Personalized E-Commerce Customer Journey: Benefits & How To Improve
“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”
If you think you’ve read enough about the e-commerce customer journey, we are here to tell you it’s impossible. It is one of the most crucial topics in the e-commerce world; hence, there will always be something new to learn.
In a recent article, we discussed the definition of the e-commerce customer journey, its stages, and how to build a customer journey map. Once again, we gather our thoughts around the same powerful word: “Journey!” However, this time, we are tackling the topic from different aspects. Today, we focus on “Personalized E-Commerce Customer Journeys,” their benefits, and the best ways to improve them.
“Personalization” in the customer journey is an aspect that has paramount importance. That’s why we are dedicating this article to discussing how personalized customer journeys can impact your e-commerce business’s ability to stand out in the thriving competition and evolving customer expectations.
Keep reading this article to learn everything you need about personalized customer journeys. We will start by unveiling the benefits and demonstrating how they can impact your e-commerce store. Following that, we will introduce you to some of the best ways to improve and personalize the customer journey for your e-commerce store.
Table of Contents:
- Improved Customer Engagement.
- Reduced Customer Churn and Enhanced Customer Loyalty and Customer Retention.
- Reduced Customer Acquisition Cost.
- Optimized Conversion Rates.
- Increased Average Order Value (AOV)
- Increased Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV).
- Better Email Marketing Campaigns.
- Enriched Customer Insights.
- Better Inventory Management.
- Strong Competitive Advantage.
- Best 10 Ways You Can Improve Customer Journey For Your E-Commerce Store:
- Invest In Research.
- Gather As Much Customer Data As Possible.
- Focus On Customer Segmentation.
- Learn How To Map The Customer Journey.
- Delve Deeper Into Dynamic Personalization.
- Use Omnichannel Personalization.
- Integrate Personalization In The Mobile Commerce Customer Journey.
- Regularly Gather Feedback From Customers About Their Journey.
- Encourage Customer Testimonials And User-Generated Content.
- Invest In Your Customer Service By Personalizing Communication.
- Tips Tailored To The Personalization Of Each Stage Of The Customer Journey.
Why Is It Important To Personalize E-Commerce Customer Journeys? (Top 10 Benefits Of A Personalized Customer Journey)
Given that personalized e-commerce customer journeys have become the foundation of success, they deliver countless benefits. In this section, we will present some of the top benefits of personalized e-commerce customer journeys, highlighting how they can transform the future of your e-commerce business.
1- Improved Customer Engagement
When you invest in personalized e-commerce customer journeys, that means you are tailoring the shopping experience for each customer, which shows how much you care. Customers are more satisfied with an e-commerce store when they feel heard, seen, and understood. In turn, satisfaction leads to more engagement. In other words, your customers are more likely to engage with your brand, make more purchases, and keep coming back to your e-commerce store if they find you are addressing each of them separately while considering their different wants, needs, preferences, and behaviors.
2- Reduced Customer Churn and Enhanced Customer Loyalty and Customer Retention
As Oprah says, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and before you know it, you've traveled great distances."
Let’s assume that one step is you personalizing the e-commerce customer journey for your customers and making them happy and satisfied. That one step would prevent your customers from abandoning their shopping carts and compel them to revisit your store for more purchases, reducing your churn rate to a great extent. The churn rate is the number of customers that stop purchasing from your e-commerce store over a specific period. That’s a number you want to reduce, don’t you?... Well, personalized customer journeys are your way to go.
Remember what Oprah said?
Personalized customer journeys lead to customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction leads to a lower churn rate. All this eventually leads to enhanced customer loyalty and customer retention, “and before you know it, you’ve traveled great distances.”
To understand how all these things are connected and how they can all be traced back to personalized e-commerce customer journeys, let’s look at the following simple five facts:
- Personalized customer journeys lead to customer satisfaction.
- Customer satisfaction leads to reduced customer churn.
- Customer loyalty is also built on satisfaction.
- Loyal customers are less likely to churn.
- Lower churn rates protect your customer base.
3- Reduced Customer Acquisition Cost
If your customer base is protected, you will not have to acquire new customers every other day, which would reduce your customer acquisition costs (CAC).
In addition to reducing customer acquisition costs by increasing customer retention, personalizing customer journeys can reduce CAC by increasing the likelihood of organic growth through word-of-mouth marketing, referrals, and recommendations from current satisfied customers.
4- Optimized Conversion Rates
Allow us to ask the customer inside you a question:
When will you be more likely to convert and purchase from a store? Is it when you are going through the same journey as everyone else or when you know your journey is different? Which one of the two options would compel you to convert more?
