In our last article about customer retention, we touched briefly on personalizing the ecommerce experience. But we consider this subject to be so important, that we decided to dedicate an entire article to it! Personalizing your ecommerce experience doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive, but it does require a little creativity and innovation, so getting it right can be a challenge.

In an age of online (and real-life) impatience and a need for instant results, customers love it when their shopping experience is tailored to them and what they like. In fact, 53 percent of online shoppers believe retailers who personalize the experience provide a valuable service. The irony with that statistic is that those shopping online can be rather protective and reluctant to hand over the personal information that is required to tailor content to them! One of the keys to getting them to part with that vital info is by making them aware that it is, literally, for their own good – to improve the service you provide them with. Over half of online shoppers would be happy to provide information about themselves if it’s for their benefit, and a whopping 77 percent said they would trust a business more if they explained how they use the data. Get explaining people!

One you know who your shoppers are, you can offer product recommendations based on current or past browsing sessions, or even the interests of similar visitors. It’s like the online version of a personal shopper, making the buyer feel like you understand their needs.

Getting personal doesn’t have to be limited to your actual site; email and social media are the perfect platforms to stay in touch and build a relationship with your customer. Offering specials through your social channels is a great way of making your followers feel appreciated and helps to create a better connection with your shoppers. Additionally, being an active voice and using your social media accounts to further showcase your values as a brand is important! Thank people for their comments, answer messages on instagram, and go out there and like things that you like!

Email is still considered to be the most important digital channel for online shopping personalization, outperforming every other advertising channel – in our eyes, that’s worth investing in. Email allows you to totally personalize your customer interaction, from birthday messages and specials, to rewards points and links to coupons related to shopping history.

Compared to your brick and mortar stores, physical touchpoints in the world of ecommerce are few and far between, which is where customized packaging comes in. Your shipped package is your most direct connection with your customer, and the more personal you get, the more memorable the experience. Consider packaging inserts, or one of our favorites – handwritten thank you cards. A note in a box is worth a thousand words, quote us on it!

It’s pretty clear that the traditional customer journey is dead, so it’s the innovative brands that will lead the way in the future. Delivering more personalized experiences both online and in brick and mortar stores will be one of the ways that you can ensure your business doesn’t just survive, but thrives! Make a personalized customer experience a priority, and you will not only increase engagement and drive sales, but also create a unique point-of-difference and set yourself apart.