eCommerce personalization is all about delivering an individualized customer experience for each visitor to your website.
Marketers now have access to a wealth of data about shoppers’ preferences, lifecycle stage, location and more. This can be used to show each customer the most relevant content, precisely when they need it.
Common methods of website personalization include product recommendations, personalized images, location-based offers, and content based on individual behavior. These tactics keep your customers (and your boss!) happy by helping shoppers make faster, smarter decisions.
To get the most out of personalization, it’s crucial that shoppers receive a one-to-one experience every time they interact with your company. Often, that starts with the homepage.
Keep reading for plenty of homepage personalization examples to help you:
- Reassure and convert new customers
- Turn first-time visitors into subscribers
- Help returning visitors find what they’re looking for
- Retain and re-engage existing customers
1. Reassure and convert new customers
Your website is the go-to source of information about your brand and products. Make the most of this opportunity by building trust and helping visitors find what they’re looking for.
Build trust with social proof
First-time shoppers haven’t yet had the opportunity to experience your products. Use social proof to reassure these visitors that they’re making the right choice.
Social proof can come in the form of expert opinions, awards, and customer feedback.
Here’s an example from Sunglasses Shop, showing the company’s average rating and best reviews:
Inspire with social media
New customers might be unsure of what they can expect from your brand. Use social media feeds to help shoppers imagine how they will feel once they own one of your products.
Even if a visitor isn’t ready to make a purchase, they could be inspired to micro-convert by following your social media channels.
Molton Brown uses social media content on the homepage to show how products look in situ:
Help new visitors find products
When someone comes to your site for the first time, you won’t be able to use their past behavior to gauge their interests. This doesn’t mean you can’t show relevant product recommendations.
Consider using crowdsourced “best-sellers” to show the products your customers tend to be interested in. Trending products also add an element of social proof, as shoppers prefer to follow the wisdom of the crowd when making a decision.
Here’s an example of popular product recommendations from Karen Millen:
Even if you don’t have data about a customer’s individual interests, you can leverage information on their current location. Depending on the nature of your products, you can show product recommendations relevant to the region, season or weather where the customer is shopping.
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2. Turn one-time visitors into subscribers
Special offers are a great way to incentivize first-time shoppers to stay on your site, instead of jumping to a competitor.
Offers also help you identify shoppers via their email address. Once someone has registered, you can maintain a valuable relationship by sending newsletters and real-time emails – for instance, browse and cart abandonment alerts.
The data capture form can be placed within the web page, or appear as a popover or slider.
Here, Base London uses a subtle yet prominently placed banner to encourage browsers to subscribe:
This popover from Glasses Direct has a bigger footprint, and lets users choose the most appropriate offer for their needs:
Test the timing and content of pop-ups to find out what works for your visitors. If you’re using a full-page pop-up, make sure visitors have enough time to view your content before asking them to sign up.
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3. Help returning visitors find what they're looking for
Once you have a shopper’s attention, it’s time to deliver an exceptional customer experience. This means anticipating customers’ needs and fulfilling them as quickly as possible.
Show the shopper's last browsed products.
Where a customer has browsed your website without buying or carting a product, you can help them pick up where they left off by showing their recently viewed products.
Cottages.com does this to great effect with a “Welcome back” popover. The messaging tells the visitor why the pop-up is appearing, so they won’t be confused. The main product details and image are included to jog the shopper’s memory.
Don’t limit products to those the shopper has already viewed. Help customers find what they need with personalized recommendations based on browse, search and purchase history. Rip Curl provides highly relevant product recommendations on the home page, so shoppers don’t have to search for what they want.
Give a helping hand to likely purchasers
The most common way to deal with cart abandonment is by sending a real-time email reminder. But you can also use website personalization to recover this lost revenue.
Wayfair features carted products on the homepage to encourage customers to check out. It’s important to include the main product details such as image and price, so the customer can quickly decide to complete the purchase.
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4. Retain and re-engage existing customers
Retaining customers is often more cost-effective than acquiring them. By leveraging what you know about existing shoppers, you can deliver an individual customer experience that keeps them coming back for more.
Give customers more of what they want
Personalized banners grab customers’ attention with highly tailored content. When visitors are immediately presented with relevant information, they’re less likely to bounce. For example, you can show banners based on their favorite product category:
Customized images can also drive up-sells and cross-sells. Using data about the customer’s purchase history, you can predict what shoppers are likely to need – and when they will need it:
For shoppers who are very engaged but haven’t made a purchase for a while, you can use special offers and coupons to nudge them towards checking out.
Use dynamic countdown timers alongside coupons to encourage urgency:
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Take personalization to the next level
For a truly one-to-one customer experience, personalization should extend far beyond the homepage. Search pages, landing pages and product detail pages can all be customized to reflect each shopper’s interests and lifecycle stage.
Real-time emails based on customer behavior take personalization to the next level. Customers can be reminded about carted products, notified when their favorite items have dropped in price, and alerted when a product they missed out on comes back in stock.
If you can’t wait to provide a personalized experience for your customers, get more tactics and inspiration with our dedicated ebook: