​Personalised recommendations give power to small ecommerce marketers

4 tips to boost sales on your website

Simply pointing out what other people bought can boost sales. Source: Timo Kuusela (Flickr)

Simply pointing out what other people bought can boost sales. Source: Timo Kuusela (Flickr)

Recommendations based on browse and buying patterns have given ecommerce global giants like Amazon a competitive edge that puts them at the top of the retail chain. Now these marketing tactics deployed by enterprise giants are becoming cost-effective must-haves for even modest-sized ecommerce businesses.

Using the data for personalisation can be effective at driving sales or driving shoppers away. Consider the automated retargeting ads you see after you browse on some retailers’ sites – it’s like online spam. Inevitably, we tune them out.

On the other hand, personalised emails are actually quite effective. The fear that customers would be bothered by a “did you forget about the dress in your cart?” message wasn’t warranted. Our research suggests that within three months of using cart recovery, retailers typically see 53 times return on investment from re-marketing to shoppers who’ve abandoned their carts.

So, let’s stop using browse abandonment and product recommendation apps to chase customers. Instead, deploy the techniques similar to cart abandonment messaging and use these to not just sell more — but sell smarter.

Personalisation can be implemented without the expense of complex integrations and an expanding team of IT specialists. To ensure this marketing approach works for your organisation, consider automation that:

  • Delivers one-to-one recommendations. The recommendations should leverage contact, order and browse behavior data with lots of filtering choices. Examples include “customers who bought this, bought that;” “recommended products in your preferred brand;” and “you might like.”
  • Drives profit. Do you want to move low average order value customers into a higher tier? Adjust the filters to show high-margin items within a shopper’s area of interest. Have a product customers buy again and again? Sell out faster with a “low on stock” email.
  • Tells you what’s working. Make sure you have reporting that shows what is effective and split by rule, popular products and traffic trends. The information needs to be kept at the contact level to positively impact segmentations and workflows going forward.
  • Is easy to use. Small to mid-sized retailers need options that require minimal set-up, consulting and IT-support. Browse abandonment and product recommendations are easier to set up than cart abandonment (because it doesn’t involve pulling in price information). Cart abandonment has been successfully deployed by small companies with only one dedicated ecommerce specialist.

For years, businesses have talked about the value of keeping customers verses acquiring new ones. Recommendation and browse abandonment strategies work hand-in-hand and are increasingly accessible for smaller companies.

Shannon Ingrey is General Manager, Australia, Bronto Software

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