10th September 2016 -

10 Myths About Ecommerce Personalization

First of all, I will give you my interpretation of Ecommerce Personalization

Many years ago before the birth of ecommerce and indeed most 20-year-olds, you could walk into a shop and would be usually addressed by your first name. You had perhaps been shopping there for a number of years and in that time frame, the shop keeper had gathered enough knowledge about you to understand your requirements. This was indeed a subtle process but a very important one as the grocer’s full intention was to sell additional items to you in order to make a good living. Using the knowledge gained, the grocer would often recommend items that were relevant on that day, for example, “asparagus is in season, I know you often have dinner parties why don’t you serve asparagus and Parma ham?”.

Certainly, in the last decade the “community feel” seems to have disappeared on the high-street and now many online traders are fighting back and have their sights firmly set on emulating that level of personalization once delivered in local shops.

Taking the concept of personalization from the high-streets and placing this on to an ecommerce site sounds easy enough but actually is quite difficult. The key to this is to gain a good understanding of each individual customer and strategically place relevant recommendations in front of them (typically in areas of the journey where a customer may leave the site or look at alternative brands). You need a system that will record the behavioral patterns and use trends within the data to determine what relevant is. There are many parts of the customer journey and many areas that you need to think about when adopting personalisation as there are many software companies that supply this but quite often may only focus on one area of the customer journey.

Imagine if you could personalize search results, personalize landing/product pages, personalize baskets and then even reach out to a customer with personalization after they have left your site or abandoned their basket? In my view, this is the bare minimum of what you should be looking to achieve – treat every customer as an individual, only send them marketing or deliver recommendations if you know is relevant, or just don’t bother!

10 Myths about Personalization.
1. Customers feel like it is intruding their shopping experience and are worried about privacy

Absolutely not, in fact, 40% of customers actually admitted to making a purchase when they received a good level of Ecommerce Personalization, according to Econsultancy. Based on a recent study, 32% of respondents were happy for their information to be used to make recommendations based on things they have looked at on a site.

2. I have a lot of historical data but can’t use it with a personalization system

Yes, you can, in fact, PureClarity is hopeful that you do have some historic data so it can be fed in and start analyzing the data immediately.

3. I can only segment people into one profile

Advanced Personalization software such as PureClarity will allow you to place customers into multiple behavioral profiles and will actually do this for you by analyzing clusters of data. Placing someone into multiple behavioral profiles allows you to market to them more and also allows for accuracy in delivering personalization.

4. It is expensive

Generally, most personalization providers who deliver personalization to the full customer journey tailor their software prices towards the enterprise sector. PureClarity is priced to suit any size business.

5. It will take hours of management and I haven’t got the time.

Leave PureClarity running whilst you are busy it will continue to collect data and continue to deliver very relevant results.

6. Our current provider doesn’t produce live reports so we find it difficult to be proactive.

Great Ecommerce Personalization can only be delivered by using accurate, up to date information. How else can you deliver “real time marketing”? Again most good providers will produce real-time data.

7. We can survive without personalization, we seem to be doing ok

Perhaps this is the case now, but customers are very savvy these days and have a lot of information to hand. Imagine if Joe Bloggs is looking for a new camera and he visits your site with no personalization. First of all, he has to navigate the search area, then source what he is looking for, all time-consuming. Now Joe Bloggs then decides to visit a rival site and as soon as he lands on the site it is personalized. Because Joe frequently purchases cameras he is placed into a camera loving profile and his whole landing page displays cameras, plus equipment and even camera reviews. Which site do you think Joe will buy his camera from?

8. Personalization doesn’t work for b2b businesses and is only for retail ecommerce

PureClarity is sophisticated enough to be able to tell the difference between an individual and a company. Should several people from one company visit your ecommerce site then they will get the same view.

9. I can purchase a number of plugins that will deliver personalization as I was told to buy “best of breed”

They may very well specialize in one focus area of that customer journey but will you be able to deliver search results whilst incorporating behavioral data and will you be able to send reactive emails whilst incorporating behavioral data? In reality, you need Ecommerce Personalisation to be as seamless as possible otherwise it just won’t deliver the required results.

10. I have a small product range

Personalization isn’t just about knowing what products someone may want to purchase. It is about understanding so much more about the customer such as buyer patterns, time of day, the day of the week, average spend, individual item average spend, geographical, return habits and much more.