break downThe setting up of an online shop with an attractive design and additional services is nothing special nowadays, still all involved in eCommerce rely more than ever on optimized customer engagement to succeed. To run effective marketing campaigns, it is important to know the interests and behavior of each individual user throughout his/her entire Customer Journey.

Luckily, technology can nowadays be easily embedded into a website or app to analyze a user’s behavior and content preferences to get a picture of the potential buyer.

But, empowered by social networks and their digital devices, consumers are increasingly dictating what they want, when and where they want it. They become both critics and creators, demanding a more personalized service and expect to be given the opportunity to shape the products and services they consume. How to deal with it?

Data creates relevance

By using smart technologies, data can easily be collected anonymously as well as automatically analyzed and segmented. Then, users can be addressed individually with relevant content in the right context at the right time.

Only those brands who know and understand their users can speak to their potential customers in such a way to make them stay in the online shop and buy. By breaking up data silos and matching numerous anonymous data about users' behavior and interests, it’s quite easy to address online shoppers individually. Thanks to technologies that evaluate these data in real-time, and leverage relevant content to users at the right time, potential customers usually become reliable and sustainable real customers.

Obviously, expert knowledge in the field of data analysis and data matching is indispensable, as it is no longer sufficient to recommend a product based on a user’s search history. Effective customer engagement is rather based on analyzing all available information about the user, gaining insight from it, and making use of it in a meaningful way to ultimately increase the person’s shopping experience. This can be achieved by taking on the function of a personal shopping assistant, providing useful services as well as relevant product recommendations.

It is possible, for instance, to identify that one user is interested in technology, sports and health, and generally goes for high-priced products, knowledge the online shop can use to refer to relevant products, like a high-end fitness tracker or a smart body analysis scale; or seeing that another one often places products in the shopping cart, but deletes them soon after, so that most probably a promotional code in real-time could ensure that he eventually makes the purchase.

Since good personalization is all about relevance, it is crucial to deliver the right content, at the right time, in the right place to encourage consumers to come back for more and to dive deeper into a site through highly targeted content, promotions and recommendations to increase conversions.

Relevance builds trust

The web shop gives its users a significantly optimized shopping experience with the use of relevant marketing messages - from the promotional code to the right product recommendation to proper search support. Consequently, users are more confident about the online store and more receptive to advertising messages.

In contrast to any product recommendations, that are imposed on the user and lead to a nuisance and avoidance of the web shop in the future, a relevant approach at the right time is perceived as a service and a useful assistance. Hence, the customer engagement is increasing and the web shop is benefiting from lasting growth in conversion rate.

The best is, that companies can cross-sell other products and services, if consumers are engaged with relevant content in the right context and come back repeatedly: For instance, fashion brands can recommend the shoes and other accessories that go with an outfit a consumer has placed in his online basket.

The right technology can also provide a picture of the context in which an individual is visiting a site, such as figuring out if users are on a mobile on the train travelling to work, on a desktop PC at work during the day, or using a tablet in the evening.

Not to mention to keep in mind that consumers’ attention span is diminishing and gaining customer loyalty is harder than it has ever been. Generally, users expect an immediate, easy, individual service, tailored to their needs and interests wherever they are, 24/7, or they will simply choose an alternative provider.

Therefore, personalization is a no-brainer, since it helps to build stronger relationships with new and existing customers by delivering relevant content and offers - in the right context, at the right time. It turns websites into compelling customer experiences that convert fly-by website visitors into regular visitors and ultimately builds customer loyalty and brand advocacy. Sill, consumers should never feel that they’re being targeted in a personalized manner – the smart technologies should simply run seamlessly in the background.

By Daniela La Marca