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From the We Make Websites blog

Josie Harness
We will be seeing more retail tech come to stores in 2019: the opportunity to win a customer by personalizing their experience online has never been greater.

Personalization should be at the very core of every customer relationship, especially in e-commerce where personalization has lacked.

Brick and mortar retail stores have traditionally had the advantage of offering individual attention through sales associates or personal shoppers. Until the rise of retail technology, online stores lacked this individual attention and personal touch. Today’s exciting retail technology has made personalization both easy to implement early on and scalable for e-commerce stores.

It is no longer effective to broadcast general messages to your customers: you need to speak to the exact needs of each individual customer and match the experience of an individual shopping experience shoppers benefit from in physical stores. An e-commerce brand’s messaging needs to be special, and stand out from the competition

For some bizarre reason, even though e-commerce managers have access to highly effective marketing methods these days, most online brands are neglecting personalized messaging once a shopper visits their site. The majority of online retail brands are only focusing on getting consumers to the store and then the content is generalized again. 

If brands focused more on creating a seamless personalized customer experience all the way through the customer journey, brands would be engaging customers more, making them feel more appreciated and see an increase in conversions as a result.

Best personalization apps on Shopify

Script Editor Using line item, shipping, and payment scripts you can implement custom logic and personalise the user experience during a customer’s checkout journey. 

Nosto is an AI-powered personalization solution that delivers customers personalized shopping experiences at every touch point. 

Directed Edge is a personalised product recommender app that is super quick to configure and customize. 

Fresh Relevance is a personalization platform that blends marketing creativity with smart technology to elevate the customer experience and optimize revenue.

Dotdigital Engagement Cloud is an omnichannel marketing platform that turns customer data and insights into personalised marketing campaigns, driving revenue and customer engagement across email, SMS, social, push, and web.

Personalize your email marketing

Don’t send your email contacts generic messages: make them feel appreciated with personalized messages. This will further enhance the overall customer experience. FYI, we don’t just mean calling them by their first name. 

Brands that want to up their personalization game should send different emails to specific customers based on their shopping habits and preferences. These messages will resonate better with recipients and engage your target audience. Remember that your email list will contain different subscribers: lapsed customers, repeat purchasers, and prospects. The latter haven’t placed an order yet but may have abandoned their cart, signed up to updates, or opted in to receive special offers. It’s important to tailor your emails to these distinct groups.  

A good first step to personalizing your emails is to identify the unique needs of an existing customer versus a potential customer - someone who has subscribed for updates or special offers but hasn’t yet placed an order. You can figure this out by inviting all subscribers to fill in a survey using TypeForm, Survey Monkey, or Dotdigital Engagement Cloud

Once you’ve captured the data you need, segment customers on whichever criteria works best for your brand. For instance, some people might be into swimwear and others into running gear. Maybe it makes sense to filter contacts by location? You could also pool customers together based on link grouping - the types of links they’ve clicked on - and then follow up with relevant content.  

Your next step is to personalize your emails to meet the individual needs of your customer base. Build personalized campaigns for specific segments, or use dynamic content to customize the body of your email according to a customer’s preferences and behaviors. 

Tips to personalize emails:

1) Product recommendations - don’t feature products they have already purchased, but products that will interest them based on previous buying history - i.e. 'best next' and 'lookalikes'. These are based on what similar customers went on to purchase next and products that share similar attributes - i.e. 'all-inclusive', 'green', 'waterproof', etc.

2) The header and body copy should relate to the customer’s interests and point in their journey 

3) Change calls-to-action based on where they currently are in the buying cycle

4) Hide forms or calls to action they’ve already completed - you don’t want to annoy them with repeated content. For example, don’t remind them to redeem an offer when they already have

5) Editorial: share blog posts and how-to content based on their interests, hobbies, web behavior, and past purchases. 

6) Use advanced personalisation, like liquid script, to display unique and highly relevant images or information (i.e. current weather based on location, shoe size, loyalty points balance, etc.) 


Looking ahead we will see more e-commerce brands leverage retail technology to create a personalized customer experience. Online retailers have recognized that personalization opportunities, as a way to increase conversions, are too good to miss.


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