9 eCommerce Personalization Examples You’ll Want to Copy
Ever hopped on an eCommerce website and thought: “That’s exactly what I was looking for!”
Chances are, you didn’t luck out. There’s a good chance that the retailer knew who you were, why you were visiting, and what you were seeking. The store then provided a personalized experience to help allure you to buy.
What is personalization?
Personalization is the process of making small tweaks to your online store in order to make the sales experience unique to each specific customer. You can do this by using key data points you’ve collected about them.
Personalization is big business. Research shows that 91% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that create a more personalized experience by providing relevant recommendations to them.
The flip side? Nearly three quarters of shoppers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized. In fact, it's estimated that in 2018, online businesses lost up to $756 billion because of poor eCommerce personalization.
Take note that there can be discrepancies with the data needed for personalization to work. For example, if someone is using a VPN, the content you’re tweaking for their location will be skewed. Plus, too much personalization can feel creepy. Some 92% of internet users are concerned about their online privacy. You need to make sure you’re not giving visitors a reason to worry over how you’re using their information.
However, you’ve probably already got the data you need to personalize your website effectively. By using reliable sources of data, and knowing which small tweaks to make without going overboard, you can use personalization to see a 19% uplift in sales.
Want to join the brands using personalization to boost user experience (and sales)?
Let’s take a look at nine brilliant examples of eCommerce personalization done well, and learn how you can apply them to your own online store.
9 brilliant eCommerce personalization examples
01. Timber & Jack’s “you may also like” section
Personalization needs data to work. But it doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. You can personalize your shopping experience based on the pages a shopper visits on your site.
It works because the customer has already shown an interest in the product. Yet if they’re not sold on the color, design, or size, the visitor doesn’t have to manually search for something similar, which could lead to them giving up.
Showing related products directly on the product page helps them easily browse based on their preferences.
Bonus tip: You could do this by promoting add-on products that work well with the one they’re viewing. For example, the model wearing a dress in your product photos might also be wearing shoes, jewelry, or a hat. You can use the “people also like” wheel to upsell those items.
02. Mint Home’s “help me find” service
Sometimes, you just don’t have the exact product your customer is looking for. But that doesn’t mean you have to lose them to a competitor who does.
Mint Home offers a personalized service to its eCommerce customers with product sourcing. If a product isn’t available on their site, this service helps them find it using the brand’s relationships and industry expertise.
Customers of Mint Home fill out a form to request specific items not listed in the store's catalog. The store's team then helps them source what they're looking for.
You can put this into practice in your own eCommerce store by offering a similar personalized service. This helps your brand "own" your particular niche market. It flexes your industry knowledge and helps build a reputation of being the go-to for a selection of products.
Customers can come to you for a specific product—even if it’s not available on your website. This widens your inventory to more than just what you currently have in stock.
Bonus tip: Promote your personalized shopping service with an announcement bar on your homepage. That way, first-time visitors know from the outset that they’ll walk away with what they're looking for. There’s no reason for them to exit your site and head to a competitor.
03. Bobsweep’s quiz
Not interested in adding a personalized service like product sourcing? Don’t panic. You can still personalize your shopping experience with quizzes.
Bobsweep proves you can even apply fun content to more mundane products. Their quiz gets you hooked. It asks about your household, family, and whether you have any pets. The end result is a personalized product recommendation based on your answers.
The quiz is great at helping customers quickly find the product most suited for them. It removes barriers to entry (not knowing which product to choose) for less confusion and frustration. It eliminates the paradox of choice—a psychological phenomenon that makes people feel overwhelmed if too many options are presented to them.
This is a form of interactive content; it needs a customer to actually do something. It’s great because it’s fun for the customer and gives you crucial information to quickly navigate them toward what they need—and toward the checkout page.
Bonus tip: Use avatars and illustrations to add an element of fun to your quiz. This removes another barrier to entry for someone looking to buy products. People can self-identify with the images, which is much easier than reading walls of text to select which option suits them.
04. OdiseiMusic’s language switch button
If you service customers in different countries, it can be frustrating for them to arrive on your website and have difficulty understanding it. You don’t need individual websites for each location, though.
OdiseiMusic has a button in their navigation bar that allows you to change the site’s language. Visitors don’t need an add-on like Google Translate to understand the content. They can select the flag for the country they’re in, and the site will reload in their language.
Allowing customers to change the language of your site helps with SEO. For example, the keywords you’re targeting in English will mean the same thing in Spanish—but search engines consider them as two different phrases. Ranking well for both terms means you’re cashing in on two different audiences for the same page.
Plus, more than half of all online content is written in English. Just 4.6% is in Spanish; 6% is in German. It’s easier to stand out from the English-speaking competition when you’re going the extra mile.
