Business & Services

Website Personalization in a COVID-19 World

The presence of COVID-19 and the resultant experience of lockdown and social distancing have ensured a massive shift in the way we choose and purchase products.

At the start of lockdown, people were forced to stay at home and minimize contact with others. This sparked a trend of businesses offering essential products to purchase online for delivery, and an increase in consumers doing their day-to-day shopping online.

How COVID-19 Has Changed the Way We Shop

As a result of the pandemic, many who had never bought anything online before were forced to engage with their favorite retailers online. Seasoned online shoppers, however, relished in the chance to explore their options as more businesses focused and enhanced on their online offering.

We have seen an ease in restrictions since the initial lockdown, but many individuals are still working from home and remain anxious when it comes to exposing themselves to large groups of people at the mall or local store.

It has, therefore, become so important for businesses and brands to leverage the opportunity to connect, engage, and create a personalized experience for their customers online.

What is Website Personalization?

Website personalization is the act of tailoring the online experience for a customer, based on that specific customer’s wants and needs.

For instance, a customer returning to an e-Commerce site would enjoy a better overall experience if the website has tailored its recommended products based on the customer’s previous searches and purchases.

Consumers shopping online are more likely to purchase something if their experience on the website is a good one. An Accenture report revealed that 93% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who recognize, remember, and provide relevant offers and recommendations.

The Benefits of e-Commerce Website Personalization

451 Research’s Research Vice President & General Manager, Sheryl Kingstone, reports that there is a minimum of $500bn in revenue opportunity in the US linked to improving the customer’s digital experiences, which includes the personalization of the customer journey.

The benefits associated with the deployment of an effective website personalization strategy, that enhance the overall customer experience, are:

  • Increased customer engagement.
  • Increased sales.
  • Reduced cart abandonment.
  • Improved overall return on investment.
  • Increased opportunity for exploration & discovery of products, encouraging cross-selling & upselling.
  • Increased customer retention.

Some of the easiest ways for businesses to implement website personalization and experience growth are to:

  1. Ensure that inventory is up-to-the-minute to avoid disappointing customers and to offer the option to select “collect in-store”, including a list of stores that have the item in stock.
  2. Share more information, such as blog articles, relevant to the products the customer is interested in for enhanced engagement.
  3. Employ the use of website personalization tools that utilize machine learning to deliver tailored promotions and offers to customers.

With more consumers purchasing online, businesses have been given the opportunity to deliver targeted information and offers through website personalization, based on customer behavior.

Continuous testing and analysis of customer data is, however, paramount to the success of any website personalization strategy.

That said, if planned and executed well, businesses should see an increase in online conversions and overall customer retention.

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