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6 Ways to Personalise Your eCommerce Website & Attract Returning Customers

Uncategorized Mar 21, 2019

How do you write effective, engaging copy that will encourage your customers to take action? One good way to dramatically improve engagement is through personalised content. This emerging trend is becoming increasingly popular and definitely one not to be ignored. The idea is simple: if you know who the visitor is, try and give them content that applies directly to them. If someone is visiting your site for the first time or has never shopped with you before, is there a way to make their experience more personalised? Your main aim is always improved customer engagement. This blog is the first of two posts on this subject. In this blog we will look at the first three tips.

1. The logged in experience

If you have shopped with an e-commerce business, it is likely that the next time you log in, the homepage you see will be personalised to you – if it isn’t, it probably should be. This is generally called the logged in experience.

Companies like Amazon and Netflix have been pioneering this trend for some time. When I log into Amazon what I see will be very different to the next person’s logged in experience. The headline will also be personalised to me e.g. Hello Matt Edmundson… The content is then based on past purchases, average spend, products that are likely to appeal to me. It definitely feels more tailored and encourages me to buy something. Personalised content can be a valuable selling tool.

2. Location

Any business that has a geographical reach will benefit from personalising their content based on the location of the customer. A good example of a business that could benefit from location-based personalisation is Deliveroo. Their website headline is ‘food you love, delivered to your door’. The idea behind the business is that they deliver food from restaurants that don’t normally deliver. Their business idea is fantastic and their website looks great. However, when I log onto their site, none of the restaurant options that appear are available in my area. This is a very simple thing to fix and is likely to engage their customers much more effectively.

Another good example is an airline. They often use location information to pre-populate the field with the name of the airport from which your visitor is likely to be flying. You want the customer to feel like they are having a conversation with someone that knows them.

3. Customer personas

If someone is visiting your website for the first time, you can still personalise on the basis of customer personas. Your visitors will then need to self-select. A good example is our own site, Jersey Beauty Company. We stock hundreds and hundreds of products. If you don’t know what you are looking for, this can be very overwhelming for a potential customer. We have therefore developed a clear selection process on the homepage. We have used the four most frequently shopped skin types as navigational options. They are: dry skin, oily skin, problem skin and lines and wrinkles. Once a visitor has clicked on their skin type or customer persona, they are then invited to complete a simple questionnaire. Once completed, they will be sent a PDF with their skin profile, tailored to them, and a list of recommended products. This allows us to capture valuable customer data, including their email address. The customer receives helpful information and is hopefully guided towards a product appropriate to their skin type. This is a great way to personalise content for new customers. For this to work well, you do need to know the main customer groups that are likely to shop with you.

Another company that does this well is Heavenly Greens. They are a US based company that sell artificial turf. They have four clear customer personas: yards, dog owner, putting greens and outdoor living. Once you have clicked into the section that matches your requirements, the landing page is appropriately tailored.

Gone is the one size fits all approach. Personalisation is now an expected part of most website experiences.

4. Country and language

Do you have customers from different countries? If so, is there a way to make the homepage more appealing to each country? Is it worth translating into another language? Could you sell in multiple currencies? Can you show testimonies from customers in the country? 
These are all important questions to be asking yourself when producing content. Nowadays, technology can easily inform us where our customers are based and content can be tailored accordingly.

At Jersey we have a large number of Swedish customers, mainly because our prices are significantly cheaper than those of comparable retailers in Sweden. We toyed with the idea of translating our whole site into Swedish. Ultimately, we decided not to because English is widely spoken in Sweden. However, if we had a large pool of customers in a country where English was less well known we would definitely consider translation.

5. Device

These days customers have pretty much come to expect some level of personalisation. A tailored homepage is not a new-fangled idea! Customers now use a range of devices to view content. According to the latest research from Adobe, consumers use an average of 6 devices and consume 12 sources of content; millennials use an average of 7 devices and 14 sources. Nearly 9 in 10 consumers (88%) say they multiscreen, and use an average of 2.42 devices at the same time. With these figures in mind, marketeers, designers and developers need to think about the key devices that their customers use and create smart content that is specific to each device.

It is important to cover the basics including screen size and layout. Content creators also need to consider copy length in relation to the device being used. When a consumer is researching a potential purchase on a PC, they may well want to read a longer paper on its uses and benefits. However, someone on a tablet or smart phone is likely to bounce from the site if the content is too long. Adapting content to the device type and to where the customer is in the buyer journey will maximise your website’s impact.

6. Referrals

This is a big one in the world of smart content! If you get a lead from a specific Facebook or Google ad then your content should connect specifically with that ad. Where do your different referrals come from? Look at the top 5 to 10 sources, and ask is there a way to develop smart content for each source that makes more sense for the visitor clicking that link? For example, if someone has come through to your site via a Facebook ad, then it is likely that this is the social media platform with which they are most familiar. Therefore make sure that the content they see mentions your Facebook page and a Facebook sharing button is prominent. Similarly, if someone has arrived on your landing page because of an advert they saw on a social media site for a discount code, make sure that discount code is the first thing they see. If they have to hunt for it they are very likely to become frustrated and your page abandonment figures will increase.

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