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Dec 14, 2023 | 11 minute read

12 Innovative eCommerce Personalization Examples

written by Elastic Path

Digital commerce has evolved. Today, about two-thirds (63%) of all shopping journeys start online – meaning that no matter what you sell, consumers expect to be able to find it online. But the downside to being able to reach shoppers around the world is that your products have to compete with competitors from around the world.

Standing out is more important than ever before, which means that a strong eCommerce personalization strategy is essential to digital commerce success. In today’s commerce environment, a tailored, personalized shopping experience isn’t a luxury or a nice-to-have – it’s a necessity.

Learn about eCommerce personalization examples that enhance the customer experience, improve conversion rates, and drive revenue. Then, apply these eCommerce personalization examples to your own 2024 digital commerce plans.

What is eCommerce Personalization?

eCommerce personalization is about tailoring the online shopping experience to the preferences and history of individual customers. Today, eCommerce personalization goes beyond mere product recommendations; it's about creating a unique journey for each customer based on their preferences, past behaviors, and what they’re likely to prefer today. In an era where customers are inundated with choices, personalization helps your brand cut through the noise by providing relevant, engaging, and highly targeted interactions. From personalized email marketing to dynamic website content, eCommerce personalization represents the present and future of how we shop online, as web browsing and showing transforms into an immersive, customer-centric experience.

Benefits of Personalization in eCommerce

eCommerce personalization comes with a host of benefits for consumers and for businesses. If you sell online, you should focus on three major benefits of eCommerce personalization, each of which boosts your business’s bottom-line performance.

  1. Enhanced customer experience: The first and foundational benefit of personalization in eCommerce is an enhanced customer experience. When consumers experience personalization, they’re seeing content and product and offers that are specific to their needs and wants. Being served products you don’t care about is frustrating and time-consuming – getting what you need when you need it makes the shopping experience more enjoyable.
  2. Improved conversion rates: As customer experiences improve, so do conversion rates. When customers receive recommendations for products and experiences that they actually want, they’re more likely to purchase them. Over time, the percentage of people who purchase after visiting your site overall and individual product pages specifically increases. Conversion rates are a major indicator of commerce health and success, and improved conversion rates are a benefit of personalization in eCommerce.
  3. Increasing average order volume (AOV): eCommerce personalization’s biggest financial benefit is increasing average order volume (AOV). AOV is an essential marker of digital commerce health. The higher your AOV, the more revenue your company earns for every transaction. The more revenue your company earns for every transaction, the higher your profits. Strong eCommerce personalization increases AOV because with personalization:

Overall, the benefit of eCommerce personalization ties to the overall benefit of digital commerce: It grows your brand, your business, and your revenue and profits.

12 eCommerce Personalization Examples

eCommerce personalization examples are worth reviewing because they double as tips about personalization in eCommerce. Your brand should find inspiration in these eCommerce personalization examples, and use them to create a digital commerce strategy that boosts revenue and the performance of your online store.

Notable eCommerce personalization examples include:

  1. Personalized product recommendations
  2. Customized email marketing
  3. Dynamic content display
  4. Retargeting ads
  5. Personalized search results
  6. User-specific discount offers
  7. Customized navigation and menus
  8. Segmented push notifications
  9. Geo-targeted offers
  10. Personalized landing pages
  11. Automated SMS campaigns
  12. In-session pop-up offers and discounts

eCommerce Personalization Example #1: Personalized product recommendations

The first eCommerce personalization example is personalized product recommendations, which involves suggesting products based on a customer's browsing history and previous purchases.

Personalized product recommendations have become an integral part of the modern shopping experience, leveraging advanced algorithms and user data to offer tailored suggestions to consumers. An example is Amazon's recommendation system, which analyzes a user's browsing and purchase history to suggest products that align with their preferences.

This personalized approach not only benefits customers by helping them discover products they are more likely to enjoy but also boosts Amazon’s sales and revenue, as user engagement and conversion rates improve.

eCommerce Personalization Example #2: Customized email marketing

Customized email marketing is an eCommerce personalization strategy that involves sending targeted emails based on a user’s past behavior and preferences.

A good example of customized email marketing is Netflix's email marketing strategy, which tailors recommendations based on a user's viewing history and preferences. By sending targeted emails featuring movie or show suggestions, Netflix keeps subscribers engaged and encourages continued usage of their platform.

eCommerce Personalization Example #3: Dynamic content display

Dynamic content displays change the content of your commerce website based on the user’s demographics, location, or behavior. This allows your online store to showcase personalized product recommendations and promotions based on individual users. Dynamic content displays are a foundational part of eCommerce personalization, as your content must be dynamic to offer truly personalized web content.

A notable real-world example of this is the way Spotify customizes its homepage with music playlists and album suggestions tailored to a user's listening history. By dynamically adjusting content to match each user's unique tastes and interests, Spotify enhances user engagement, increases the time spent on their platform, and ultimately drives subscriptions and revenue.

eCommerce Personalization Example #4: Retargeting ads

Retargeting ads display ads to users based on products they viewed but didn't purchase. Retargeting ads are important because the average amount of time spent on a website is less than one minute. People are busy, they have multiple tabs and devices going at once, and they often don’t complete purchases they intend to or are interested in. With retargeting, you give yourself another chance to capture a consumer’s attention and win their business.

Retargeting can take place on social media sites such as Instagram or search engines such as Google.