To be honest, the previously asked questions can be deemed rhetorical because it is well-known that customers are more likely to convert and make a purchase from an e-commerce store that offers them products that align with their interests, preferences, and past purchase behavior. Therefore, personalizing customer journeys is one of the best strategies for conversion rate optimization.
Within personalized customer journeys, you can provide unique offers that will attract website visitors who are just browsing and lead them to purchase compellingly and attractively.
5- Increased Average Order Value (AOV)
Again, with the rhetorical questions, which e-commerce store would you buy more from? Would you spend more money at a store that offers you personalized product recommendations, individualized content, and tailored marketing messages? Or would you spend more at a store that standardizes everything?
The Average Order Value (AOV) refers to the amount of money a customer spends on a single order from your e-commerce store. The AOV is something that you want to increase; luckily, personalized customer journeys can help you do that.
In other sections of this article, we will delve more deeply into ways to personalize your e-commerce customer journey. However, let us briefly tell you now that two strategies you could incorporate within personalized customer journeys, for example, are cross-selling and up-selling, which happen to be a magnet for increased average order value.
6- Increased Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)
Just like the Average Order Value (AOV), the Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) is another crucial metric for your e-commerce store and another thing personalized customer journeys can help you optimize.
Being the number that reflects the total revenue you will earn from a customer over time, your business must work on increasing customer lifetime value.
Relating to all the benefits we’ve discussed, offering engaging and tailored personalized shopping experiences will improve many things along the way that would eventually lead to the increase of your CLTV without you exerting any extra effort.
7- Better Email Marketing Campaigns
We’re living in 2023 now, where there is no place for email marketing without personalization. Email personalization is an indispensable aspect of the personalized customer journeys you offer.
Moreover, if you think about it, you will find that there is a reciprocal relationship between personalized e-commerce customer journeys and email personalization. To demonstrate, personalized customer journeys will help you gather more customer data and insights, which will be very useful in launching effective email marketing campaigns. In turn, effective tailored emails will complete the picture of a perfectly personalized customer journey.
Speaking of email marketing, Converted.in offers a marketing automation tool that can create, PERSONALIZE, launch, and automate all your email marketing campaigns with a few clicks.
8- Enriched Customer Insights
As we said in the previous point, when you dive into the world of personalized e-commerce customer journeys, you automatically find yourself gathering so much data and insights about your customers. These insights will benefit your business in other ways that can eventually help you embark on the journeys of innovation, product development, and market expansion.
9- Better Inventory Management
One of the most underrated benefits of personalized your customers' journeys is that it helps you manage your inventory in a better way.
- Being well aware of everything related to each one of your customers makes it easier to forecast the demand and adjust your inventory accordingly. This will reduce the risks of overstocking or understocking.
- Working with personalization makes you regularly notice trends, which can help you know which products are currently popular and which are not so that you know what to stock in your inventory and what to let go of.
10- Strong Competitive Advantage
Now… if your customers are satisfied and engaging with your brand, your churn rate is low, customer loyalty and retention are enhanced, your customer acquisition cost is reduced, your conversion rate is optimized, average order value and customer lifetime value are increased, email marketing campaigns are more effective, customer insights are available, and inventory is better managed, don’t you think that will differentiate your brand from others?
A strong competitive advantage is what you are looking for in today’s competitive market and is what you can get with a well-implemented personalized customer journey strategy.
Top 10 Ways You Can Improve Personalized Customer Journey For Your E-Commerce Store
Today, the ability of an e-commerce store to create personalized customer journeys is as necessary as anything else in the business. Therefore, in this section, we will introduce you to some of the best ways you can improve customer journeys.
After hearing about the benefits of personalized customer journeys, we bet that you can’t wait to dive into this section and learn how to improve them at your store. So, Here you go!
1- Invest In Research
Research is your weapon. You will find yourself unable to implement many of the following strategies, such as gathering customer data and focusing on customer segmentation if you do not invest in research.
In the context of personalized e-commerce customer journeys, research encompasses things such as customer profiling, behavioral analysis, trends analysis, competitive analysis, and predictive analysis.
2- Gather As Much Customer Data As Possible
We’ve talked about customer data in the benefits of personalized e-commerce customer journeys; now, we need to talk about it as one of the strategies to improve these journeys.
Trust us when we tell you that IT IS ALL ABOUT CUSTOMER DATA.
Customer data is what empowers your e-commerce business to deliver tailored and personalized but also relevant customer experiences.
3- Focus On Customer Segmentation
It goes without saying that after investing in research, gathering data and insights, proper customer segmentation is the most logical step to follow. Think of it as the foundation on which you will base every set of personalized customer journeys you develop.
