As online shoppers become more tech savvy and time-scarce, preference-based shopping experiences are expected to post a strong growth.
It’s no surprise then, that in 2015, we saw a greater number of online retailers making the first steps towards incorporating personalisation features into their ecommerce strategies.
However, ecommerce players hoping to gain a significant competitive advantage in 2016 need to focus on specific personalisation must-haves, that will provide their customers with an extraordinary user journey.
One of the main aims of personalisation is to provide retailers with the opportunity to build long-lasting relationships with their customers by creating compelling and relevant retail experiences.
Online players hoping to stay ahead should take the risk and require customer registration at checkout; capture the customer’s name as well as additional personal details.
This information can then be used later to personalise landing pages, email messages, or greeting messages that appear when a customer logs into their account.
Encouraging customers to set up a profile, where they can input specific personal attributes relevant to your product offering, is another great way of capturing key data that can help you to provide a more personalised experience.
This data can be used to serve special offers to the customers that are most appealing and relevant to their needs.
While personalisation, i.e. being addressed by name and having a platform remember your preferences, is considered a must in today’s ecommerce world, so called ‘contextual shopping’ is expected to gradually replace personalisation over the coming years.
Thanks to the new customer-centric technologies, customers don’t need to be registered or logged into a site or a platform, in order to be provided with relevant content that will help them go through their online decision journey more smoothly.
One example of a customer-centric technology that is set to take over the retail space soon is called ‘Beacon’.
Beacons allow omni-channel retailers to produce mobile deals and promotions when a shopper walks into the physical store, and works when a phone or tablet is searching for a ‘Beacon’ signal.
This way, merchants can easily combine online buying behaviour with in-store location data to offer customers relevant offers right at the point of sale, providing excellent opportunities for cross-selling or up-selling.
In 2016, pure-play retailers are expected to increasingly embrace ‘showrooming’ in physical locations; not particularly to boost in-store sales, but rather to display the products that customers can purchase later online.
This trend can also be effectively combined with the use of Beacons to further take advantage of the opportunities personalisation has to offer.
For example, when a customer spends a considerable amount of time in a particular area of a physical store, active Beacons will capture which products the visitor is most interested in. Retailers can then message the customer with relevant offers based on the items they were researching in-store.
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