The importance of personalisation in ecommerce. Personalisation is now a big deal for marketers and for good reason. A study shown by O2 showed that adding personalisation to their eCommerce experience increased sales by 7.8% over a short period of time and that online retailers monitoring their personalisation efforts have seen increases in sales by an average of 19% across the board.
Personalisation is so big that 94% of marketers agree that personalisation is critical to their success, yet interestingly, up to three-quarters of these marketers struggle to implement real-time, personalised content experiences effectively.
That’s because marketers often perceive personalisation as invasive and seemingly complex. The boundaries for personalised experiences are a hotly debated topic and one that attracts its fair share of naysayers arguing personalisation’s potentially invasive, ‘creepy’ and NSA-like nature.
Don’t let the harbingers of doom sway you
Personalisation as a ‘creepy’ practice is a gross misconception that is reserved for first-time Internet users and the digitally paranoid – and there’s evidence to prove it.
Since personalisation has become increasingly popular (and virtually unavoidable thanks to global mega-brands such as Amazon, Apple and Google) consumers are not just accepting personalisation, now even that they actually prefer it, but they actually expect it. Following trend it won’t be long before they demand it, and if you aren’t providing it they will go elsewhere.
Research by the Aberdeen Group claims 75% of consumers ‘like it’ when brands personalise their promotional messaging and that 61% of consumers prefer personally relevant offers, even if it comes at a risk of reduced browser privacy.
Of course, we’re expecting marketers to circumvent the realm of ethics when personalising eCommerce experiences, so the lesson is abundantly clear:
When putting personalisation into practice, utility trumps the invasion of personal online space in the minds of the average digital consumer.
Retail, E-tail or ‘Me-tail’?
Consumers are the savviest they’ve ever been. In fact, most online shoppers are so mindful of the promotional messaging around them that they can completely shut out their attention to advertisements.
Whilst this frightens some advertisers, others see it as an opportunity to appeal to their audience’s subconscious. 56% of consumers say they would be more inclined to use an online retailer if it offered a ‘good personalised experience’ and nearly three-quarters of online consumers felt frustrated when presented with content such as ads, offers and other promotions that are irrelevant to the objectives of their visit or interests.
So what does this mean? The more accurate a personalised experience, the more likely consumers will pay attention to a brand’s offer or message and take targeted action.
No tortoises allowed
Remember the fable of the tortoise and the hare and how the tortoise played it ‘safe’ to eventually win the race? Now is not that time. Going deep into designing personalised experiences can be an intimidating undertaking for any marketing manager, but when brands are slow to adopt, they fall behind and this ends up costing them (just as we saw with social, mobile, and automation).
So what next?
Personalisation has boundless capabilities for your brand and customers and there are encouraging arguments favoring both sides of the experience. As an increasingly accepted, and in many cases preferred, method of advertising by consumers, it makes sense to explore what personalization ideas can be incorporated into your eCommerce efforts.
The results surpass the most reticent curmudgeon, and you do need to know what is predictive content personalisation.