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Me-Commerce: The present and future of personalized online shopping

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It may not be possible to know the name of every visitor to your ecommerce website, but it doesn’t mean your online store has to treat them like a number. “Me-commerce” is both the present and future of personalized online shopping, meaning customers appreciate feeling like a welcome guest every time they visit. Even more, they love timely assistance and relevant recommendations to point them in the right direction.

Here are four areas in which you can use personalization to improve your website’s user experience and boost loyalty (not to mention conversions). 

Navigational personalization

Pretend you’re a customer trying to buy a pair of women’s work pants online. You decide to shop at the web store of a brand you’ve visited in the past, so you log into your account. In scenario A, you encounter the generic home page and have to navigate to the category and product page yourself. In scenario B, you enter the site to find women’s clothing listed as the most prominent link on the navigation bar. Which scenario makes you more likely to buy?

This is the principle behind navigational personalization for ecommerce. The idea is your store can use shoppers’ browsing and purchase history to personalize their user experience. This is one of the primary benefits of convincing customers to make an account rather than check out as a guest. You can track their usage and help streamline their shopping experience. 

Helpful recommendations

If you’re a Netflix user, you’ve likely browsed the “Top Picks for [Your Name]” section for inspiration. Why? Because these movies have been carefully curated based on your tastes. It’s comforting to know out of thousands of titles, there’s a place you can go to find media relevant to you. As Practical Ecommerce points out, ecommerce retailers can learn a thing or two from this predictive model of personalization—including how to use metrics like product ratings, browsing history, purchase history and shopper persona to make intelligent recommendations.

Ease of personalization should be at the center of any enterprise ecommerce solutions comparison; a difficult-to-navigate platform can’t guide customers toward their end goal. 

Attentive customer service

It’s easy to feel anonymous when you’re shopping online. Unlike in physical retail stores, you can’t flag down a salesperson to answer your burning questions. But live chat is changing this. Using a live chat system, brands can communicate with customers during the transaction, resulting in opportunities for cross-selling and upselling.

The owner of one live chat customer service platform, LiveHelpNow, notes order values increase between 100 and 300 percent when a customer can speak to a representative before buying. Overall, it’s a great way to communicate quickly and clearly with customers, reassuring them your brand truly cares about their shopping experience.

A personal touch

When a customer opens their inbox to find an email blast from your ecommerce company, does it feel like a cookie-cutter message to thousands of people? Does it sound like a marketing robot wrote it? Or does it have a little extra something that makes it feel personalized and inviting? The difference between these two scenarios can greatly influence your open, click-through and conversion rates.

To start, try automatically sending behavior-triggered emails based on actions a consumer has taken with your site, whether it’s adding an item to their cart, creating an account or logging in for the first time in a while. These have click-through rates 152 percent higher than your run-of-the-mill, traditional emails, because they show your store understands where the customer is in their shopping journey.

In conclusion, ecommerce is trending more toward “me-commerce” these days. It’s the present and future of personalized online shopping.

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