As people have adapted to digital environments and at-home work, the online shopping scene has surged. Retail e-commerce sales in 2020 grew nearly 30% year over year, reaching a market total of $4.3 trillion. While this skyrocketing growth has paved the way for other DTC businesses, it has also presented challenges for companies looking to stand out from the ever-expanding crowd.
During the pandemic, the DTC space was able to quickly change and pivot its marketing strategies according to the general population’s sudden shift in lifestyle. But now, as COVID-19 loosens its clutches, DTC brands must rethink their business model to enhance the overall customer experience.
To capture the attention of online shoppers, several studies point to personalization. According to Salsify’s Consumer Research 2022 report, approximately 70% of U.S. shoppers reveal they’re more likely to purchase a product if there is personally relevant text, images, reviews, or other distinctive media on the product page.
And according to Venture Beat, that number is growing as more consumers search for customized product recommendations on retail websites.
As more companies join the e-commerce game, personalization has become more important than ever. Not only does it provide customers with meaningful experiences, but it also boosts your brand’s sales, retention, and conversion rate, and ultimately increases your brand awareness.
Here’s how you can build a more personalized customer experience through your DTC website:
Understanding and Collecting Data On Your Target Audience
Personalization helps DTC brands build closer connections with buyers by designing unique product and messaging strategies according to your consumer’s needs. However, to properly build those connections, you must first understand your target audience.
By establishing your ideal customer and determining your target audience, you can begin collecting and analyzing personal data to create pools of consumers for your personalized marketing campaigns.
There’s no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” approach in e-commerce, so the more behavioral, demographic, and transactional information you can gather about your consumers, the more precise your personalization strategies will be.
It also helps to identify your audience’s interests, preferences, tendencies, and intentions as it relates to purchasing. This data can be gathered through loyalty programs, real-time behavioral data, individual user profile data, or cookie-based historical data. Then, as you gather the necessary information, you can get a clearer picture of the right personalized strategies to develop for your DTC site.
Make the Best First Impression
The first place a potential buyer will land is your homepage, so it only makes sense to begin your personalization journey there. Once a customer logs into their account, they will likely be redirected to your homepage, where you can highlight unique offers and products that reflect their personal interests.
These offers can include recommendations based on past purchases or time-sensitive promotions. While this encourages more interaction from your existing customers, it also helps new customers move through your e-commerce sales funnel, which is the series of steps that an individual goes through to go from potential buyer to loyal customer.
As you work to personalize your homepage, keep a few things in mind. The goal of a homepage is to educate the individual on your product, make it easy to purchase, show credibility, and make it clear that yours is the best choice on the market.
Additional elements like images, text, photography, taglines, banners, pricing, and headlines should not only reflect your unique branding but also the personal interests of your target audience.
Develop Specific Campaigns Based On Consumer Behavior
As customers interact with your website, you can gather more specific data regarding their interests and behavior. This type of personalization will demand a collection of data on how different types of users move through your website. Then, using that data, you can segment pools based on behavior to create special campaigns for specific groups of consumers.
Since this strategy targets both new and existing customers, it stands to be particularly beneficial for your DTC brand. New customers can receive pop-ups incentivizing them to join your email list or reward program. Existing customers who have made recent purchases can be encouraged to leave reviews, ratings, and feedback.
While you learn more about your consumers, consider what your users are clicking on, what pages they frequent, what products they place in their cart or wish list, and what category of products they tend to be interested in.
As you create a more personalized experience on your DTC site through behavioral-based marketing, you can encourage greater brand loyalty, drive traffic, build trust, and generate more conversions.
Stay Up-to-Date With New Personalization Strategies
Personalizing the customer experience through your DTC website will change as you get to know your audience and customers. Identifying the right types of personalization will largely depend on running tests, trying out new strategies, and figuring out what actually works.
Establishing key performance indicators, or KPIs, enable you to measure your personalization strategies and determine which tactics are excelling in performance.
As the e-commerce space becomes increasingly personal, it also helps to stay up to date with any new emerging methods. For example, a particularly popular personalization tactic is online quizzes that help determine what product works best for you. While this serves as an excellent way to get to know new customers, it also assures existing customers that the suggested products are what best suit their personal interests.
Throughout the lifespan of your business, your goals and objectives are bound to evolve, so it’s wise to keep an eye out for personalization ideas that can bring the most value in the shortest amount of time.