All customer journeys are not the same. Each customer wants meaningful interactions. It is believed that only your local bakery or the knick-knack shop in your neighborhood can offer intimate customer experiences. People have accepted the anonymity and impersonal nature of digital interactions with online eCommerce stores.
Things have changed. Customers want personalized digital experiences. Thanks to advanced analytics, social media, and artificial intelligence, it is possible to offer personalized customer journeys. In this article, we will look at personalized customer journey, what it entails, when you should offer it, and the benefits of offering it to your eCommerce customers.
What is a personalized customer journey?
A personalized customer journey leverages automated technology to make your customers’ shopping journey more personal. Your recommendations will be more relevant and appealing to your customers’ specific needs in a personalized customer journey. Providing the right product with the right offer in front of each customer is a win-win for everyone involved.
When customers are forced to go through an uncomfortable digital journey, they will think twice before visiting your store again, even if you have the products they want. Why would you let your customers choose your competitors? This is where providing a personalized customer journey works best for eCommerce businesses.
What does a personalized customer journey mean?
In such an interaction, the customer feels as if the eCommerce store was just created to cater to their needs.
- When the customer can shop in their preferred language.
- The store sends them recommendations based on their previous purchasing or browsing history.
- The customer is welcomed by their name as soon as they enter the website.
- They get to see their shipping customers based on their postal address.
- Notifications about prices of products that customers added to their wish list.
- The customer receives content recommendations based on the products they search for.
When should you personalize the customer journey?
- You should personalize the digital journey during every stage in the buyer’s cycle, including:
- When they come to your store for the first time, whether it is online or to your physical store.
- Stay in touch with them after their visit and make them return to your website.
- Encourage them to return to your store and finish the purchase after they abandon their shopping cart.
- Make the relationship stronger after they buy from you. Offer them complementary products, find ways to cross-sell and upsell, create ambassadors for your brand, and even ask for reviews from them.
- Convince them to visit your store again to buy more from you. Provide incentives for them to do so.
- Restart the relationship if they have not been visiting your store for a long time by sending emails and using other channels.
There are several touchpoints that you can use to trigger personalized experiences for your customers.
Why you need to offer a personalized customer journey?
- Increases order size:
Providing a personalized shopping experience causes customers to buy even if they were just looking to browse through your product offering. By showing them what is necessary, you can tilt the scales in your favor. Instead of just adding products to your wishlist, they will be tempted to buy the product during this visit.
- Improves customer retention:
Whenever a potential customer walks into your digital store, they want to quickly find the products that they are looking for. Also, based on their specific requests, your store should be able to show them multiple products of similar nature. It reduces the time taken to spend looking for the right product. They will also have a set of good choices to select from.
- Fulfills expectations:
Customers these days assume that you know what their purchasing history looks like and want you to recommend products accordingly. Sadly, not many brands are able to provide such sophisticated recommendations. You’ll let your customer slip away easily if what you recommend doesn’t bode well with their expectations.
- Reduce returns and refunds:
The average return rate in eCommerce industry is 18.1%, and that’s terrible. The National Retail Foundation estimates the cost of returns to be around $101 billion. It paints a sad picture for online retailers. It results in them having to add workers, increase warehouse space, and even create departments just for returns. By placing the right product in front of the customer, you can reduce returns by a huge margin, and that’s precisely what a personalized customer journey offers.
How to personalize your customers’ eCommerce experience?
Before you create a personalized customer journey, you need to have a system in place to collect information. The information should contain transactional, behavioral, and demographic data. Aggregate the data and analyze them to find patterns that will help with customer segmentation. Now, you will be in a place to offer a personalized customer journey that will make your customers keep coming over and over.
- Personalized Homepage:
Providing a personalized homepage with special offers and goods that is specific to the interest of the customer is a great way to pique the interest of your audience. You can provide time-limited sales or recommendations based on their search history or previous purchases. It will help the customers go through the sales funnel.
- Location-specific recommendations:
Displaying products in your customers’ native currency and language can go a long way in keeping them on your website. Imagine the consternation of a customer from UK who has to look at the prices displayed in USD, and convert them into the former’s currency to check the price that she has to pay. It will be an annoying experience and a huge turnoff.
The store can also be customized to reflect the interests of your customers from different regions. You can improve the efficiency of your marketing campaigns by catering to climate and regional fashion preferences.
- Show recently viewed items:
Your customers would love it if you could show them the items that they had viewed in each of their visits, including the present one. It nudges them to take a look at it again. Maybe they might even add it to the cart. The next time they view the product, you can include an offer such as free shipping or faster delivery to provide the much-needed push.
You can display the recently viewed items on the landing pages or on the bottom of each of the pages. It lets the customers keep track of every product that they had showed interest in.
- Send behavior-based recommendations:
People’s interest varies. The only way you can provide the right offer is by making your recommendations specific for each customer and not for different segments of customers. By providing product recommendations, ecommerce sites can increase their revenues by 31%. For this level of customization, you need to track behavior-based information based on what customers do when they visit your website.
You can behavior-based recommendations to your existing and potential customers. For your existing ones, you can upsell or cross-sell with complementary products or add them to your loyalty program. For new and potential customers, you can send discounts or freebies that will make them open their purse strings.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating behavior-based campaigns:
- What are the keywords used in your search button?
- Which are the categories that your customer frequently browses?
- What brands do they prefer the most?
- Which type of blogs on your website do they spend most of their time reading?
- Know what is added to their cart often.
- How often do they make a purchase?
The answers to the above questions will provide you with a lot of fillip to provide a personalized customer journey.
One of the most important elements for eCommerce stores is providing a personalized journey to the customers whenever they interact with your brand. You want your customers to have an unparalleled experience that makes shopping with you an exciting and lovely experience. An eCommerce business should always be on the lookout to find more ways to personalize their customers’ journey.
For businesses that want to provide an interesting customer journey with gift cards, store cards, and loyalty programs, you are at the right place. Get in touch with the 99minds team and partner with us to provide personalized customer journeys to everyone who engages with your brand.