Customer segmentation revolves around grouping customers into distinct segments based on specific criteria. These criteria can be based on demographics, behavior, buying history, interests, preferences…etc. You will have to develop personalized journeys for each customer segment and then break down these journeys into even more personalized ones for each customer within the segment.
If you need help with customer segmentation, we’ve got you covered in that too. The automation tool that Converted.in is offering you today can also conduct customer segmentation.
4- Learn How To Map The Customer Journey
In a recent article, we talked about the components of a customer journey map and highlighted that it includes stages, touchpoints, channels, customers, customer personas, content, and KPIs.
In today’s article, we are discussing the customer journey map among the strategies you need to follow to improve your personalized customer journeys. To do that, you have to closely monitor each one of the map’s components.
- You need to regularly monitor the exact stage that your customer is currently at so that you can personalize and constantly adjust their journey accordingly.
- You need to personalize across all your touchpoints and channels (this will be more thoroughly tackled in the “omnichannel personalization” strategy).
- You need to understand your customers on a deep level as if you know each of them personally.
- You must use KPIs and suitable metrics to measure them.
5- Delve Deeper Into Dynamic Personalization
Dynamic personalization is a technique that goes beyond traditional personalization by tailoring customer journeys in real-time based on customer data. It requires continuous adapting and adjusting of what you offer within the customer journey, whether content, recommendations, marketing campaigns, or anything else.
This takes us to another relevant concept, which is “User-Initiated Personalization.” It’s another way to dynamically personalize e-commerce customer journeys by allowing the users themselves to input their preferences and interests so that they can have control over their personalization settings.
6- Use Omnichannel Personalization
Anyone who owns an e-commerce store, or works at one must be aware of the concept of “omnichannel experience.” It is the art of offering your products or services simultaneously across all different channels, devices, and platforms available to create a strong link between the online store, social media platforms, mobile application, physical store (if applicable), and other channels to reach customers wherever they are and to allow them to have an excellent connected, seamless shopping experience.
Well… let’s now put this in the context of personalization. An omnichannel personalization is defined as a comprehensive approach that seamlessly tailors customer journeys across all available channels, platforms, and touchpoints.
We strongly advise you to do that through the following:
- Keep a unified profile for each customer that combines all the data gathered about them from different sources.
- Make sure your brand conveys the same message everywhere and across all stages of the customer journey.
- Focus on contextual personalization, which considers elements such as the customer’s location, the timing, the devices used…etc.
7- Integrate Personalization In The Mobile Commerce Customer Journey
You can’t compete in 2023 without trying to conquer the world of mobile commerce. Therefore, you must ensure that every page your customers will have to interact with throughout the different customer journey stages is mobile-friendly, responsive, and easy to navigate.
It would be a shame to invest money, time, and effort in improving your customer journeys only to have the experience ruined by a non-mobile-friendly design.
8- Regularly Gather Feedback From Customers About Their Journey.
Feedback is the secret to improving anything and everything.
You need to regularly gather feedback to validate your data and make sure that you are on the right track. Gathering feedback will help you:
- Identify customers’ pain points.
- Validate your personalization strategies.
- Reduce the probability of friction in the customer journey.
- Measure your success.
- Identify opportunities for innovating personalized customer journeys.
- Make more informed decisions.
9- Encourage Customer Testimonials And User-Generated Content
We do not just want you to gather feedback for yourself; we want you to gather it for other customers as well. Showcasing customer feedback through customer testimonials and user-generated content can improve the quality of the journey of other customers by giving them the social proof they might be missing.
10- Invest In Your Customer Service By Personalizing Communication
There is a quote that says, “Communication is the key to a successful relationship, attentiveness, and consistency. Without it, there is no relationship.”
If you wish to preserve your long-term relationship with your customers, you must work on nurturing communication with them. Here, you must personalize communication with customers at every chance you get.
Communicating with a customer through email? … Personalize.
Communicating with a customer through an SMS?... Personalize.
Communicating with a customer through a chatbot?... Personalize.
Tips Tailored To The Personalization Of Each Stage Of The Customer Journey
In this final section, allow us to categorize the previously discussed strategies based on the five stages of the customer journey: Awareness, Consideration, Conversion, Retention, and Advocacy. By allocating these strategies to the relevant stages, e-commerce businesses can provide the absolute perfect personalized e-commerce customer journey.
To sum up, personalized e-commerce customer journeys can be considered a revolutionary approach to the e-commerce sector. They offer a wide range of benefits to both businesses and customers. Throughout this article, we’ve discussed many of these benefits to encourage you to start investing in personalized customer journeys. Then, we gave you all the strategies and tips you need to go on your way.
Come on! Start personalizing the journey of your customers today!