By Ruth Richter • September 19, 2018
The internet could likely be considered one of the most disruptive technologies of our time. Its widespread availability and multiple ways of accessing have radically changed how we do everything from shopping to eating, dating to doing business. While the internet has revolutionized the way most of us shop, one thing that hasn’t changed is our innate desire for a personalized experience. What was once accomplished by one-on-one service in a boutique department store is now handled by machine learning, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality.
Personalizing the Ecommerce Experience
The trend is shifting ever more toward the experience of the individual customer and finding ways to uniquely personalize every single customer’s encounter when they’re on your site. That may sound impossible, but new technologies make it increasingly easier to personalize an experience. Check out these five ecommerce trends. How many are you already practicing?
- Early Engagement
With so many options for online purchases out there on the web, it might feel like getting a customer to your site is the biggest hurdle. In fact, the bigger challenge is keeping them there once they arrive. Nielsen Norman Group estimates that most users will be on your site for under a minute. If you don’t capture their attention in less than 59 seconds, you risk losing the sale.
If your visitor stays and browses a bit, your odds increase and that’s the time to engage them to purchase. Should a customer visit, browse, and bounce with the intention of coming back later or doing more research, you can quickly re-engage with an automatic email that arrives in their inbox after they browse away. Sometimes, the simple reminder of the product will do the trick but, for tougher sells, consider adding a discount code or a shipping deal.
- Preferred Payment
One of the easiest ways to get someone to make a purchase is to make your products easy to purchase. More and more, customers want the ability to pay for their purchases the way they want, whether that’s a specific credit/debit card, PayPal, Apple Pay, or even Bitcoin. If those purchase methods include options for how and when their purchases will be shipped, so much the better. Consider options for setting up subscription payments for regular recurring purchases, or notices on when a favorite item’s inventory is running out.
- The Unique Experience
Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t just about finding a robot to finish your housework. AI can actually help your website learn your visitors’ habits and patterns and favorite purchases to increase the personalization of their experience. Even if your business sells a very specified range of products, not every visitor’s need or drive will be the same. In addition, having access to past orders will top off the personalized, online shopping experience.
- Smarter Searching
Search functions sometimes leave a little something to be desired. A typo or even regional slang entered in the search bar can often return incorrect, or worse, no results. However, search solutions are getting smarter. Consider investing in search functions that use natural language processing. This allows your onsite search to recognize those slang terms or even regional language variants to still return exactly what your customer is looking for. The faster they can find what they need, the more likely they are to buy.
- AI, AR, and VR
While not fully integrated into the ecommerce experience, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) have great potential to offer users hyper-personalization. In fact, ecommerce will likely benefit most from these fast-evolving technologies. Consider how you might integrate these to become viable business processes to enhance your customers’ user experience by showing them personalized options that are uniquely targeted to their needs or shopping habits.
Trending with ROI Consulting
Seeing your customers as the individuals they are is what will keep them coming back to your site to purchase over and over again. With every visit to your site, visitors leave behind a data trail. With IN-SYNCH by ROI Consulting, you can collect all that data and keep it flowing between systems so that you’re always in the know about your customers. IN-SYNCH loops your website together with third-party shopping carts and populates that data into your Sage 100 ERP lightning fast, leaving your site with the necessary nimbleness to shift and customize for that unique user.
We can even customize IN-SYNCH for your exact integration needs. Contact ROI Consulting today for your own personalized integration experience.