Just like the infamous Cheers slogan “where everyone knows your name”, your website can embody this same sentiment by using website personalization. Personalized website experiences are key to driving customer loyalty and repeat purchases. Taking the time to tailor your website content and design to match each individual customer's needs and interests can yield huge results for your ecommerce business.
While every purchase matters, repeat customers are worth up to 10x as much as their first purchase. They also help build brand loyalty and increase profits without additional marketing spending. What's more, personalization for repeat customers can increase overall consumer spending up to 500%. So, if you're not focused on driving repeat business, you're essentially leaving money on the table. For these reasons, getting customers to purchase again and again should be a core strategy for any brand.
Let's explore the importance of website personalization in ecommerce and outline 6 tactics you can use to drive repeat purchases.
Benefits of Personalization for Ecommerce Websites
When done correctly, website personalization can result in increased revenue and stronger customer relationships. In fact, 79% of consumers say they are only likely to engage with an offer if it has been personalized to their previous interactions with the brand. If you visit a website because you clicked on an ad for women’s clothing, you would expect to see just that. That’s where website personalization comes in.
With website personalization, you can:
- Optimize the customer journey
- Increase conversion rates
- Boost average order value
- Generate more repeat purchases
Using Personalization to Improve the Customer Experience and Brand Loyalty
Each customer is unique. They come to your site for various reasons and have different expectations. If you provide every customer with the same experience, you're bound to get certain customers that abandon the site because it’s too difficult to find what they’re looking for, or they don’t feel like your brand is right for them. If you’ve ever had a bad customer experience before, you understand why 96% of customers say customer service is important in determining their brand loyalty.
When customers come to your website and receive a tailored experience, they’re more likely to become loyal customers because you’re speaking directly to their needs. By personalizing the site, you’re creating a deeper connection. You’re making it easier for them to find what they’re looking for, and they will feel like your brand is invested in their best interests. It's like walking into a restaurant, and the bartender already knows your favorite drink.
People who love something tend to spread the word. If they have a great experience with your brand, they are likely to tell their friends, increasing your reach to new customers.
Additionally, when you take the time to get to know your customers, you have the opportunity to upsell products they are more likely to purchase based on their past behavior and purchases. When a customer comes back for another visit to your site, they are guided on a unique journey that speaks to their specific needs, so they don't have to start back at the beginning.
Creating a one-size-fits-all approach misses out on all of this. While you may reach some customers with this approach, many will find their experience underwhelming and look elsewhere.
6 Website Personalization Tactics to Drive Repeat Purchases
Now that you understand the impact that website personalization has on your brand loyalty, you’re ready to begin implementing personalization tactics on your website. Consider testing these 6 tactics to drive repeat purchases on your ecommerce site:
1. Imaging and Copy
Simple image and copy changes can go a long way and tend to be more turnkey tactics for those newer to website personalization. If a customer clicks on an email link, the page they land on should have the same look and feel. Or, if they are driven to the site from a social media ad, it's vital to ensure that the marketing message and the page they land on feel connected to the message they originally saw. You can tweak both based on their location, campaign, or medium they came from.
For example, if your company uses a tool like a quiz to guide product recommendations, the results page of that quiz should lead the customer to their hand-picked products, not the home page or another generic landing page.
When you know your customer's location, you can also adjust the imaging to fit their geography. For example, if you are a skincare company, your customers in Florida may feel more welcomed by images of sun and sand and be more interested in SPF-based products as opposed to winter scenes and hydrating products.
Your website's navigation should be easy to use; otherwise, you could be losing out on valuable customers. Website personalization can help you ensure that each customer has a smooth journey to their purchase.
There are a few ways to do this:
- Offering a personalized homepage: This is especially helpful for new visitors. You can show them products they are interested in based on their location, what they've viewed in the past, or popular items with people who have similar interests or demographics.
- Creating a personalized navigation bar: This is helpful for returning visitors. You can offer them quick links to the category pages they visit most often or products they frequently purchase.
- Displaying personalized search results: This is helpful for both new and returning visitors. You can show them products that are related to their search query (especially if the item they searched for is sold out!) or your most popular items.
3. Product Recommendations
Product recommendations are a great way to personalize the customer experience and drive repeat purchases. You can personalize your product recommendations based on what customers have already purchased or based on their site behavior (e.g. the items they most recently viewed).
Using product recommendations to upsell and cross-sell is a great tactic to increase your average order value. If there are consistent patterns around the types of products/categories people are viewing on your site, you can use this to cross-sell to complement that product. For example, if a customer has shown a lot of interest in a tablet, you should consider recommending a case and a stylus on your product pages like Target does below.
4. The Checkout Process
One of the most important aspects of driving repeat purchases is optimizing the checkout process. The goal is to make it as quick and easy as possible for the customer to purchase the items they want. Almost 70% of customers abandon their cart after shopping online, so keeping them engaged with a streamlined checkout is key.
There are a few things you can do to optimize the checkout process:
- Offer multiple payment options: This includes credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, etc. The more payment options you can offer, the better your conversion rates will be.
- Allow customers to checkout as a guest: This helps to speed up the process for customers who don't want to create an account just yet. Of course, be sure to make it easy for guests to create a password and set up their account after completing their purchase.
- Save customer information: This is helpful for returning customers. You can save their shipping and billing information so they don't have to re-enter it each time they make a purchase.
Additionally, you want to be sure that your messaging is crystal clear. Ensure that you are spelling out what information is needed and why. People are skeptical about their privacy. Providing an explanation about why their phone number is needed (to contact only and not sell to third-party companies) can ease customers’ privacy and security concerns.
Further, research shows that 48% of customers abandon the cart due to extra costs. The earlier on in the flow you can be transparent about the price, including taxes and shipping costs, the more likely a customer will feel good about their decision and complete their purchase.
Another great way to personalize the customer experience and drive repeat purchases is to use chatbots. Chatbots can help answer customer questions, recommend products, and, most importantly, provide support.
When using chatbots for website personalization, you want to be sure that they are personalized and relevant. Consider setting up various chatbot playbooks so you can best address customers’ varying needs. For example, you’ll want different playbooks for both working and non-working hours as well as playbooks for different website pages (e.g. a product page vs. a cart page). You can then use website personalization to serve up the best chatbot playbook to each customer to properly address their needs and increase their chances of converting.
The final piece of the puzzle is to ensure that your messaging is on point. You want to be sure that you are sending relevant, personalized messages to your customers that compel them to convert.
Here are a few things you can do to make sure your messaging is effective:
- Test different promos: A/B test options to see if customers respond to some terms better than others. Does free shipping entice more people, or would they rather see a discount on their final checkout price? The more you can test your messaging, the more you will understand what resonates with your customers so you can continuously serve up a relevant website experience.
- Create a loyalty program: This is a great way to reward customers for their repeat business and encourage them to continue shopping with you. Be clear about how to reach each milestone and what can be earned, and send regular email updates to members with their points status. When customers know they have rewards to spend—or that they’re close to earning a reward—they’ll be more inclined come back and make another purchase.
- Leverage user-generated content: Oftentimes, letting your customers speak for you is the best way to grab someone’s attention. By including user-generated content or testimonials on your website, customers can see how someone just like them is using or benefitting from your product and will feel a more personal connection to your brand.
Website personalization is an invaluable tool to drive repeat purchases for your ecommerce brand. By customizing the experience for each unique customer, you can build loyalty and increase sales. Of course, be sure to experiment with different tactics to see what works best for your business and your customers.
To learn more about creating a personalized website experience that drives more repeat purchases, check out these articles: