When shoppers visit your store in-person, it’s easy for sales associates to tell if they need assistance or if they would be better served by a hands-off approach.
Salespersons can point customers in the right direction and build a rapport. These personal touches matter, and all a salesperson needs is experience and intuition to accomplish this in the store. But when it comes to online interactions, how can you inject some of this immediacy and personalization into your website?
In order to create the same level of connection that customers would receive in store, your online presence requires engagement strategies that can feel individualized without being intrusive.
Customer relationships and online personalization are the top priorities for ecommerce executives in 2022, according to a survey conducted by CommerceNext in partnership with CommX.
When you’re coming up with fresh ideas for engaging your customers, try not to confuse personalization with customization. Customization will allow your customers to see different color swatches for a particular couch.
Personalization, on the other hand, is about showing solutions that are relevant to them. A personalized ad can use data gathered from online activity to send a customer information about a product they might be interested in. If a customer has been searching for recliners on your website, the “recommended products” section of your website can direct them to your top sellers.
To provide your customers with an experience that addresses all of these questions, your website needs to be properly optimized.
It can be frustrating after years of perfecting the in-store buying journey to navigate a whole new frontier of communication online. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by data when you aren’t sure what you’re looking for. You need a plan to use the data you gather for personalization and engagement. Misinformed or mistargeted engagement might turn off more customers than you gain.
Feeling comfortable with online personalization might take some time if you are just getting started. But, there are some tried and true tactics that work for any business, big or small.
Amazon has perfected the algorithms that help the retail giant understand and influence its customers’ shopping habits. You can use some of those same techniques in a way that’s unique to your business. Here are a few ideas to engage your website visitors by playing up your strengths as a local retailer.
Events and Promotions by Location: It’s possible to track site visitors using their IP address, showing you where they are when they interact with your business. You can then use this information to show them deals, promotions, and sales from stores in their area.
Surveys and Quizzes: If a visitor signs up for a newsletter or gives you their email address during a purchase, send a follow-up email to gather their feedback — even if they haven’t made a purchase yet. Include a survey to ask about what recent sales initiatives they liked and which ones they ended up passing on. Use this information to refine and improve any future campaigns.
Personalized Product Recommendations: If customers have been searching for a specific type of furniture, show them suggestions that are relevant to them. This takes some of the burden off of your customers to search through hundreds of options.
Targeted Remarketing: Using personalized marketing techniques helps visitors see ads relevant to them. Compared to simple display ads with no personalization, targeted ads have an average of about 10 times higher click-through rate.
Shopping Cart Reminders: Sometimes visitors get distracted and don’t get all the way through checkout. Sending them reminders about what they left behind can bring them back to complete the sale and improve your abandonment rates.
Email Campaigns: With the information you’ve gathered from your customers and visitors, you can craft email campaigns that are directed at their interests and needs. You can create email lists for every customer who bought furniture during a promotion and invite them to come back for the next big sale.
Having a chat option on your website is an important personalization tool for retailers. Once chatbots have been integrated into your site, you can more easily close deals with online shoppers who are ready to make a purchase online.
Chatbots are helpful tools when retailers use them to respond to simple and frequently asked questions, like how to get to the store, what are store hours, and other basic information. By filtering out those customers, a LiveChat feature can then connect the remaining customers with a sales professional.
Tools like chatbots or LiveChat are not only used as part of the initial product search but they can also assist with questions when customers are making purchasing decisions and when they move to post-sale.
If you haven’t implemented tools like a chatbot into your website or integrated your own personalized marketing tactics, make it a top priority. Even if a customer never meets a salesperson or walks into your business, it’s still possible to create an online experience that’s up to your standards. All it takes is a little guidance and a solid strategy.