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Is Personalized Commerce a Trend Worth Investing In? We Asked 6 E-Commerce Experts Their Opinion

Creating personalized shopping experiences comes at a price. Find out if the investment is right for your business with stories from six marketers who took the plunge.

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While 92% of companies believe the offers they send are relevant, only about 33% are actually considered relevant by consumers.

This isn’t for lack of trying on your end. If your e-commerce business could provide a personal shopping experience for each of your customers, you probably would.

But that’s a luxury few brands can afford. 

As the value of personalization continues to rise in the eyes of consumers, necessity has bred the invention of personalized e-commerce tools. 

Programs like Emarsys, Drip, and WebEngage collect and archive customer data and allow you to deliver personalized experiences automatically. But that kind of ability comes with a hefty price tag. 

So we had to ask the question—is it worth it?

Here’s what six businesses that invested in personalization software have to say about it.

Are Personalized Commerce Tools Worth Investing in?

Spoiler alert, everyone we asked answered with a resounding yes. But each one provided different reasons. 

1. Personalizing Product Recommendations For New Customers: Jared Pobre, Caldera + Lab

As a leading men’s skincare brand, the importance of providing the right products for specific skin types is crucial to Caldera + Lab’s success. 

In order to reach new potential customers, they needed a way to show them what they needed before they’ve actually made a purchase. 

That’s where their automation tool came in handy. 

“At Caldera + Lab, we begin personalizing recommendations for our customers based on the skincare products they checked out on our social media feed. 

Then we highlight that product on their next visit to our website with a step-by-step tutorial and video on how to apply the serum, inform them of its benefits, and include a short review from a loyal customer. 

As our visitor scrolls further down the page, they see a user-generated video review clip for a fun and more engaging twist on traditional product reviews. By creating a more personalized experience on our website for our customers, we see a substantial increase in our subscribers and sales.”

2. Provide Automated Order Follow-Up: Harris Rabin, R3SET

R3SET’s botanical stress management products thrive on repeat orders.To ensure customers continually order each month, they need to provide follow-up tailored to their product selection to ensure their needs are met. 

As a result, it made all the difference when they invested in mass communication tools that allowed them to personalize their automated messages with names and product selections.

“At R3SET, we like to let our customers know how grateful we are that they use our products. And it’s that gratitude that drives our automated order follow-up messaging. 

We begin with the names we’ve collected from our subscribers and customers to create smart tags that enable us to quickly pull their name and include it in the email subject line.

As user actions generate customer appreciation emails, the subject line will also say what we’re thanking them for. For example, when a customer makes a purchase, we’ll say thanks with a special offer on their next purchase. 

For high-value and repeat customers, we’ll let them know how much we appreciate their loyalty. And when clients leave feedback on our site, they’ll receive an email thanking them for taking the time to share their experience with our products and, within the email, suggest related products they may also like.

Our order follow-up messages really click with our customers as we see a significant increase in our click-through rate with each marketing campaign.”

3. Anticipate Customer Needs: Shahzil Amin, WellBefore

Shahzil noticed that his customers often arrived at his website on a mission. They often sought out the most reviewed and highly rated products within a category.

As a result, he invested in backend web tools that automatically populate each page with the best-selling products appearing first and most prominently. This saves customers time and, as a result, creates a much smoother UX. 

“At WellBefore, our goal is to build amazing brands and products geared towards the middle class and under customer profiles. Our customers are savvy buyers, and they want to be sure the products they purchase are worth spending money on. 

So a personalized list of our best-selling and top-rated products greet them as soon as they land on our page. This bestseller list has an added dimension of popular products based on public health concerns and seasonal needs. 

By implementing this metric in our bestseller list, we see significant increases in our click-through rate- nearly 50%. And our conversions have almost doubled.”

4. Assistance in Upselling: Stacey Kane, Easy Merchant

Stacey, like many other retailers, has struggled with capturing customer attention in the fast-paced online marketplace. When she did manage to get their focus, she wanted to make the most of the opportunity by way of upselling. 

Through personalized software that smartly paired recommended products with what customers had already selected, Easy Merchant was able to do just that. 

In general, customers are interested in buying more, but we’ve learned that to do so means we need to offer them the correct information at the right moment for it to work. 

We propose items and accessories related to what our clients look at or have in their carts to create a natural synergy without requiring them to browse our entire website.”

5. Automatically Segment Customers: Ian Sells, RebateKey

Ian has tried out a variety of personalization tools that added different value to his website. Floating headers, mobile device targeting, lead magnet offers based on customer behaviors, and so on. 

By far his favorite and most profitable personalization tool is the kind that automatically segments his customers based on individualized product recommendations. 

“Tracking visitors’ behavior is a very important tool that allows e-commerce sellers to offer the best products at the right time to their buyers. Time is of the essence. 

For example, when we combined customer segmentation and individualized product recommendations, we boosted RebateKey’s  sales 25%.”

6. Creating More Targeted Marketing Campaigns: Rahul Mohanachandran, Kasera 

Generic marketing campaigns weren’t cutting the mustard for Rahul. With Kasera selling everything from nursery furniture to home office accessories, there was no way to appeal to the masses with just one campaign.

Knowing what brought a customer to them was crucial to provide marketing material that would be relevant to their needs. Data tracking tools allowed them to do just that. 

“We use data from over a million products in our database to curate the list of products that are perfect for the customer’s needs. 

We have noticed over a 37% increase in engagement rate on such emails with engagement defined as anything from click to making products as favorites to making a transaction. 

We also use similar techniques in other areas of the platform like out of stock monitoring and price history monitoring we have with personalized recommendations on similar products. We believe that in an industry where the customer’s taste or preferences needs to be considered, personalized e-commerce is the best way to provide the best experience.”

A Final Note- Personalization is Not a Single Action

While every marketer we spoke to was in agreement that their investment has paid dividends, they were also in agreement on one other thing:

Personalization is not one single action.

Personalization has become a bit of a buzzword to encompass various aspects of segmented and customized strategies. 

The most common challenges for companies implementing personalization are finding the proper channels for them.

As you can see from the examples above, this varies depending on the type of business, the audience, and even the products offered.

“There’s not one single action that marketers can do to implement personalization. It’s a collection of different strategies and tools,” notes James Edge, the founder of Crush The USMLE.

Building user profiles and understanding who they want to reach is the most crucial aspect of personalization. The rest is about streamlining the experience and interactions.

Done right, and you’re rewarded with an average 20% increase in sales. An ROI any marketer would deem worthwhile. 

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