With the abundance of data at our fingertips and the power of AI-driven solutions, retailers have the unique opportunity to provide customers with tailored shopping experiences. To shed light on this topic, a recent panel discussion featured experts from the field who shared their valuable insights and strategies for successful ecommerce personalization.
- Sabrina Cherubini, SVP Brand & Digital Marketing, Hanky Panky
- Sunil Kaki, frmr Chief Marketing Officer, FIGS
- Theresa Cowing, VP, e-Commerce, Tarte
- Kerrigan Baron, Sr. Technical Director, MACH & Composable Technologies, Kin + Carta
- Christine Masters, Senior Product Manager, Emerging Products, Contentstack
Watch the replay below or read on for the key takeaways:
The Three Buckets of Data Collection:
Collecting and managing customer data is at the heart of effective personalization. Sunil Kaki, former CMO at FIGS, outlined three primary data collection approaches:
- Explicit data: This includes information willingly shared by customers, often through quizzes or surveys. The key is to be intentional about what data is collected and how it benefits the customer.
- Observed data: This pertains to customer behavior, such as their browsing patterns and past purchase history. Understanding these behaviors helps in tailoring the shopping experience.
- Predictive data: By using both explicit and implicit inputs, businesses can make predictions about a user’s future preferences and needs.
The consensus among the panelists was that prioritizing data collection and its integration across different teams is essential to successful personalization.
Whether it’s through a mobile app, website, social media, email or even in-store, these interactions shape their overall perception of a brand. To provide a top-notch shopping experience and remain competitive, ecommerce businesses need to pivot towards multi-channel personalization, ensuring that they meet their customers wherever they are on their shopping journey.
One of the key principles of multi-channel personalization is to offer content and offerings that are not only consistent but also highly relevant. For instance, if a customer starts browsing on a mobile app, the products and promotions should be in line with their preferences and past behavior. This prevents disjointed and confusing experiences. The idea is to present the customer with a streamlined journey, making it easy for them to transition from one channel to another without feeling lost.
Additionally, by accumulating customer data and insights from various touchpoints, businesses can tailor their content and recommendations effectively. Machine learning and AI tools are instrumental in making real-time decisions, ensuring that each interaction is personalized and contextually relevant.
Panelists in the discussion emphasized the significance of adopting customer-focused metrics, a key element in cultivating a culture that prioritizes customers’ needs above all else.
To truly put the customer first, businesses are moving away from outdated business-centric metrics and transitioning toward customer performance indicators. These metrics offer a comprehensive evaluation of how well a business is serving its customers. Whether it’s assessing the efficiency of the customer support team, evaluating the speed of issue resolution or analyzing the overall customer experience, these performance indicators provide actionable insights.
One of the defining features of customer-focused metrics is their ability to delve deep into specific customer needs. Understanding what customers want and how well a business is meeting those needs is pivotal. Metrics in this category often encompass customer feedback, surveys and direct interactions to uncover valuable insights. This enables businesses to fine-tune their strategies and offerings based on real customer demands, ultimately driving higher levels of satisfaction and loyalty.
Beyond numbers and data, the adoption of customer-focused metrics seeks to transform an organization’s culture. By shifting the focus from business-centric perspectives to customer-centricity, businesses can create a more empathetic, responsive and adaptable environment. This cultural shift encourages employees at all levels to think about how their actions and decisions impact the customer and how they can contribute to an exceptional customer experience.
A/B Testing is a Crucial Element in Personalization:
Another key strategy that the experts highlighted is the essential role of A/B testing in comparing two or more variations of a webpage or marketing content to determine which one performs better. In the context of personalization, A/B testing can be a game-changer for optimizing the customer experience. It provides benefits like:
- Data-Driven Optimization: A/B testing leverages data to enhance personalization strategies effectively, ensuring businesses can cater to individual customer needs and preferences.
- Continuous Improvement: With A/B testing, businesses can consistently refine their approach by experimenting with various elements, helping them stay agile and adapt to changing consumer behaviors.
- Enhanced User Experience: A/B testing guarantees customers receive content that resonates with them, ultimately boosting engagement and satisfaction levels.
- Cost-Effective Strategy: It empowers businesses to allocate resources strategically by identifying what truly works, reducing guesswork and wasted efforts in personalization.
Here are some scenarios where A/B testing can be particularly valuable for personalization:
- Product Recommendations: Testing different recommendation algorithms and product placements to determine which ones lead to higher conversion rates.
- Content Variations: Experimenting with variations in product descriptions, images, and promotional content to find the most effective combinations.
- Email Campaigns: A/B testing can help refine email personalization, from subject lines and content to product recommendations, increasing open rates and click-through rates.
- Pricing Strategies: Evaluating different pricing strategies or discount offers to determine which appeals more to specific customer segments.
- User Interface Elements: Testing design elements, such as color schemes, layouts, and navigation menus, to assess their impact on user engagement.
- Segmentation Strategies: A/B testing can be used to refine how customers are segmented for personalization efforts, ensuring that the right content reaches the right audience.
By systematically testing different personalization strategies and variations, businesses can unlock valuable insights into what truly resonates with their audience. This iterative approach enables ecommerce companies to provide customers with a more tailored and engaging experience, resulting in improved user satisfaction, higher conversions and ultimately, increased revenue.
The path to mastering personalization in ecommerce involves a combination of data management, technology and a profound understanding of the customer journey. Privacy considerations and ongoing testing and optimization are essential for success. The experts’ insights from this recent CommerceNext webinar provide a valuable roadmap for businesses looking to enhance their personalization efforts and deliver better shopping experiences to their customers.
For more content like this, register for our CommerceNext Ecommerce Growth Show, taking place on June 11-13, 2024 in NYC.