The holiday season is one of the biggest times of the year for retailers. Many more customers than normal will flood your stores, looking for that perfect gift (or even just browsing to treat themselves!). People are more likely to spend, and more likely to spend more.
Personalization is a great way to have a leg up any other time of the year, but during the holidays, it’s an absolute must for any online shop
Four ways to give your business the gift of ecommerce personalization this Christmas
1.Personalizing the homepage
The holiday season could also be called the browsing season. At this time of year more than any other, people want to be inspired. If you, the retailer, can provide them with personalized product recommendations, they’ll be interested.
Top tip: Don’t leave this on a ‘My Account’, or a ‘My Recommendations’ page. The holidays are busy, and while people may be willing to be inspired, it’s only if you can do it for them quickly. The home page is where you’ll want to focus your personalized product recommendations, which they’ll see as soon as they start their journey with you.
Real-world example: This may be an obvious one, but Amazon are stand-out in the personalization field for the incredible work they do ensuring every single shopper sees a custom, personalized homepage. If you want to find out more behind how they do that, check out this guide.
This power of recommendation strategy cannot be understated. Combining personalization based on customer behaviour, along with the social proof of implying other customers have followed this purchase path, make a very persuasive argument to make a last-minute addition to their cart, especially during the holiday season. People want to get the perfect gift for their loved ones!
Top tip: Tailor your language to match your client base! For example, if you’re a luxury clothing store, offer items to complete the outfit with wording like ‘treat yourself to the full experience!’ Communicating with your customers in a way that tells them you’re working for them builds goodwill and a positive relationship.
Real world example: Norwich City Football Club (shop.canaries.co.uk), a club with a growing and loyal fanbase, increased their revenue by 83% over the Christmas period by employing a personalized cross-selling strategy. By offering their customers products which were frequently bought together at the product page and at the checkout page, customers were enticed to increase their order value and spend more.
Fun fact: 63% of shoppers want a wish-list feature. If you don’t have one on your site, chances are they’re using their shopping cart as a wish-list, putting in all the products they like the look of and don’t want to forget. However, during the busy holiday season, your customers may be browsing multiple sites, putting products in several different carts.
You can remain at the forefront of their attention by sending them a little reminder of what they might have forgotten with you. Pair it with a discount or freebie to make it especially enticing for them to return with you.
Top tip: Use all browsing behaviour, not just shopping cart abandonment. Product browsing is just as powerful an indication of interest as adding to a cart. Especially at the holidays, you can push to take advantage of that.
Real world example: I recently went onto a potted-plant subscription website (bloomboxclub.com) and searched for ‘pet-friendly’ because I have two cats, both prone to chewing on green leaves. I didn’t see anything on the site, so I left.
A few days later, I was browsing the site, thinking I could get a plant for my desk at work, when I saw a banner offering free cat grass on any orders before midnight. This is a perfect example of using all abandonment behaviour to trigger a purchase – I can tell you from personal experience that it works.
This is the year of the ultra-informed shopper. Visitors to your store will be comparing prices, offers, products and deals on multiple stores. Before they buy that perfect gift, they will be looking all over to find the best deal.
However, especially if you sell more up-market or expensive items, you can view this as a benefit rather than an obstacle.
If your customers come back to your site, this is a sure sign that they’re interested in what you have to offer. This gives you a chance to show them a banner or an offer on the item they showed they were interested in last time.
Top tip: If you can’t afford money off or a discount on big-ticket items, there are other little perks you can use to incentivize your returning visitors to buy now. For example, if a visitor browses an expensive range of jewellery on your site without buying, next time they come to your site, offer them a guide to keeping jewellery clean, or a small free item thrown in with the purchase. This creates added value for the customer, sometimes at no cost to you.
Real-world example: Jewelstreet is a high-end jewellery company who offers visitors who have been to their site a few times a Gift Finder Tool, meant to find your significant other the perfect holiday gift for any taste or budget. This kind of campaign, though with no discount or offer can be enough to sway the undecided shopper