With over a decade of experience she's changing the CX game. She's helped tons of SaaS and D2C companies like Anagram, Travel Bank, and Corporate Travel USA build award-winning brand and go-to-market experiences. As an expert CX consultant, she specializes in crafting unique customer journeys that support community and on-brand marketing across every touch point. If there's one thing she knows for sure, it's this: personalization is at the core of customer experience.
Jess believes in the power of empathy and human connection to deliver results that drive customer satisfaction and loyalty. Ecommerce businesses use personalization to gain insight into the consumer shopping behavior and preferences, to create a more seamless customer journey, and Jess seeks to make a thrilling adventure, which we're obsessed with. Ultimately, personalization can lead to higher conversion rates, increased average order value and improved lifetime value. In her words, “Personalization has a direct correlation with business growth and customer loyalty”.
Here’s what’s in store:
- The rise of personalization: How ecommerce brands can enhance retention and drive growth
- Elevating the customer experience: Examples of personalization in ecommerce
- The role of data collection and analysis: Why customer behavior insights are the backbone of personalized customer experiences
- Impact of personalization: How customized product recommendations enhance the shopping experience
- Using personalization during BFCM: How to make the most of holiday season demand
The intersection of personalization and retention
Personalization is about putting customers at the heart of your business. In ecommerce, it’s all about creating a more relevant and targeted shopping journey for customers. How do you do this? It comes down to delivering unique experiences, fostering loyalty, and improving retention — this kind of long-term love affair with your customers drives scalable business growth.
In an ever-evolving and competitive marketplace, retention is critical. Loyal customers provide stability during market fluctuations and can give your businesses a competitive edge. They offer valuable feedback, and opportunities for upselling and cross-selling, helping your business grow sustainably.
Embracing personalization is not just a strategy; it’s a pathway to success and sustained revenue growth.
So, how do you get personalization right?
We wanted to eliminate the guesswork. And this article does just that — it’s jam-packed with actionable tactics so you can learn exactly how to create exceptional shopping experiences, nurture customer relationships, and consistently deliver value, so your ecommerce brand not only survives, but thrives.
Elevating the ecommerce experience
A Forrester study claims 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience. The case for personalization is clear.
Tailored content and marketing can come in many forms: emails, website and mobile app content, marketing promotions, SMS campaigns, or even shelf talkers in a retail shopping experience.
For instance, if you’re interested in personalizing your brand’s online shopping experience, the key touch points to consider are the website interface, navigation, and user interfaces based on shopping behavior and preferences.
Product recommendations can also be effectively personalized to increase the likelihood of purchase. How? By looking at customer browsing and purchase history. It’s literally the best way to identify the most relevant items to suggest and enhance the user’s shopping experience.
“Rebuy has a good solution to recommend products to customers based on what they've purchased before, in the order tracking page or on the cart,” said Jess.
She also recommends going a step further by prompting your customers to hit a minimum purchase amount to get free shipping. “If a customer is purchasing a bundle and they get free shipping over $75,” she said, “Why not add a shipping bar at the top of the cart that visually depicts their journey so far and the next milestone to unlock free shipping?” High-key genius.
Here’s another tip that may just blow your mind: Pricing and discounts don’t have to be standard for all consumers either. You can personalize promotions by segment to offer unique deals to individual customers based on their purchase histories. Personalized customer experience done right offers support and recommendations that promise a higher level of customer satisfaction innovative brands want to provide.
Data collection is the backbone of personalized ecommerce experiences, as it helps capture valuable insights into your customer preferences and shopping behaviors.
"Whether yours is a big or small brand, you have to double down on understanding your consumer insights. Map out the customer journey and understand your consumer personas before redesigning your site map or doing your SRO, or optimizing your subscription."
Jess Cervellon, VP of Customer Experience at Feastables
A meticulous analysis of customer data can help you identify trends and understand individual interests, to foster stronger customer loyalty that will pay off in the long run.
Data-driven personalization empowers businesses to deliver targeted product recommendations and exclusive deals. Brands can also use customer data to tailor their offerings and marketing messages.
Jess went on to say: "With the information that you receive from product reviews, you can decipher customer pain points, then address them via the design and copy on your website, email, and SMS campaigns."
Jess touched on the value of listening to consumers, identifying their pain points, questions, and concerns as a way to inform product-level or marketing decisions on personalization.
As a CX consultant, she noticed that one of her clients had multiple questions arise from consumers in the product reviews on a CPG product. Questions ranged from ‘Do your products have eggs in them?’ to ‘Tell me about your grass-fed beef’. “And while I recommended adding a help center on their website, one of the client’s biggest misses was the packaging itself. There were no back-of-pack instructions on how to use the product, and the value of the product was not re-emphasized.”