“Weather or seasonal personalization is a good example of passive personalization. You can do weather personalization broadly, if you're a regional brand, or based on user IP. So, if IP detection shows the customer's area is likely to have rain, products or promotions that call out the weather can feel really empathetic in a subtle way.”
05. Races routes’ race poster categories
A superb personalization hack is selling products based on experiences your customers have had. We can see this on RaceRoutes’ website. The product itself gives the feeling of personalization.
This store sells artwork based on popular marathon routes. But when you’re browsing their website, it feels different to a traditional category selection. You’re choosing from something you’ve accomplished (like a half-marathon), rather than something you just have an interest in (like artsy posters).
This all ties back into the personalized shopping experience we talked about earlier. Having a category titled “running posters” feels less unique to an individual shopper. But asking them to pick something representative of what they’ve achieved makes it feel more personable.
Bonus tip: Don’t have a list of experience-related products to sell? Achieve the same effect by labeling your category names with your customers’ pain points, job titles, or known qualities. For example: a “10 inch laptop” category is renamed “laptops for mobile workers”. The “photo frame collections” category is renamed “photo frames for feature walls.”
06. Alaya Tea’s “add a gift message” form
The personalized gift market is set to be worth $31.63 billion by 2021. To get a slice of the pie, take a leaf out of Alaya Tea’s book; they offer personalized gifts without manufacturing an entirely new line of products.
A simple “add a gift note” box lets shoppers buy a personalized gift for someone else—but it’s just optional. This means they have the same product page for the standard and personalized product. That leads to less SKUs to manage, fewer duplicate pages on your site, and a better user experience. Talk about a triple threat.
Personalizing existing products opens your market, too. Customers don’t have to want the products themselves. They’re buying the item for a loved one; someone with different tastes than them. The receiver of the personalized gift needs to fit your customer profile, not just the person buying the product.
Bonus tip: Play around with the delivery and packaging of your product. It’s not always feasible to make personalized products to order. Giving the option to add a gift note or card to the package gives the same effect, without changing your manufacturing process.
07. Adam Apple’s important date form
Buying items for a specific date can be overwhelming for customers—especially if it’s a big event, like a wedding or birthday. You need the items to arrive on time; there’s no leeway (nor patience) to fiddle around with returns.
Adam Apple, which sells confetti through their online store, removes this barrier for customers using personalization. They’ve added a simple form to their product page which allows customers to delay the order and have it arrive by a certain date.
This relieves a huge pain point for customers, and also helps the merchants manage their inventory. They know exactly when a purchase needs to be delivered—and can plan each customer’s order to make sure it arrives on time for the big day.
Bonus tip: Studies show that 47% of shoppers won’t buy from a brand that keeps them in the dark about their delivery status. Items can arrive when they’re not home, or past the date they needed it for. But giving them the option to choose their delivery date and time overcomes those issues, and boosts the chances of creating repeat customers.
08. Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlists
A personalization hack you’re likely familiar with comes from Spotify. Their “Discover Weekly” algorithm collects data about the songs you listen to, and puts together a unique playlist made for you. The goal? To help you find new music based on your own specific taste.
The algorithm takes into consideration your activity with the app. Spotify’s previous product director explains: “Skipping before the 30-second mark is the equivalent of a thumbs down for the Discover Weekly playlist.”
It’s reported that songs from these playlists have been streamed 1.7 billion times. That’s fantastic for Spotify’s business because it keeps customers engaged with their app. The more they enjoy Spotify and the personalized song recommendations, the less likely they are to cancel their subscription.
Bonus tip: Email previous customers with personalized recommendations on how to get the most use out of their product. For example: if they’ve purchased a lawnmower from your garden furniture store, send emails on how to clean the appliance, change the grass length settings, and store it safely. Your willingness to answer questions before they’re asked means you’ll be top of mind whenever they (or someone they know) needs garden equipment.
09. Go Green Hemp’s abandoned cart email
It’s not just your website that can be personalized for better shopping experiences. Email marketing is known to have a superb return on investment (ROI). It reaches people where most brands don’t get the privilege of landing: their inbox.
Go Green Hemp don’t just use this marketing channel to nurture people who’ve opted into their standard mailing list, though. They monitor the people who’ve added items to their online cart and exited without checking out.
The abandoned cart email links to a short quiz that helps subscribers find the perfect product for them. It’s another form of interactive content, only the lead doesn’t have to be on your website to take part.
The email drives them back to the website, promising to assist them in finding the correct product. That pre-purchase concern could’ve been the reason they exited.
Bonus tip: Use other retargeting channels—such as Facebook or Google Ads—to follow-up with visitors who’ve abandoned their online cart. Direct them back to your site with content that’s easy to consume (like a quiz), and deliver a personalized product recommendation at the end. It gives them a second chance to purchase.
Ready to use personalization to increase sales? Get started with Wix's eCommerce website builder.
Elise Dopson is a freelance writer for B2B SaaS companies. Find her on Twitter @elisedopson.