A real-world example of retargeting ads comes from the clothing retailer ASOS. When a user browses for a specific item on the ASOS website but doesn't purchase, they might later encounter ads showcasing that exact product or similar ones on other websites they visit. This reminder encourages the user to return to ASOS and complete their purchase.

eCommerce Personalization Example #5: Personalized search results

Personalized search results surface recommendations tailored to a user's past behavior and preferences. Personalized search results are a way of showing that your online store or marketplace is listening to users and aware of their preferences.

An example of personalized search results comes from Airbnb. When users search for accommodations, Airbnb leverages personalized search algorithms to offer listings that match the traveler's preferences and past booking history. For instance, if a user frequently books family-friendly listings, the search results will prioritize such options, making it easier for them to find accommodations suitable for their needs. Other common preferences include geographic suggestions, pet-friendly bookings, and amenities such as pools. This way, Airbnb ensures that users are more likely to find accommodations that meet their expectations, leading to higher customer satisfaction, more bookings, and higher revenue.

eCommerce Personalization Example #6: User-specific discount offers

User-specific discounts involve providing special deals or discounts based on the user's shopping history and personal information. User-specific discounts are a strong mark of eCommerce personalization and a prime example of a personalization strategy that makes customers feel recognized and wanted. User-specific discounts can be made based on browsing history, age, marital status, or even whether it’s close to a consumer’s birthday.

Beauty Insider Appreciation Event 2018 - Beauty Insider Community

Sephora, a cosmetics retailer, implements personalized discounts through its Beauty Insider program. Sephora offers tiered rewards based on a customer's spending habits and preferences, providing them with exclusive discounts, free products, and early access to sales events. This personalized approach not only incentivizes customers to return and make more purchases but also strengthens the bond between the brand and its loyal shoppers.

eCommerce Personalization Example #7: Customized navigation and menus

Customized navigation and menus in eCommerce means website menus and navigation based on user behavior and preferences. It’s a strong eCommerce personalization technique that enhances user engagement and serves consumers what they want, fast.

An example of customized navigation and menus is found on the streaming service Hulu. Hulu customizes its homepage based on the user's viewing history and preferences, presenting them with personalized menus and content categories that align with their interests. This feature ensures that users can easily discover content they are likely to enjoy, increasing engagement and satisfaction, and upping the odds of resubscribing and encouraging friends to sign up for the platform.

eCommerce Personalization Example #8: Segmented push notifications

Sending push notifications are sent based on specific customer segments or behaviors. In eCommerce personalization, push notifications are a strategic, targeted way to deliver messages to groups of customers.

An example of segmented push notifications comes from Starbucks. Starbucks mobile app users receive personalized offers and reminders to its customers. For instance, frequent customers might receive notifications about loyalty program rewards, while occasional visitors could receive promotions to encourage more visits. Visitors also get notifications if they’re near a Starbucks store. This way, Starbucks engages customers, gets them to stores, and increases the number of transactions each customer completes in a week or month or year.

eCommerce Personalization Example #9: Geo-targeted offers

Some brands offer special offers or content based on the user's geographical location. This eCommerce personalization technique, known as geo-targeted offers, uses location data to provide consumers elevant discounts, promotions, or product recommendations.

An example of geo-targeted offers in eCommerce is the food delivery app Doordash. When users open the app, they often receive notifications for restaurants that are nearby or offering special deals in their vicinity. This geo-targeting approach not only encourages users to place orders but also enhances the user experience by making it easier to discover and order from local restaurants. This way, Doordash encourages fast purchases at restaurants the user is familiar with, leading to more sales and return customers.

eCommerce Personalization Example #10: Personalized landing pages

Personalized landing pages in eCommerce provide visitors with a unique and tailored experience, often showcasing products, promotions, or content that align with their interests or past behavior. Personalized landing pages are a powerful tool to capture visitors' attention and drive engagement, as visitors who are served relevant landing pages stay on eCommerce sites longer and are more likely to complete purchases.

Zara customizes its website's landing page based on a user's browsing history and preferences. For example, if a visitor frequently views men's clothing, the landing page will prominently feature men's fashion items, enhancing the chances of conversion and customer satisfaction.

eCommerce Personalization Example #11: Automated SMS campaigns

Automated SMS campaigns are an eCommerce personalization technique in which brands send timely and personalized messages – such as order updates, product recommendations, and exclusive offers. Automated SMS campaigns allow brands to deliver relevant information directly to customers' phones. This helps increase engagement and encourage repeat purchases.

An example of an automated SMS campaign is H&M. H&M sends automated SMS updates about the status of orders, estimated delivery time, and occasionally, special discounts on related products. This approach keeps customers informed and engaged while promoting additional sales.

eCommerce Personalization Example #12: In-session pop-up offers and discounts

In-session pop-up offers and discounts are a dynamic way for eCommerce websites to engage customers while they are actively browsing your site. They help capture customers’ attention and encourage immediate action and potential sales.

Clothing retailer Forever 21 uses in-session pop-up offers and discounts. While a visitor is exploring Forever 21’s website, a pop-up window might appear, offering a limited-time discount code in exchange for signing up for the newsletter or making a purchase.

Use eCommerce personalization to grow your business

eCommerce personalization is more than a buzzword – it’s a strategic necessity in today's eCommerce landscape. Strong eCommerce personalization has the potential to transform your business by increasing conversions, enhancing customer satisfaction, and boosting revenue.

Consider implementing the innovative eCommerce personalization examples you’ve seen in your own business. Enhancing customer experience, improving conversion rates, and boosting AOV are worth the effort that eCommerce personalization entails.

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