What we can learn from this example is the importance of anticipating customer needs and adding helpful educational information on multiple touch points like the landing page, product detail page, and the packaging.
The impact of personalized product recommendations
The paradox of choice can paralyze consumers and that's where personalization can help. By analyzing a customer's browsing and purchase history, brands can personalize product recommendations that align with their interests and preferences and guide customers toward the most relevant choices. No more stressful decision-making.
What's more, when customers engage with personalized recommendations, they are more likely to feel a greater sense of connection and build a positive perception of your ecommerce platform, encouraging future purchases. According to a study by Segment, personalized product recommendations contribute to 26% of all ecommerce revenue.
Tips and strategies to personalize the mobile experience
“Most customers are on mobile, not desktop, so optimizing the experience as far as site speed is an important piece of the personalization puzzle” says Jess.
She also mentions the mobile app as a positive mobile personalization platform, because it gamifies the customer journey.
“Customers want to feel like they're interacting. When you have a ton of product offerings, look at utilizing Tapcart to create mobile apps and give customers the ability to have a personalized journey in the palm of their hand.”
Jess Cervellon, VP of Customer Experience at Feastables
Here are three tangible ways to personalize the mobile experience for customers:
1. Push notifications
When it comes to a holistic retention strategy, ecommerce brands should rely on a mix of email, SMS, and push notifications to boost engagement and effectifely target your customer base. Push notifications see open rates comparable to SMS but can be branded and personalized with full-sized images and GIFs, just like email. And unlike SMS campaigns, push notifications are free to send, allowing brands to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time. The app is the home for your most loyal customers and push notifications are proven to convert so make sure to share details on new collections, promotions, and early releases here first.
2. Location-based services
Leveraging a user's location can help apps deliver personalized experiences. For example, apps can provide location-specific recommendations, deals, or events based on the user's current or frequently visited locations.
3. In-app surveys and feedback
This is a touchpoint you can’t ignore. By collecting feedback and preferences through surveys, apps can gather valuable data about users' preferences and interests.
Positive effects of personalized marketing
From browsing patterns to purchase histories, seamlessly integrating data analysis can help you create personalized customer journeys and revolutionize how your businesses cater to individual needs. Data-driven personalization elevates the shopping experience, boosts customer engagement, and ultimately drives customer loyalty and revenue growth.
Optimized A/B testing:
Personalized marketing enables businesses to conduct A/B testing with more precision. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work. So, deliver targeted messages to different customer segments to identify the most effective marketing strategies for better conversion rates.
It isn’t surprising that satisfied customers are more inclined to recommend the brand to friends and family. Lean into using positive word-of-mouth referrals to improve your customer acquisition and conversion rates.
Loyalty and retention:
Personalized marketing efforts encourage loyalty and long-term relationships by building a deeper emotional connection with customers. Loyal customers are more likely to remain engaged with your brand and make repeat purchases.
Leverage personalization during BFCM
There's no way around it, Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) mean the best of the best deals. But for marketers, it doesn't have to be about just discounts. There are lots of ways you can make a truly standout BFCM experience utilizing strategic personalization techniques.
“Get down to the nitty-gritty of segmenting your customers. Don't give everyone a blanket 20% off. Instead, tailor your messaging to the different customer personas. Coax the lapsed customer into returning during BFCM, while throwing in an extra freebie along with the discount for the VIP customer who's purchased over five times.”
Jess Cervellon, VP of Customer Experience at Feastables
Personalized BFCM deals and offers:
Tailor BFCM deals and offers based on customer preferences and past behaviors. Use customer data to provide personalized discounts, exclusive promotions, and targeted incentives to keep customers engaged and motivated to return for future purchases. Jess recommends the following: “Make your offer extra enticing per segment so you’re optimizing not just for the customer, but for the revenue of it.”
Implement data-driven personalization:
Leverage data to understand customer segments and behavior and send out personalized messages via email, text or push notifications throughout the customer journey. Klaviyo is an excellent marketing automation tool to do this. Analyze shopping behavior and preferences to optimize product recommendations, marketing messages, and website experiences, ensuring better engagement and retention beyond a single event.
Create memorable shopping experiences:
BFCM is the best time to deliver personalized shopping experiences that leave a lasting impression and make customers feel valued and appreciated. Cart abandonment is normal, but can you consider personalized reminders or follow-ups to recapture potential lost sales and retain customers?
Maximize LTV with personalized customer experiences
One thing is clear — delivering tailored and contextual experiences throughout the customer journey is imperative for business leaders of today. With curated, personalized experiences, brands can benefit from higher customer loyalty, and increased retention, eventually improving the customer lifetime value (LTV).
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