Successful shops live from their close ties to their customers and the knowledge that they can always offer them exactly what they really want. This has long been possible in e-commerce as well, but the devil lies in the detail, especially when it comes to individual approaches in online shops - and unlike in the offline world, customers do not forgive unprofessional and beginner mistakes. After all, the competition is always just a click away, but the following might help you to be successful and exceptional in your e-commerce business:
Include all touchpoints
Even the best individual approach and customer care can only deliver extremely limited results if it is not used along the entire customer journey. Because only through full personalization, which includes all touchpoints, can it most effectively prevent a shop customer from having a negative shopping experience between the purchase idea and the conclusion. This type of personalization starts with product research and you should keep in mind that already at this point it is essential to minimize the bounce rate with intelligent search options, such as, for instance, so-called faceted navigation or an auto-suggest function.
Once a potential buyer has discovered a product that is of interest, it’s important to consult well, too. These conversations and interactions are certainly best done on the product detail page. In addition, a digital consultant can provide your shop customers with powerful support in determining their needs and choosing the right product. This product advisor asks the right questions and guides potential buyers step by step to the item they are ‘really’ looking for, keeping at the same time the return rate low.
By the way: customers who come back often have a higher need for entertainment, since they already know the shop anyway. That is why they should be addressed more emotionally than new customers who are primarily looking for a product in a very factual manner. Therefore, the shop should offer a relaxed mix of inspiration and service that puts the need for entertainment in the foreground and does justice to it, since that increases customer loyalty immensely.
The right personalization strategy
It is also important to use the right personalization strategy at precisely every touchpoint on the customer journey. Because, depending on the shop or industry, a different personalization strategy should be considered. The shop page, on which personalization measures are used, or the customer journey phase in which the shop customer is, play an important role, too. So, for example, it makes sense to forego up-selling recommendations on the product detail page and instead rely on cross-selling recommendations to supplement the product selection without overwhelming the shop customer.
Avoidance of data silos
The fuel of any functional personalization is data: the more we know about a customer, the more precisely we can tailor an offer. However, this also means that we need the most effective data management possible. All relevant information on click and purchase behavior must therefore always communicate with one another as barrier-free as possible across all touchpoints and different systems by using a uniform knowledge base. Each data silo could hinder the success of the entire personalization strategy.
The effective use of AI
Without the use of artificial intelligence, a degree of personalization that we already achieve today would no longer be possible. Self-learning algorithms that act like a digital seller can make predictions about buying behavior, making sure that every single customer is served better and more individually. Certainly, it must be ensured that data protection is guaranteed.
Every shop is different, has different customers and therefore different requirements. That is why solutions that are tailored to the needs of a shop operator are in high demand. Not every facet filter fits every product or category. When using innovative shop technologies, it is always important that each solution harmonizes with the shop structure, but also with the type of product range. In many cases this requires a certain degree of customization.
Use expert knowledge correctly
Just as the data must flow, it is important that all experts communicate with one another and that their know-how comes together. Therefore, the exchange between shop operators, their technical teams, and other experts, such as data scientists, should work as openly and smoothly as possible. Sustainable collaboration enables, for instance, the effective work with product data and the product catalog, the processing and analysis of the click and buying behavior, as well as the making of valuable predictions about the buying behavior and the resulting action. Hence, the use of expert knowledge is crucial to best meet the requirements of both shop operators and shop customers.
Monitoring and control
The self-learning systems and algorithms that enable every form of personalization are tracking, collecting and working with data such as click and purchase behavior, are always there to optimize themselves based on this data. Nevertheless, regular analyzes and evaluations on the part of the shop operator are decisive for the success of company-specific campaigns and for the derivation of suitable optimization measures. Both quantitative and qualitative analyzes come into question here, which complement each other and provide a clear picture of what is happening in the online shop. A / B testing is also an important tool with which the success of various measures or strategies can be determined. In general, if you want to personalize successfully, you must measure and evaluate as much as possible and act accordingly.