Have you ever noticed how you can hear your name being said no matter how busy the room is? You’re not crazy. This phenomenon is called the cocktail party effect. The brain can focus attention over all the noise to hear your name.
By nature, humans are predisposed to enjoy personalized experiences. We like to feel special, and we like to feel like our concerns are heard and acknowledged. With the ubiquity of the internet, it’s hard to get that feeling. However, some companies have realized the increased need for personalization, and have started trends that will influence e-commerce in 2019 and beyond.
Sites like Amazon, Facebook, and Google have built their platforms on personalization. Amazon curates a list of products based on your previous purchases, incentivizing you to make further purchases. Facebook shows advertisements based on products you’ve viewed all over the web, due to the Facebook Pixel tracking your data. Google completes your searches based upon what you’re currently viewing. These are convenient services that make your shopping and information seeking processes much more convenient.
Data monitoring isn’t the only service that personalization can aid. Customer service is one of the most vital transactions that your brand participates in, as it is direct interaction between your brand and customers. Bad customer service will chase consumers away faster than anything, and good customer service will keep them coming back year after year. Zappos built an entire shoe-selling empire on the principle of personalized customer service. If they heard a baby crying in the background of a sales call, they would ship a baby blanket with the shoes. If they learned that customers had suffered a loss in the family, they would send flowers. This led to them becoming large enough that Amazon bought them out because of their market share.
Emails are another way to curate personalized interactions with your customers. People don’t like to receive “batch and blasted” emails. Everyone sends them, so why would a customer even consider opening that email from you. Use your customers’ names in subject lines, offer lifestyle advice beyond hocking products, and stay in touch at important times of the year like birthdays and other important holidays.
This is only the beginning of personalized e-commerce. Soon enough, every shopping experience will be uniquely curated, incentivizing customers to make more purchases, and generating a higher lifetime value. Your business can hop on the trend, or be left in the dust because 2019 projects to be a year of personalization. The future is now, so get to personalizing!