Personalization in E-Commerce: Consumer Trends
In the rapidly evolving landscape of e-commerce, it’s no longer an anomaly to witness the enticing ads of recognizable brands gracing your laptop screens or stumble upon a “Recommended for You” section while exploring online stores.
With the surge in online shopping, e-commerce enterprises are compelled to master the art of intertwining digital and in-store encounters — and the catalyst behind this transformation is personalization.
Be it addressing patrons by their names through emails, showcasing items based on a shopper’s location, or offering related products at the checkout juncture, molding the customer experience to be personal is pivotal for amplifying conversion rates and propelling sales.
Insights from the Global Consumer Report
There’s no denying that e-commerce is undergoing an astronomical metamorphosis, spurred by the global pandemic and a slew of technological advancements. This transformation has redefined how consumers engage with brands. Given the diverse array of factors influencing online consumer behavior, it’s incumbent upon brands to synchronize with these trends to sustain relevance in an intensely competitive milieu.
In the illuminating pages of BigCommerce’s Global Consumer Report, they delved into the minds of over 4,000 online shoppers hailing from the US, UK, Italy, France, and Australia. The mission? …To unravel the preeminent trends shaping today’s retail landscape and those yet to come. Unsurprisingly, the significance of
personalization emerged as a prominent motive.
The research indicates that 73% of consumers anticipate companies to comprehend their unique requirements and expectations. Furthermore, the majority of consumers are cognizant of brands employing personal data to curate customized products and messages.
However, the aforementioned report embarked on an expedition to discern how personalization wields influence on purchasing decisions and the extent to which consumers are ready to disclose information for the sake of a tailored shopping experience.
The findings elucidate that a substantial 72% of consumers are willing to divulge some form of personal data in exchange for a personalized shopping odyssey. This revelation unravels a monumental opportunity for digital retailers to leverage customer data in their pursuit of conjuring the optimal online experience. But, in today’s day and age, where data regulations are considered as holy grail, how effective is personalization really?
The Ongoing Saga of Data Privacy vs. Personalization
Naturally, when broaching the realm of data privacy, consumers might exhibit varying degrees of willingness to part with their personal data. Age, technological acumen, and the yearning for personalized experiences all play a role in shaping this disposition.
As per the EY Global Consumer Privacy Survey, when asked about the pivotal factors governing their choice to share personal data with a brand, most consumers prioritize secure collection and storage (63%), dominion over the data shared (57%), and trust in the entity collecting their data (51%). This manifests the escalating awareness surrounding data privacy, underscoring the indispensability of security and trust.
However, the landscape remains stratified according to generations. The Global Consumer Report by BigCommerce underpins that Gen Z and Millennials are markedly more amenable to sharing their personal information. Growing up as digital natives, younger generations are perhaps more predisposed to share personal data, owing to their prolific exposure to the internet and social media.
Conversely, Gen X and Baby Boomers exhibit a lesser propensity to share their data in exchange for personalized experiences. This divergence could be attributed to their comparatively nascent interaction with novel technology or their more profound concern for the security and safeguarding of their personal data.
Understanding What Information Can Be Shared
People are selective about the personal information they’re comfortable sharing. They are generally okay with sharing their email, followed by their gender and name. This is common because many websites offer discounts and newsletters in exchange for your email address.
However, people are less willing to share things like their social media profiles, home addresses, and phone numbers. So, businesses need to be mindful of these preferences when collecting customer data.
Improving the Customer Experience with Personalization
We’ve all seen basic personalization in marketing, like using the customer’s name in an email. But to truly stand out, businesses should make the entire shopping experience personalized, from the moment the customer arrives on the website to when they make a purchase.
Here are eight quintessential avenues through which you can infuse personalization into the customer experience and foster conversions:
- Chatbots: Much like in-store personnel, virtual assistants and chatbots can be harnessed by online retailers to furnish round-the-clock support and answers to queries.
- Product Recommendations: Upselling and cross-selling can be elegantly executed by proposing akin or complementary items based on a customer’s historical purchases.
- Continual Shopping for Returning Clients: Similar to how Netflix offers the option to “continue watching,” online merchants can facilitate a seamless shopping trajectory by permitting returning customers to resume from where they paused.
- Localized and Targeted Content: All content can be personalized in accordance with the customer’s language, locale and other demographic attributes.
- Retargeting via Social Media: If a prospective customer departs your site or abandons their cart, their attention can be recaptured through precisely tailored ads on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok.
- Adaptable Navigation: Customers who frequently navigate your site can be assisted by fine-tuning the navigation based on prior purchases and site visits.
- Personalized Emails and SMS Marketing: Customer engagement and conversion can be amplified via abandoned cart messages, post-order follow-up emails, as well as endearing “We Miss You” and appreciative “Thank You” messages.
- Leveraging User-Generated Content: Authentic inputs from fellow patrons wield considerable influence over brand loyalty. Incorporating user-generated content — be it photos, videos, or product reviews — can breathe life into your merchandise.
In today’s fast-changing world of online shopping, the boundary between physical and digital retail is fading, leading to more personalized shopping experiences. As online shopping keeps growing, the blend of technology and how people shop highlights the importance of personalization in e-commerce.
Most customers want brands to understand their unique needs and are okay with their data being used to create personalized offerings. This gives online stores a great chance to use customer data in a responsible and creative way, shaping seamless and personal shopping experiences.
Ultimately, the changing world of e-commerce demands a deep understanding of customer desires and behavior. Moving towards personalized shopping experiences isn’t just a choice; it’s a necessity for brands that want to succeed in the competitive online market. As the digital landscape keeps shifting, embracing personalization will be a key feature of successful online businesses, as they aim to offer not just products but unique and meaningful journeys that truly connect with their customers.