The Profit Doubling Secret Ignored By 50% of All Ecommerce Sites

The Profit Doubling Secret Ignored By 50% of All Ecommerce Sites

  • Shoppers care about online sales personalization: 53% of them view it as a valuable service.
  • Marketing efforts that focus on the customer stand to improve your KPIs by as much as 300%.
  • Nearly half of all marketers (49%) plan on investing in real-time cross-channel marketing in the near future.

No doubt about it – the highly dynamic field of Ecommerce can just as well be described as a dog-eat-dog field. With the increased availability of mobile Internet and an ever-wider range of devices (read: channels) for shopping online, it has become crucial for retailers to provide smooth, stress-free, and memorable experiences for their clients. That’s where the importance of online shopping personalization (OSP) steps in. It’s a marketing technique that has been around for as long as bricks-and-mortar stores, but only of late has its importance in Ecommerce become apparent. Today we explore some key facts about OSP, both from the point of view of the end-user, as well as from the sellers’ perspective.

Image source: GoWebBaby.com

But what is OSP, anyway? (And why should you care?)
The definition of OSP is fluid enough to accommodate several types of customer-geared actions. Their common denominator, which should be your main takeaway here, if this is the first time you’ve come across the term, is that OSP provides the user with more than just a product/service description. It adds the bonus of an (ideally memorable) experience. Personalized shopping could mean any and all of the following:

– Online shopping assistance – either real, or virtual, in real time;
– Recommended products via ad banners or email newsletters;
– Client feedback for items on display, via reviews or polls.

All of the above sounds reasonable enough, right? After all, your goal as a retailer is to have the customer walk away satisfied not just with their purchase, but also with the entire shopping experience. However commonsensical this may all seem, though, it is often the case that Ecommerce stores will disregard the importance of OSP. Here are some facts to substantiate this reality and to convince you, once and for all, that you need to invest in personalized shopping, if you haven’t already.

3 current trends in OSP
#1 Shoppers are aware of and keen on personalized experience
A popular marketing adage as old as time says the single biggest mistake a seller can make is underestimate their customers’ perceptiveness. This applies to personalized shopping trends to a tee. A recent survey by an online commerce group and a partnered market research company goes to confirm this. The poll asked a few questions of buyers who spend at least $250 annually, in a minimum of 4 shopping sessions. Its results speak for themselves: clients know of OSP and generally view it as a good tactic, on most counts. The study’s key findings say that

53% of shoppers find personalized shopping good value. In fact, they refer to it as a valuable service.
Some 40% of online buyers will purchase something from an Ecommerce store that sends them personalized emails. Don’t get sloppy with your user interaction data analysis – it can go a long way in terms of improving email personalization.
Customer-centric marketing can improve conversions by up to 300%. Not only this, but cross-channel personalization can greatly increase the amount of money a buyer spends on your site.

Image source: MarketingCharts.com

#2 No matter which sales channel you use, personalization rakes in the big bucks

A survey conducted by two major direct marketing companies has found that, according to US marketers, personalization of an online shopping experience in real-time is very important. Well played, Sherlock – but while three quarters of those surveyed will agree with the above statement, one cannot say the same about their takes on the importance of dynamic OSP across channels. Yes, company marketing professionals can agree that marketing in real time is largely a multi-channel endeavor. However, they can’t quite make up their minds about specific channels. Here’s what the poll has found:

Tab email is the most important channel for real-time marketing, with 80% of respondents rating its relevance as ‘high’. As a matter of fact, several respondents stated that personalizing email newsletters is even more important than sustaining a cross-channel marketing effort. Only 17% of those surveyed said dynamic email personalization is mildly important.
35% personalize web content in real-time. This still remains an important effort, far more so than similar endeavors for mobile devices, at points-of-sale, or on social media. 40% of those who don’t offer dynamic web content optimization said they were planning to do so in the near future.
Though still less important than web experiences, dynamic mobile OSP is coming up strong, with 21% of marketers currently implementing it. Perhaps more significantly, another 42% of those surveyed said they were planning to work on this in the future.
Cross-channel marketing is on the list of future plans for nearly half of US marketers (49% to be exact). Though at the time the study was compiled only 29% were implementing real-time personalization across channels, it’s easy to see that this is an important strategy to follow in the future.

Image source: Convert.com

#3 Marketers get that OSP matters; it’s the implementation they struggle with

Another recent report, released in April 2013 by two marketing consultancy companies, reveals that a whopping 90% of mainly UK-based marketers understand the importance of OSP. At the same time, three quarters of those polled also admit they’re having trouble with actually implementing this marketing solution. And this even if nearly 60% of those who do work with OSP are seeing massive ROI improvements every single time they personalize their strategies. Here’s what else you can glean from the research results:

Yes, big data is important, say marketers – but only 31% update their client segments in real-time. Most of the poll respondents acknowledge the central part that big data plays in personalization. However, when it actually comes down to the practical part of working with analyses of user interaction, less than 50% use the data collected by their CRM systems to create a tailored shopping experience.
Marketers are also a bit clueless about the actual ROI uptake of using OSP. Only 25% can quantify the conversion rate improvement. However, those who can measure the data have found that their websites’ KPIs (be they sales or conversion rates) saw an average uptick of 19% over one year of using personalization.

Image source: MarketingCharts.com

About Conversion Hub

Conversion Hub is a digital marketing agency based in Singapore. We provide digital marketing services using proprietary social, digital and analytics methodologies. We also provide website usability testing services in Singapore. Our Ask-Alvin unit provides small business marketing solutionsincluding press release distribution. For more information, visit http://ask-alvin.com 

2 Comments
  1. Reply Oscar Hansen July 26, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Operating an e-commerce site these days is tough. Unless you have a unique product you can sell to your users, you are going to have some major competition. These are pretty good statistics and research insights to help those e-commerce website owners out.

  2. Reply Terry Brown July 26, 2015 at 8:57 am

    I can certainly see how personalizing a shopping experience would be better for the shopper. Amazon is a good example of this and when the site is always showing me product related to my orders, it really helps me find things in little time.

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