3 Ways Personalization Improves Customer Experience in Ecommerce

Published 17th Feb 2022 by Patrick DiLoreto & Caitlin McCartney
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We all know a simpler, faster buying experience is the main USP of online shopping. But what if a search query returns, say, 1000 results? Scrolling endless webpages of items is no better than searching endless idles on foot. 

So how do you ensure every customer who visits a website has an incredible experience? Enter personalization. 

At Particular Audience, we define meaningful personalisation as the ability to serve intuitive predictions by matching real-time customer intent with relevant products using 100% anonymous item data.

Here are three key ways personalisation improves customer experience.

1. You can delight the customer 

“Customer service at its best is giving someone what they want, without them needing to ask for it.”

James Taylor, Founder and CEO, Particular Audience

Often defined as surprising the customer by exceeding their expectations and creating a positive emotional reaction, customer delight stems from satisfied customers using your product and starting to loyally and actively promote it. 

Good personalization is all about delighting customers online. This can be done through identifying patterns in data, and matching those patterns to customer intent. Platforms, like ours, allow retailers to serve relevant product recommendations to match in moment customer intent.

Through deep understanding of the relationship between items, providing a level of customer experience that delights prospects by instantly showing them what they want to see.

2. Customers benefit from wisdom of the crowd

Your goal in retail and customer experience is to give people what they want before they need to ask for it. Personalization tech like ‘collaborative filtering’ can achieve this by unlocking something called wisdom of the crowd. 

What is wisdom of the crowd?

Well, when a customer visits a website, their shopping journey consists of what they search for and what items they click on. One shopping journey might not reveal much, but analyze, say, 100 000 shopping journeys, and patterns will emerge about the relationship between items and shopping behavior onsite. This is where the power of personalization comes in. 

If 100,000 people have followed a similar browsing journey, based on what they did next ‘collaborative filtering’ can shortcut a customer’s path to the same outcome. 

Unlocking the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ means unlocking the ability to predict what a customer wants. Good personalization is really just good prediction, and good prediction means customers get what they want faster.  

3. You can deliver a smoother shopping experience online than in-store. 

There’s a reason why Amazon dominates ecommerce - when it comes to online shopping, consumers are often loyal to the overall experience, rather than the products a retailer sells. If similar products are sold on a competitor’s website, retailers must find ways to distinguish the shopping experience they offer. 

A platform like Particular Audience allows any retailer, large or small, to optimize the path to conversion - something not possible to do when looking for a lipstick in Mecca. 

If a customer shops at a store they may have to search for a long time to get what they want. They can talk to a sales assistant, but this isn't guaranteed to speed up the process. They may have to wait for someone to become available to help, and even if that assistant can locate an item quickly, they might not know which items are good alternatives if one particular item is out of stock. Customers also don’t enjoy being ‘upsold’ in person, even when they’re being asked to consider products that perfectly fit their shopping needs.

Compare this to an optimized online retail store. A customer visits a website, and is immediately presented with a bespoke, personalized webpage, with items ranked according to browsing context.  Already their chances of finding exactly what they want are high. 

In Short

If you want customers to come back, you need to reduce barriers to purchase, improve CX and make product discovery as easy as possible. 

Dynamic, context aware personalization is without a doubt the most effective way to achieve this in ecommerce. 

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