Get Personal With Your Customers Staff

Updated · May 25, 2001

by Lauren Brett

Are your online customers abandoning their shopping carts before check out? Is your site’s navigation complex, making it difficult for your shoppers to browse through your broad product base?

You can increase sales by making it easier for your customers to buy from you, and one of the most effective ways to do this is by presenting personalized product recommendations to each of your customers every time they visit your Web site.

Personalizing your site will help make your customers’ shopping experiences virtually effortless, so they won’t have to sift through product after product to find what they want. By proactively showing an interest in your customers’ preferences, you will decrease the number of abandoned shopping carts, increase return visits to your site, and give your customers a reason to buy from you, rather than from your competitors.

Benefits of Personalization

Personalization removes the barriers to a completed sale by helping you:

  1. Convert browsers to buyers by offering highly tailored product recommendations that match each of your customers’ interests. By presenting the most appropriate products to each customer, you’re able to create a unique shopping experience for that individual every time he or she comes to your site.

    Forge more powerful relationships with your customers. By engaging them with personalized recommendations from the moment they enter your site, you’ll ensure more clicks which, in turn, can boost page views and your ad revenues.

  2. Increase your site’s “stickiness” by anticipating what your customers want in real time, every time; a customer will be more likely to buy repeatedly from the site that not only understands his or her needs, but responds to those needs with every visit.

Your Personalization Options

As you decide on a personalization solution, you should determine how much time, money and resources you have available and how you want the technology delivered — as an ASP or via server-installed software. Solutions range in price and the time needed for integration. Some personalization firms offer services that may cost $500,000 or more and take six to eight months to integrate, depending on the level of customization you require. Others offer personalization that integrates within a matter of hours and at a more affordable price. Regardless of your company’s size or budget, personalization can be a viable solution for your site.

Ultimately, you will want to choose a personalization solution that will allow you to expand your product offerings while at the same time still providing your customers with tailored recommendations. These recommendations will give your customers the personal attention they want every time they visit your site. And with your competition just a click away, it’s essential to develop relationships with your customers that last beyond a single purchase, so they’ll keep coming back to buy from you.

Reprinted from InternetDay

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