Any merchant who wants their Magento store to be successful must think about the needs and wants of the customers. The ability to appeal to specific customers can mean the difference between simply attracting a specific group of visitors and turning them into long-term customers.  With most customers being more likely to buy from stores that provide relevant products and suggestions, customer personalization is a key element in the success of an eCommerce store. In this guide we will dive into Customer Personalization and how Magento can help merchants create a unique shopping experience.

What is Customer Personalization?

Customer personalization refers to the optimization of the strategy and messaging to an individual customer rather than the group that the customer belongs to. Although this is an important concept in the business world, personalization is not just something you turn on. It requires thoughtful planning and execution.

For a merchant to be successful in customer personalization, they must first understand their analytics and customer data. Based on the analyzed data, they can then identify key differences in shopper profiles to create an experience that will appeal to their customer. This forms the first step to the process of personalizing customer experience on your site and ensuring you offer exactly what the customer is looking for.

Since personalization involves a specific experience for a customer, smaller merchants with small catalogs rarely benefit from it. They tend to have customers with almost the same profile, with few variations, meaning no  major changes are needed in marketing and messaging for individual customers. However, bigger merchants and companies with a broader range of products and therefore a broader range of customers, must invest in discovering their various shopper profiles and craft customer experiences to appeal to each group of customers and show them that they are valued.  

For bigger merchants, a tool like Nosto can help in making every shopping experience personal for their customers. Although the service may not work well with small or mid-market merchants, it can be beneficial for merchants with huge customer flow and large catalog. Using shopper behavior data collected from powerful machine learning and eCommerce experts, Nosto create​s​ a digital commerce experience that appeals to every customer’s journey in a store.

How to Achieve Customer Personalization

In order to succeed at the  customer personalization game, you also must understand their needs and behavior while in your store. The behavior of visitors to your Magento store can be monitored from the moment they land at the store homepage to the moment they complete a purchase or leave the site. Technology plays a critical role in personalizing customer experience in an online store. For instance, machine algorithms and artificial intelligence allow you to track customers’ information. Based on such information, you can provide offers and recommendations relevant to their buying behavior or interests in a more efficient way.

Personalizing customer experience in your Magento store can be based on several factors that affect customer behaviors. While some customers may be interested in getting perfect information about a product before purchase, others will be more concerned about after-sales services. Given these differences, it is important to personalize customer experience based on the visitor type, their traffic source, site engagement levels, products viewed or previously purchased, search queries, value of shopping cart, and current cart content.

Personalizing Customer Experience on Magento

Merchants on the Magento platform can benefit from the variety of native features that allow personalization to occur. Using customer segmentation, Magento merchants can create segments of customers based on their browsing or purchasing behavior. The content for each segment is then personalized to suit the customer’s journey through the website. Some of the key Magento features that enhance personalization include:

 Banners – You can displace an image with a block of content that appeals to a specific customer segment. These banners are then placed on specific webpages like the homepage depending on the category of customers being targeted.

 Related Products – You can up-sell, cross-sell, and include related products on the product details page to allow customers to quickly add them to cart. While this will encourage additional purchases, it will also enhance the customer experience in your store.

 Shopping Cart Price Rules – You can set up specific rules to allow discounts for customers in a specific segment. For instance, a customer who has spent more than $200, receives a 10% discount.

Other Magento features that enhance personalization include categorizing inventory by product groups, distinguishing new and repeat customers, tracking products that customers have searched for, and offering gift cards. While these features are effective, it is also important to use appropriate strategies. Some of the effective strategies for personalizing customer experience on a Magento store include decreasing the number of clicks to find products, creating custom search results pages, and providing easy access to past results. In Part 2 of this blog series, we will  address these issues in more detail and to give you more ammo to help you appeal to your customers even more. By the time you read Part 3 of this series, you should be able to apply the most relevant personalization strategies that make the most sense for your online store.

If you’d like to really ratchet up your knowledge about  customer personalization and how to create personalized shopping experiences,contact us to schedule a discussion..

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