Customer expectations for online retailers have increased as a result of better technological understanding. Merchants who cannot provide an enjoyable shopping experience will suffer a superb decline in sales.
Creating a personalized experience for customers is the priority for merchants to meet buyers’ needs. Store owners may not know the customers physically, but they can still understand consumers' behavior to provide a tailored shopping experience. Personalization seems difficult at first, but there are some ways online store owners can transition from a one-size-fits-all experience to a more individualized one.
Collecting The Right Data
Personalization depends on data, that is why the first step to customize the purchasing process is to have remarkable insights.
View your customer profile and identify information that you have. Build your buyer personas with details from all your data sources. Specifically, there are some aspects you need to keep in mind when collecting data:
- Customer demographics: It is important to determine the common traits of your ideal customers. There are some popular customer demographics including, age, gender, geographical location, social media profiles, education level, marital status, household income, occupation, beliefs, and hobbies. This is the key element to understanding customer behavior.
- Customer touchpoints: How do customers know about your store?
- Customer engagements: Type and number of purchased products, total money spent, date of purchase, abandoned carts, open and click rate.
- Customer behaviors: Who do they normally purchase your products for?
After having a specific customer profile, it’s time to utilize all the data that you have to support your individualization strategy.
For example, by the date of birth that a customer provides in their profile, you can celebrate that person’s birthday via a customized gift, which can be a discount code or coupon. You can set up a notification to remind the event and create a triggered email to send the discount code. For example, Big Lots - an American retail company, gives customers discount and coupon codes on their birthdays. The brand lets consumers know about the birthday reward in the loyalty program to promote them to join and buy products.
(Source: Big Lots)
Showcase Reviews and Personal Testimonials
Reviews and testimonials are extremely vital aspects when it comes to personalizing buying experience. While showing testimonials is a great way to illustrate the positive outcome that your products bring to the customers, reviews have become essential for establishing trust in every category.
According to G2’s marketing report, nearly 93% of shoppers read reviews before making a purchase, and reports, such as Podium and BrightLocal, have consistently shown that customers trust reviews more than descriptions provided by the store or manufacturer.
Since reviews are such a commonly-used approach, it’s important to use those to level up the customer experience. Luxy Hair is a brand providing hair extensions and accessories to make hair thicker and longer. As the brand’s products directly impact customer’s appearance, so to gain trust from customers they showcase customers’ transformations and each customer’s stories with the products.
By showcasing authentic, relevant reviews, your customers can see people's experience when using your products. They then can filter reviews to see others’ opinions and find out authentic content related to the product aspects they care about. Showing reviews that contain useful details can help customers define whether the product is pertinent to them.
(Source: LAI AliExpress Reviews)
LAI AliExpress reviews is an amazing app providing attractive layouts to level up your store design, showing strong, social proof that helps convert visitors to paying customers. With the app, you can put whatever reviews you want on your store to let customers see, decide their purchasing products and personalize their experience.
Dive Into Email Marketing
Building an email list and sending them is a great way to retain the traffic by giving incentives for customers to stay with your brand. According to SaleCycle, marketing and advertising emails influence the buying decision of 50.7% of customers. Moreover, email marketing automation increases customer retention by 11%, revenue by 17% and save marketing time by 30%. Amazon is a great example of a retailer that uses email automation to drive sales directly (upsell, cross promotion, etc) and indirectly (customer reviews, social proofs, and so on).
Here are several types of email you can use for email marketing automation:
Email newsletter are sent to a subscriber list to inform people about your brand’s activities. This type of email is effective to keep your brand image in customer’s mind, as newsletters are sent regularly. Email newsletters contain content such as guides, blogs, news, recommendations and announcements.
This is the first email sent to customers when they become a member in your customer list. This email is important as it is the first impression of customers on your brand.
When customers add products to cart but do not actually buy all of them. This is when cart abandonment email plays its role. This type of email offers discounts or free shipping to encourage customers to consider buying products in cart and drive more sales.
Prompts for submitting customer reviews can also be incorporated into your post-sale emails. Requesting for a review makes customers feel like their personal opinions are important. It is also a way to gain feedback on how you should improve your products and services.
With LAI AliExpress Reviews, you can send automatic reviews request emails to customers, asking them to leave a review, and share photos of themselves using the products. Moreover, you can control your email lists, design promotional offers according to your preference and send them to targeted consumers. You can also create a custom coupon email to thank customers for telling you their experience.
Provide Customer-centered Support
One of the most important aspects that every retailer has to pay attention to is excellent customer service, which is a crucial factor in boosting sales and personalizing the customer experience. Customer service presents your brand, which means that one single poor experience can result in loss of brand image, customers, and ultimately, sales. According to Oberlo’s customer service statistics, 84% of surveyed customers said that customer service was the key factor deciding whether they should buy from a company or not.
For instance, American Express, the famous credit card company, maintains its position by offering customers a lot of benefits, including complimentary flight credit, insurance, etc. The brand also has a 24/7 support line and global partners network, with all these benefits, customers have a company that truly connects with them wherever they are. Answering customers' questions, solving problems, connecting and enhancing the relationship between your brand and buyers are pivotal tasks in customer support. it provides buyers a pleasant shopping journey, makes them feel special, which improves their loyalty and satisfaction with your brand.
Important Skills to Improve Your Brand’s Customer Service
Providing flawless service is not easy to all businesses. Every customer wants to feel appreciated and respected, so make sure to level up your team to create positive experiences. To help you maintain and grow your business’s bottom line, here are some critical customer service skills to practice:
- Choose the right customer service channels: Depends on the level and types of customer service you can provide, select the appropriate tools to help keep the customer service standard high and response times low. Email, social media, live chat, phone support, and FAQ pages are the five main ways to support customers.
- Understand your product entirely: The brand staff needs to have deep knowledge of your products and how it is used, you can not provide excellent customer service when you don’t know your products inside-out.
- Use positive language: Avoiding negative words to prevent customers from bad reactions. For instance, instead of phrases like “you’ll have to” or “won’t be available now”, try changing to “please do” or “will be available soon”.
- Straightforward writing: providing a clever and also clear answer to customers has never been an easy task. However, you should prioritize delivering direct answers so that they will not misunderstand your information.
- Creative and unique: To make your customer service differ from other brands, it is important to do gestures and services that surpass customer expectations. Hand-written thank you letters, surprise discounts and attractive packaging are few examples of showing effort and creativity to your customers.
Personalizing experience could be challenging in the beginning, especially for small retailers. However, it plays an indispensable role in attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. Therefore, brands need to quickly adapt to satisfy customer expectations, and to provide them an individualized shopping journey that boosts sales.