How to leverage data to deliver relevant shopping experiences

September 11, 2018

The world of eCommerce has evolved in such a way that quality shopping experiences are just as, if not more, impactful than the transaction itself.

Consumers now expect a more relevant and personalized shopping experience when browsing their favorite store online.


They want brands to understand their tastes and interests, what they’re looking for, and what they’d probably be interested in buying in the future - all within mere minutes of landing on their website!

For an online retailer, that’s a tall order - especially considering that over 50% of consumers set their sights on personalized products and services!

To meet these expectations, brands worldwide are leveraging the value of data (within the scope of GDPR compliance, of course) to meet their customers halfway and personalize the products shown to them.

But, how you collect that data can either make or break your personalization efforts.

To start, let’s explore the value of data in eCommerce and the many ways it can power personalized product recommendations across your store. 

Personalization in eCommerce: The value of data

Advancements in AI and machine learning now make it possible for retailers to collect and leverage valuable data about their customers. Huge amounts of data is collected for every customer interacting with an online store every second.

But, leveraging all of that data to impact the customer experience and grow your business is easier said than done, due to the fact:

  1. Customers interact with your brand at multiple touch points. They may first come across your business on Facebook, then receive an email on their mobile device before visiting your site on a desktop computer one week later - that's lots of data to tie together!
  2. Data is typically locked away in silos. As online retail becomes more sophisticated, eCommerce professionals are adding more and more tools to their tech stack. While this is great in theory, trying to get these tools to talk to one another is really hard.
  3. What do you even do with all that data? Even if you’re are able to pull all this data together in some unified format, how do you actually go on to action that data to improve the customer experience and drive more value?

When creating a game plan to solve this challenge, it’s important to focus on the kind of data you’re collecting.

Research has shown that transactional data, while successful in delivering some level of personalization, only accounts for about 2% of data generated by shoppers. So where, and what, is that remaining 98%? It’s behavioural data, and it’s, well... forgotten, or hard for retailers to capture and leverage.

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The key is to marry the two: transactional and behavioural data.

You should always meet your customers wherever they are in their journey - whether it’s on social media, email, on your website, ready to buy or just browsing - in order to leverage data based on their collective behaviour, in real time. 

Now that we know data in eCommerce is vital, let's explore how to use it to your advantage.

Leverage real-time data across 3 key pages of your store

1. The Home page

In 2018, first impressions are everything, and your store’s Home page is the first and most crucial place these impressions are made.

New visitors are more of a challenge because it’s their first time interacting with your products online and you have virtually zero data to fuel what they might like.

But that doesn’t mean the data you do have is useless…

For new customers, you can use the Home page to display products historically popular with other customers.

In addition, use the Home page to recommend products based on geographic location (based on the user’s IP address) to suggest more location/seasonal appropriate products. You can also seize the power of social proof to establish some rapport with the shopper.

User-generated content achieves this by allowing shoppers to gauge the interests of other consumers. In fact, 88% of consumers turn to their peers for recommendations before making a purchase.

 Best selling products

Renowned skincare brand Kate Somerville displays best sellers on their Home page to entice new customers. This strategy helped increase consumer transactions by 16%.

Returning visitors can also be shown best sellers, but that’s where the data you’ve gathered truly comes into play: display only the products relevant to what they’ve previously viewed or purchased. You can also factor in products that they’ve viewed in the past but did not purchase to help complete the sale.

2. The Product pages

Once you’ve decided on a product, nothing says “we get you” quite like discovering a whole new set of products that complement what you’re looking for. Your store’s Product pages are a prime opportunity to achieve this and help increase your profits at the same time. By leveraging behavioural data, you can achieve the following: 

  • Upselling to recommend higher priced, but similar-style items. This technique involves using crowd logic to recommend higher-priced but similar products and more profitable in-house brands to help boost average order sizes. The result? Increased profit margins.
  • Cross-selling to boost your Product page with recommended, additional and complementary items. This makes it easier for shoppers to find related items and encourages them to fill their cart further.

 

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Lifestyle brand LeSportsac displays browsing history recommendations on their Product pages where the shopper can see what they’ve recently viewed, what others have viewed and products similar to what they’ve browsed. This provides unique cross-sell and up-sell opportunities that increase AOV.  

3. The Checkout page

Think of your Checkout page as the crossroads in the shopping journey. This is the point where your customers will either jump on board or abandon ship – or in this case, abandon cart.

In fact, an average 70% of carts are abandoned at checkout, so it’s crucial to optimize the Checkout page to convert indecisive customers into loyal buyers.

Here are some ways you can inspire shoppers to commit to their purchase: 

  • Suggest items that other customers have purchased or viewed along with what’s in the current customer’s shopping cart. The upselling and cross-selling technique is not limited to your Product pages!
  • Filter product recommendations by price to encourage the sale of small ticket items. By doing so, you remove a barrier to purchase, which will add up into big profit if enough people choose to buy.
  • Set up in-cart reminders to boost the sale. Promote products that the shopper has viewed multiple times or previously held in an abandoned cart: High-interest personalized reminders greatly increase the chance of them following through with their purchase.

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Accessory brand Pura Vida Bracelets promotes smaller ticket items at checkout to help increase average order value.

Connecting the data dots

While we explored some examples of how you can use personalized product recommendations on your site, the key to leveraging behavioural data is analyzing how your customers interact with your brand across multiple channels – including social, email, as well as tailoring content onsite beyond product recommendations and pop-ups.

Access the recording of our latest release webinar to explore these products and learn how you can deliver completely unique brand experiences to every visitor.

 

Topics: Partner Post

Guest Post: Zulay Regalado

Written by Guest Post: Zulay Regalado

Zulay Regalado is a copywriter at Nosto. Nosto enables online retailers to deliver their customers personalized shopping experiences at every touch point, across every device. A powerful personalization platform designed for ease of use, Nosto empowers retailers to build, launch and optimize 1:1 multichannel marketing campaigns without the need for dedicated IT resources. To learn more visit www.nosto.com.

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