The changing behavior of online shoppers has quickly outlined the need for personalized online merchandising. No more do customers permit generic, broad holiday and sale campaigns persuade them to buy – your campaigns need to be tailored, relevant and personalized or else they’ll find those perfect products elsewhere.
Everywhere on your site is an opportunity to show your visitors that you understand their needs, and you can help them with their shopping. You can use campaigns to become a trusted expert, to promote cross-selling opportunities, to let them know of a new line of products you know they’ll love, and so much more.
“Your merchandising campaigns need to be tailored, relevant and personalized or else your customers will find those perfect products elsewhere…”
These campaigns should be based on past behavior, such as what they’ve bought in the past, but also on their present actions, like what products they’ve searched for, added to their cart, and even looked at. All this information is crucial in getting inside your visitor’s heads and turning them into repeat, loyal customers who love your brand.
More than that, you can rely on AI to provide on-the-spot, real time personalization at every stage in your visitors’ shopping journeys. So how can you do this?
1. AI RECOMMENDERS AT KEY CONVERSION POINTS
Your visitors and you both want the same thing: for the visitors to find an amazing (or several amazing) products on your store, buy them, and come back for more. Of course, you can put best-sellers, trending products, and similar items on your home page and product pages, but technology available today lets you go a step further. What’s more, your customers expect you to.
What you need to do is first identify crucial conversion points across your site. It may seem simple, but in fact there are lots of areas you might not have thought of. Then, simply place an AI recommender there.
The AI will automatically orchestrate the recommendation strategy that’s most likely to convert your visitor depending on where they are in their buying journey.
The combination of these two steps will result in your visitors being presented with the perfect products for them at every stage of their visit with you.
One more unconventional example is the Account page. Many of PureClarity’s clients see a huge amount of success with the “My account” page as a conversion point, as visitors grow to trust that area as a place to see products recommended specifically for them. Visitors may see this area as a place to get the top recommendations. Lean into that and use that to build a relationship with them. If you offer them amazing products that the AI knows they’ll love, they will come to trust you and your brand, increasing their revenue and loyalty over time.
Use banners and carousels, paired with manual recommenders, to build campaigns which are tailored to convince your customers to convert. How can you do this?
a) Build on past behavior
For example, if you have products which are bought frequently, determine what the buying cycle is and anticipate your customer’s needs. For example, candles burn down quickly and need to be replaced often. Show your customers a banner paired with a manual recommender with candles they’ve bought in the past and get them to click and buy now.
b) Use external circumstances to predict necessity
For example, Autumn is coming up now. If you’re a B2C, you’re starting to think about Autumn lines. Whether you’re a garden supplier, a clothing retailer or a gift shop, you’ll have products which will perfectly align with your customer’s mind frame.
c) Combine factors
The more specific and personalized you get, the more results you’ll see as people find that your messaging and products fit their needs. For example, you can combine both the buy again campaign from above and the seasonal campaign as you know that in winter, candles burn down quicker. Or you can offer your visitors a new, floral scented candle for spring. The options for how and to how many customer segments you personalize your campaigns are limitless.
3. RELY ON REAL TIME
In online shopping, there is nothing more impressive than a site that changes as your needs change in the moment. Imagine you’re browsing online for shoes and a banner pops up on your search results page: “Looking for shoes? Why not try these.” What great merchandising!
The image has the color you like best, and the brand you’ve bought in the past. But not only that – it’s raining where you are, and when you click on the banner, it takes you to a page to buy the shoes – and get some spray-on shoe protector against the rain.
You add it to your basket and keep browsing. Now when you go to the homepage, the recommendations have changed to be filled with products that go well with the spray and the shoes.
What’s so great about this approach to campaigns is that by relying on real-time behavior and circumstances specific to each individual visitor, the merchandising campaigns are impressively relevant and tailored for each shop. This results in an increased conversion rate and increased average order value, netting you a higher revenue over time
In 2019, customers expect that merchandising campaigns will guide them through their shopping experiences, bringing them products that will be the perfect additions to their purchases, reacting in real-time to their behavior, and being relevant to their circumstances. From the homepage, to their cart, to blog posts (because in 2019, every online shopping site has a blog) and even the order confirmation page, they demand real-time relevance at every turn.