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Personalize Your Digital Commerce Experience

By Srijita Chakraborty | January 02, 2020 | 0 Comments

MarketingCustomer Acquisition and Retention

Marketing leaders are increasingly spending on digital commerce personalization. In fact, digital commerce is the leading use case driving the purchase of personalization engines (see “Critical Capabilities for Personalization Engines”). However, many organizations often launch digital commerce platforms without having a clearly defined strategy or a solid understanding of how to meet customer expectations. As a result, they struggle to effectively drive digital commerce revenue. So how do you maximize the value of personalization in digital commerce?

First, recognize what the returns from personalization look like. While the broader goal of personalization is driving revenue, marketing leaders use conversion and average order value (AOV) as their top preferred metrics to measure the direct impact of their efforts (see “Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines”).

Second, understand consumer preferences for personalization and determine how you can use these to impact your chosen metrics. From consumers’ perspective, the most useful features are those that help make the purchase decision easier or faster (see “Personalizing the Consumer Website Experience”). At the same time, while consumers value ease, they don’t want to lose their sense of control over their personalized experience.

The features consumers find most valuable can be bucketed into two main categories that:

  • Drive conversion by making it easier/faster to make purchase decisions
  • Boost AOV by incentivizing bigger purchases.

With these two categories as a guide, think about certain tactics or site features to build out that can help meet these broader objectives.

Drive Conversion by Making Purchase Decisions Easier/Faster

Nearly half of consumers (47%) desire tools and services that save them the mental hassle of researching and picking items, and over a third of consumers (34%) would much rather spend money to save time while shopping. These tactics are particularly influential in the later stages of the buying journey, like finalizing the purchase or making a repeat purchase (see “Personalizing the Consumer Website Experience”). To design personalization tactics that make purchase decisions easier/faster, consider adopting the following features:

  • Offer one-click check-out options
  • Provide a simulator or 360-views for a better assessment of the product
  • Offer quick credit approvals or financial calculators for financial products
  • Show the price of the product across third-party sites
  • Allow filtering reviews based on categories the consumer selects
  • Allow items to remain in cart even if the consumer changes browsers or devices

Boost AOV by Incentivizing Bigger Purchases

To drive revenue, either find new customers to generate more sales or increase the amount of transaction per existing customer. Personalization tactics that improve average order value (AOV) can boost revenue through existing customers. Use the following tactics to increase revenue per visitor (RPV) from new and existing customers:

  • Provide information about in-stock availability at preferred stores
  • Offer a tiered loyalty program with increasingly better personalized benefits

Don’t Overautomate or Restrict Consumer Control

While consumers expect and value personalization, they “don’t care about” features that overautomate the purchasing process, including:

  • Automatically adding related products to the basket
  • Automatically shipping recurring orders
  • Offering social media sign-in options.

They also don’t care for features that do not help them complete their purchase, such as:

  • Offering a customized newsletter or blog
  • Allowing customers to share posts of them using the product
  • Offering rewards for sharing posts.

As you begin to think about how to personalize digital commerce sites, the most important thing to remember is that there is a fine line between being helpful and cloying. In fact, personalization that consumers perceive to be simply about proving you know them, and not helping them, can have a negative impact on your brand’s commercial objective (see “Rethinking Personalization for Maximum Impact”). Prioritize features that help consumers achieve their goals over those that simply prove you know the consumers. To see implementation tips for these personalization tactics and specific examples of how brands execute them on digital commerce, see Best Practices for Personalizing Digital Commerce.

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

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