Personalization for a better customer relationship: the website as a purchasing advisor
Customers particularly appreciate the personal advice they receive in bricks-and-mortar stores. There, they feel they are in good hands and a salesperson is on hand to answer any questions they may have. Personal shopping advice simplifies the buying process and increases customer satisfaction - and not just offline. It is not only since the outbreak of the corona virus that store operators have been faced with the challenge of mapping these services on their own websites and transferring the consulting expertise from stationary retail to the online world.
With the help of onsite personalization, store operators have many options to choose from to optimize the website content of their online store and thus significantly improve their customer experience.
1. Can I help you?
"Do you have any questions
about your order? Would you like personal advice? Are there any problems
with the delivered goods?"
Customers want personal contact with the online store, especially when they have problems, complaints and technical questions or need information about a particular offer.
With the insertion of customer service contact information, of course only if it is available, or chat windows (attended by real employees or chatbots) at the edge of the screen, customers do not have to search long. If necessary, this window can be expanded or collapsed again. This gives the customer the option of contacting customer service at any time. A personal answer to the individual question often helps more quickly than general FAQs, which of course should not be missing. Especially for users who browse for a long time and do not reach a conclusion, a targeted "address" (for example, through a pop-up) is usually useful - similar to a retail store, where wandering customers are specifically addressed by sales staff.
2. You might also like this!
Whether existing customer
or new customer, site visitors can already upon entering the webshop
be picked up and advised in different ways. How the seller in the
favorite store, the website always has the right offers and
recommendations at the ready. The important thing is to approach customers only when they have the
but then with the right size or inspiration.
The decisive factor for good advice is precisely tailored to the user.
recommendations (so-called recommendations).
The advice given in brick-and-mortar stores can be transferred almost one-to-one to online stores by means of personalized recommendations. In addition to the manual assignment of products, recommendations can also be displayed based on product similarities. This means that individual products are automatically selected and displayed based on price or color similarities, for example. Another option is "Customers also bought" recommendations. Here, products are displayed that other customers have already bought in connection with the product they are looking for.
However, it is always important that a self-learning algorithm always keeps an eye on current developments - for example, also in the inventory - and reacts as quickly as possible to changes in consumer behavior. In this way, a sudden change in a user's interests can be detected, for example, if he is looking for the right gift for his sweetheart instead of for himself, and thus shows completely different product interests while shopping. After all, a salesperson in a brick-and-mortar store can also react ad hoc and extend the advice to other products - and if not himself, then at least his colleague from the specialist department.
3. already seen our competition?
A popular means of increasing user engagement and strengthening customer loyalty is gamification, i.e. the transfer of game-typical elements into non-game environments.
Small gimmicks like scratch cards or wheels of fortune are not only popular in the offline world. Being allowed to spin a wheel of fortune directly when entering a store in order to earn the highest possible discount pleases every customer. And perhaps even more products end up in the shopping basket than originally planned. Online, such elements are also used to playfully convince users to make a purchase. Gamification can also be used to draw the user's attention to a special action and encourage him to interact. For this purpose, animated elements are integrated on the page. This works very well, for example, on seasonal occasions: whether trickling snow in winter, a flying sleigh at Christmas time or an Easter egg hunt at Easter.
4. good to have you back!
Greeting in the store pleases everyone. Especially when you are a regular customer
and perhaps even greeted by name. At the bakery around the
corner, this is common practice.
Onsite, addressing users by name works after login. This way, a personal message can be integrated on the start page. "Hi Anna, discovered our new collection yet?" it could say, directly alerting Anna to the latest items from her favorite category. Likewise, when returning to the store, the home page can be customized to the user's interests (such as women's fashion instead of men's fashion; endurance sports instead of weight training). If the user filled his shopping cart during his last visit but did not make a purchase, his last "forgotten" shopping cart can also be displayed. Similar to loyalty campaigns in bricks-and-mortar retail, such as stamp cards, online customers can also be given a loyalty bonus in the form of vouchers.
Before the customer finally leaves the site, a customer survey can also be played out to him. This survey can be set up, for example, in the form of an NPS user survey and placed over the page as an exit intent. In this way, it is possible to quickly determine what the problem was - and the store operator can improve the situation accordingly.
5. get inspired!
Window shopping is simply part of the shopping experience in the offline world.
If the customer then sees an outfit in the window that particularly appeals to him, he enters the
he quickly enters the store to look for it there.
But customers can also be convinced with inspiration online. With the help of "Shop the Look" functions, store operators can quickly and easily integrate comprehensive inspiration pages for various products and combination options in the web store. For example, customers can store for entire outfits, including the matching bag and other accessories. Just like in a shop window. But because of the combination options, the selection in the online store is even greater. But it's not just the fashion industry that can make use of it. Entire living worlds can be pictorially represented and the customer can choose the round carpet under the table in a wide variety of colors and sizes. The trend towards pictorial inspiration from Instagram, Pinterest & Co. thus easily reaches the online store.
But not only entire inspiration pages benefit from the pictorial display. As a recommendation and an AI-based playout logic, users can also be specifically addressed with their interests and thus directly get an overall experience for their current search. If you're looking for an outfit for the next wedding invitation, you'll surely be happy about inspirations for a matching dress, shoes and bags, and maybe even the hairstyle?
Conclusion - Customer communication must not end with the purchase.
Customers buy there,
where they feel well advised, whether in bricks-and-mortar retail or in online
store. Only when the website becomes a personal shopping advisor for the users
success is also guaranteed online.
But the customer
experience does not end once the purchase has been completed. The shipping of the
order confirmation and package tracking link by email provides the optimal
opportunity to contact the customer once again. If the
user agrees (for example, by subscribing to the newsletter), after the
time, further product suggestions can be sent, ideally in line with the customer's
to the interests of the user.
Even with precise knowledge of the customers, no store operator can predict which variant of the approach or which special action will appeal most to the customer. For this reason, A/B or multivariant tests should be used to ensure an all-round positive shopping experience.
This was a guest post by trbo.
trbo GmbH is a technology company specializing in dynamic onsite personalization, optimization and testing.
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