The Importance of E-Commerce Personalization in B2C Marketing
By Carl Bleich
As customer demands of brands soar higher and higher, the importance of e-commerce personalization in B2C marketing is at an all-time high.
Personalization in e-commerce is the process of delivering personal experiences online by dynamically showing content, product recommendations, and specific offers based on previous actions. These previous actions include purchase history, browsing behavior, demographics, and other personal data.
Personalization is important for brands in B2C marketing because it gives the customer multiple connection points to your company that otherwise might not have existed. These personal connections can lead to increased brand loyalty and potentially more sales revenue.
CMSWire summed it up well: personalization is where data and content intersect.
E-Commerce Personalization is a Customer Expectation
Consumers have an expectation for hyper-personalized brand interactions. If your company is unable to provide those interactions, and provide them with content that resonates, you are falling behind in our new digital-first world.
While personalization might be a buzzword these days, that doesn't mean it's not valuable to your business.
And valuable actually means valuable. Like, monetarily. Check out these statistics:
- Monetate states that marketers see an average increase of 20% in sales when offering customers personalized experiences.
- Epsilon research indicates that 80% of shoppers are more likely to buy from a company that offers them a personalized experience.
- SmarterHQ says that 91% of seekers are more likely to interact with brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations.
Since 83% of seekers would trade personal data for a more personalized experience, it makes sense that so many companies and marketers are investing resources into personalizing content for their target audiences.
In an ideal scenario, there is a tradeoff between consumers and companies that happens when it comes to personalized content. Consumers willing to give data to the company in exchange for personalized content coming back to them, which in turn leads to a better customer experience with the brand.
Avoiding breakdowns (customers being untrusting of your brand, your company lacking the knowledge of what to do with data, etc.) in this “data to personalized content chain” is key to ensuring that you will be able to personalize important marketing communications for your customers for the long haul.
Sofology Wins With Personalized Experiences
“It all starts with getting your data in a single place and getting the single customer view,” said Graham Wilson, Head of Business Development for Sofology. “For us, our customers traverse across different channels. About 97% of our customers start their journey with Sofology online. We have to tailor content for their journey accordingly.”
The challenge for Sofology, and many brands that have strong online and brick-and-mortar presences, is combining the offline and online data to show the complete picture of the customer.
For example, if Susan is browsing Sofology’s website for a yellow sofa, she will receive targeted marketing communications from Bloomreach Engagement that fit that bill. But if Susan comes into one of Sofology’s 47 brick-and-mortar locations and is struck by the beauty of a red loveseat, her intent as a seeker has changed.
If she continues to receive targeted marketing communications that do not incorporate her new in-store appreciation of the red loveseat, Sofology risks sending marketing communications that are no longer meaningful to Susan. These communications may have been personalized at one time, but they no longer are.
“We want to stitch everything we possibly can together,” Wilson said. “There’s a lot of in-store data that we can push into Bloomreach Engagement. We want to be able to access it. The more the merrier.”
Sofology is also thinking outside the box when it comes to offline data. It has realized that zero-party data bits such as in-store WIFI registration and in-store appointment data can be valuable in painting a more complete picture of the customer. Everything helps in the quest for better personalization.
“If you can’t understand where your customers have been and can’t stitch them together across different channels, you’re going to struggle from a personalization point of view,” Wilson said.
Bloomreach is the Leader for E-Commerce Personalization
Two statistics help point to this:
- 77% of e-commerce decision makers agree that digital commerce is / will become the most important sales channel within one to three years
- 79% of buyers would change suppliers / retailers if they had a poor experience
Personalization is one of the many keys to ensuring that seekers do not have a poor experience with your brand.
Digital commerce is here to stay and personalized experiences for customers play a huge role in them developing brand loyalty. If your company is ready to take your data and start investing back in your customers through personalization efforts, the Bloomreach Commerce Experience Cloud is the platform you need.
Bloomreach provides the perfect combination of product data and customer data for your company's personalization needs. Learn more about why Bloomreach is the partner you need to best personalize content for your customers in our new digital-first world.