Personalized Content Makes 25% of Web Shoppers More Likely to Buy Again
Customer experience really does matter, even online in ways e-commerce marketers may not realize. Sure, a seamless shopping-to-conversion experience needs to happen. But now, online customers expect to be more than a sale to you. They want personalized content that enhances their customer journeys, according to recent research.
"With so many channels and technologies asking for our data,” says Randy Frisch, CMO and co-founder of Uberflip on Wednesday, “consumers are extra wary of giving out their personal information. What makes them even less inclined to share their info? Mistargeted content. Good news though — there is something that can help you gain their trust. Eighty-seven percent of online shoppers are okay with companies knowing more about them, if a brand personalizes its experiences to their interests. Marketers have a huge opportunity to build trust with their customers by delivering personalized experiences that make them more likely to buy and — even better — stay loyal."
That 87 percent figure comes from Episerver’s 2018 “Reimaging Commerce” study. (Opens as a PDF)
The research shows shoppers now expect to be delighted online, with brands satisfying needs when consumers come to their sites for “inspiration, … problem-solving, product discovery, product research, product comparison and more.” Customers are also likely to punish brands that get personalization wrong, with 46 percent not completing purchases as a result, according to Episerver.
Episerver’s research also finds:
“When brands personalize online shopping experiences, a quarter of people are more likely to purchase from them again. Similarly, 20 percent of shoppers are more loyal to brands that personalize, and 20 percent trust these brands more. In the race to earn more online sales, the worst thing brands can do is forget that there are real people on the other side of the screens.”
For Marketers Who Think They Already Personalize Content
Behavior-based personalized content is more valuable to the customer experience than the demographic-based personalization you’re probably doing right now, says Episerver.
While marketers can supplement demographic information with behavioral information, the latter works well alone, the research states.
“Not only do real-world behaviors speak louder than what a shopper may enter about herself into a form, but with every business having a go at personalization, shoppers now expect more than demographic-based efforts.”
Gradually Use Data Collected for Personalization
In its research from 2017, Episerver found:
“Our new survey shows that 92 percent of first-time visitors to a website do not intend to make a purchase. Their visit may only be the first step in a journey to browse, compare, learn and then buy. Brands overly focused on transactional affairs too often miss out on other key engagement opportunities.”
This year’s Episerver study showed that in addition to that, customers who buy based on price may not feel motivated to return without personalized content.
But marketers don’t need to stick with just name and email, or go straight to a detailed form. There’s a way to finesse the visitors and first-time buyers into a relationship, reveals the Content Marketing Institute in an Oct. 25 post:
Personal data doesn’t have to be collected all at once. Start with small asks for name and email in exchange for more information and compelling content. Or concentrate on personalizing for existing clients and names in your database. Consider this a slow burn, using the data you have to start lead-nurturing campaigns, and adding more personal data as the relationship grows. In this way, you build trust and lessen the resistance people have to sharing information. You can then put the data to work in many ways (just don’t creep them out by getting unnecessarily personal):
- Personalize calls to action in your content and on your site.
- Surprise and delight members of your audience by using their names in different ways, like a first-name greeting on your home page.
Say How You’ll Use Personal Data in Marketing Efforts
Be transparent about digital marketing efforts. Transparency for online relationships means showing customers what data you’re requesting, how you’ll use it and what kind of personalized experience will benefit them, Episerver says.
Offline and Offline-Assisted Conversions
The earlier subhead talks about collecting data online and using it online. But personalized content can aid with offline experiences and vice versa.
"When in-store, for example, 45 percent of shoppers have tried/would be interested in having store associates use tablets to find product recommendations based on their past search/purchase histories."
Even offline marketing can have personalized content. BRAND United's case study about direct mail meant to secure donations for the U.S. Border Security Council extended the concept of personalized content to the outer envelope. Personalization improved the response rate 41 percent.
The Benefits of Personalized Content for the Marketer
UseProof.com states in a Nov. 29 post:
“By delivering personalized content, flows and CTAs, your visitors can sort themselves into categories. This makes follow up easier and more efficient. For instance, look at how Humboldt County’s stunningly beautiful visitor site quickly sorts people based on interest. Once they give you that information, it’s so much easier to provide consumers services that they actually want to buy.
“Personalization can also be used to funnel out less valuable leads. Or alternatively, as was the case with Visitor A in the Amazon example, you can direct them to parts of your site that are more self-service and passive.
“With personalization, each visitor has a better experience, because they see what is relevant to them more quickly and can easily determine if a product is a good fit. When people are able to easily find what they want, your efficiency skyrockets.
“Personalization reduces acquisition costs as much as 50 percent, lifts revenues by 5 [to] 15 percent, and increases the efficiency of marketing spend by 10 [to] 30 percent.”
The Benefit of Personalized Content for the Consumer
Yes, personalized content is about more than consumer navel-gazing. Simply put, consumer’s don't think you’re special, marketers. And it’s not, get this, personal.
As Drew Housman writes for UseProof.com:
“Sites have precious little time to make a positive impression. By showing each visitor personalized content, marketers can cut through the noise and get people to actually pay attention.”
He adds that properly executed, personalized content can even feel like second-nature to customers:
“Think about the last site you visited — did they address you by name? Or prompt you to log back in? Were the headlines you were seeing relevant to your interests?
“Chances are, you didn’t even notice. The web is becoming more personalized, and rather than freaking out, consumers are embracing it — both passively and actively.”
Plus, personalized content makes the customer experience pleasant.
In a subhead “Personalization Is Paramount,” the Ivy Marketing Group writes in a Nov. 15 post:
“According to Psychology Today, feeling understood is even more important than feeling loved. Knowing who your audience is and what makes them tick is the heart and soul of successful marketing. Marketers who employ highly targeted content are far more likely to create lasting relationships with their customers and prospects than those who are taking stabs in the dark. A 2017 study showed that 79 percent of companies that exceeded their revenue goals had a personalized digital media strategy in place. No matter how things change in the digital marketing realm, the guiding principle is sure to stay the same: Reach the right audience with the right message at the right time in the right way. Personalized content does that best, and not only do consumers welcome targeted messages, they expect it.”
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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