanted. Personalising product results and making smart recommendations will increase user satisfaction while boosting your customers' per-basket spend.
However, beware that this can back-fire. If recommended products have no relevance, 41% of your customers are likely to shop elsewhere. In fact, poor personalisation cost businesses $756 billion in lost revenue in 2016 alone.
Make sure you utilise the best site-search solution you can find to guarantee your personalisation engine truly understands your customers.
Personalisation Boosts Conversion Rates
Putting money into providing your customers with a personalised shopping experience has many benefits, but it needs to also offer a good return on investment.
Thankfully, if you can serve up relevant product offerings at just the right time, customers won't be able to resist topping up their baskets. For example, if you know from a user's search history that they've recently purchased a new bed, it makes sense for your site-search to automatically recommend stylish bed sheets and comfy pillows. This does your customers a favour while also boosting your conversion rates and profits.
In fact, Gartner are predicting that by 2020, businesses that harness personalisation engines can expect to boost profits by 15%. And did you know that a whopping 35% of Amazon's total sales come from personalised recommendations?
It's plain to see that investing in e-commerce site-search personalisation can be hugely lucrative. It's even easy to keep track of how your personalisation efforts are working out in terms of ROI and conversion rates using Google Analytics.
Now you know how personalisation techniques can build trust, improve user-experience, and boost your bottom line. It really can't be overlooked if you want your e-commerce store to stand out from the ever-growing sea of competition.
Many e-commerce site-search platforms claim to be capable of bringing personalisation to your e-store, but fairly few cut the mustard. Download our free cheatsheet, which compares the various solutions on the market, and see for yourself why Loop54 is ahead of the pack.