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How Personalisation Boosts Customer Loyalty and Retention in eCommerce

By Laura Taylor • Thursday Jul 23rd, 2020

Did you know it costs five times more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one?

Many eCommerce strategies are targeted towards attracting new customers, which undoubtedly has its place, however many sites forget to properly nurture existing customers who have already bought in to what you have to offer. 

You already have data and information on these customers, all you need to do is use it in your communications. 

With all of the hard work of data collection already done, we’re going to look at why personalisation works for driving loyalty and how you can apply customer insights to retain customers and cultivate loyal brand ambassadors. 

Read more about personalisation in our guide to eCommerce personalisation.

Why personalisation is key to customer loyalty in eCommerce

It’s not a new claim that personalisation enhances customer loyalty, but why exactly is this the case, and how does it work?

Each customer journey is unique and is made up of an endless combination of motivations, desires, preferences and demographics. 

By intelligently using the data collected from transactions, retailers can fine-tune each customer’s experience into a journey that is personalised to them. When an entire journey is tailored to an individual’s needs and preferences, they are more engaged, their attention is held longer and they are encouraged to make repeat purchases. 

Shoppers respond best to content that speaks directly to them. So the more personalised a customer’s experience is, the more likely they are to take targeted action and return time after time. 

With a personalised shopping experience, retailers demonstrate they understand a shopper’s needs. Recognising a customer’s likes and dislikes and anticipating their future purchases leaves customers feeling valued, and when they feel valued, they’re more likely to reciprocate this feeling with brand loyalty and, eventually, become brand ambassadors. 

Discover more reasons why personalisation is key to eCommerce.

Make your customer data work harder

When you’re looking to boost customer loyalty, the best place to start is with shoppers who have purchased from you before.

These customers have already invested in your brand and have demonstrated their trust in your site by completing a transaction. Plus, you already have information on these customers from their past orders.

Using data on previous purchases and browsing history, you can analyse a customer’s characteristics, behaviour, preferences and tastes to create personalised campaigns that re-engage, reinform and nurture relationships with your customers.

With AI-driven personalisation software, all of this data can be automatically analysed and interpreted to deliver contextual communications that are genuinely tailored to individual shoppers. AI learns from user behaviour and the success of past messaging to create content that resonates with customers. 

Transforming data insights into personalised messages and content converts one-time buyers into committed, loyal brand ambassadors, helping online retailers engage shoppers and build long-term relationships. 

Personalisation techniques to increase customer loyalty

So you know where to find them, and you know what they like. The two most crucial elements of personalised communications are already in your customer database. 

Now you need to introduce personalisation tools to automatically tailor communications and site elements to an individual shopper’s needs and preferences. Let’s take a look at some of the techniques you could use.  

Reward frequent shoppers

Reward and loyalty schemes have been proven to work in both online and offline shopping. Customers who have loyalty cards for particular shops are more likely to purchase items from there to reap the rewards available to them, than go to a competitor’s where their purchases will not be rewarded. 

To make this work effectively, VIPs need to be made to feel valued. There is no better way to do that than deliver exclusive offers personalised to them as a rewards member. 

You can do this with targeted and exclusive offers, free delivery or access to new releases tailored to their tastes before anyone else.

AI can get to know your customers and then target them with rewards that genuinely reflect their purchasing and browsing history.

Tailor email content for individual customers

When a customer provides their email address, you have direct access to their inbox, a place they intentionally check and interact with. 

Use this access to keep your customers engaged and informed about your brand. 

With existing customers, you’ve already done the hard part and established trust with them and your brand and instilled them with enough confidence to make a purchase. Now convert them into loyal customers with tailored messaging to keep them engaged and informed.

The most effective campaigns personalise every aspect of emails, right down to the subject line. Send ‘we miss you’ emails to inactive customers, offer discount codes on a customer’s birthday and on ranges a shopper has purchased in the past, or showcase product recommendations and new arrivals based on their location or time of year. 

Whatever way you choose to make an email personal to a customer, make sure to avoid a generic message sent to all contacts regardless of their interests. Genuinely personalised and relevant emails provide value to shoppers and ensure your brand resonates with a customer.

Create bespoke website journeys

Make shoppers feel valued after just their first purchase with homepage and landing page personalisation. 

Greet a returning visit with suggestions based on the products they most recently looked at or purchased. This will create a relevant experience where they can quickly find the products that they want to buy, increasing the chance of purchase. 

Just as it feels good when a waiter remembers your order at your favourite restaurant, or a sales assistant suggests items that complement the clothes you’re looking at, shoppers value personalised recommendations that actually match their tastes. 

From your homepage to checkout page, personalising each step of your site leaves customers feeling supported and valued throughout their shopping experience, increasing their trust in your brand and encouraging them to commit to the relationship your personalised content builds.

Personalisation builds customer loyalty by creating a relationship between a brand and its customers.

Tailoring your content and messaging to appeal to individual customers is key to showing shoppers they are valued by your brand. With intelligent Product Recommendations integrated at every touchpoint in the customer journey, you can retain customers and convert one-time purchasers into loyal brand ambassadors. 

Want to know more about conversion rate optimisation? Contact us at [email protected] or call 0204 505 9040 to discuss how we can convert the traffic visiting your site.

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