August 29, 2023

3 crucial levels of E-commerce website personalization

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An image of Malin Ericson, CRO Specialist at aim'n

Amber Denwood


Personalization. One of the biggest buzzwords in E-commerce. Done correctly, website personalization is a surefire path toward increased AOV, customer loyalty, and lower bounce rate. And in an industry as competitive as fashion, not personalizing your site means you risk being left behind.

The first step to achieving these increased metrics is understanding the different levels of website personalization, and how you can begin to implement them on your site.

Here at Depict, we’re experts when it comes to personalization in E-commerce. So, to help you get started in bringing your site up to speed, we’ve listed some of the most crucial levels of web content personalization, along with some website personalization examples below.

Why is E-commerce website personalization so important?

Personalizing your E-commerce experience is vital for many reasons. It enhances the customer experience, increases engagement and loyalty, improves sales, and gains a competitive advantage over competitors with a less personalized site.

Tailoring the shopping experience to a shopper's specific needs and preferences cuts down the chance that they’ll struggle to find items they like. Not only does this decrease time searching and the risk of them bouncing off of your site, but it also makes increases the chance they’ll make additional purchases on top of the items they were looking for. Plus, they’re more likely to return to your site if they had a good experience the first time around.

And, in the modern E-commerce landscape, personalization is becoming less of a want but a need for shoppers. A recent study from McKinsey shows that 71% of customers expect personalized shopping experiences already, and 76% become frustrated if this website personalization doesn’t happen. In short, if you’re not personalizing then you’re already at risk.

What are the different levels of website personalization in E-commerce?

Website personalization has countless different levels to it, but of course not every type of personalization will be relevant to every website.

In this article, we aim to cover three levels of personalization that are especially important for fashion E-commerce brands, and three that are relatively easy to implement.

Parrot personalization

Parrot personalization or, as you might know it, recently viewed items is one of the most common forms of personalization in E-commerce websites. Parrot personalization involves showing shoppers their previously viewed items again, which reminds customers about things they’ve already shown interest in.

Even though parroting is a relatively simple method of personalization in E-commerce, it does drive good business performance. This is especially true when it is used as a reminder when a user comes back to your site, and didn’t complete their purchase the first time. It ends up being a helpful reference point for customers and a way to restart their journey quickly.

In fact, the “Previously Viewed” carousel generates a good percentage of recommendations revenue performance for Depict customers.

(And, it can take just a couple of clicks to add this type of recommendation to your website with a seamlessly integrated personalization engine such as Depict!)

When might parrot personalization not be helpful?

While parrot personalization is an incredible revenue driver, it does have a few weak spots.

For example, it’s not particularly helpful to the customer during the same onsite session, when they have often already discarded this item as an option and don’t want to see it again. Repeating the same items over and over can risk your website personalization being a bit stale and dated. This can then harm the customer experience if not paired with more advanced forms of personalization.

Proactive personalization

Proactive personalization is an excellent way to avoid showing the same items over and over.

This E-commerce personalization approach includes showing items similar to previously seen items, or purchased items, once a shopper’s area of interest is established. At a more advanced stage, this can even extend to showing the subset of items in a new collection that you think will suit that specific user.

Proactive personalization is an excellent way to step ahead of competitors who are relying solely on parrot personalization. And, it can be a great way to increase AOV and you’re increasing the chance that a customer will see an item they may be interested in, without having to browse through your entire product listings.

When is proactive personalization most effective?

Proactive personalization can be especially useful when a customer has a specific reason for not buying one of the products they’ve already looked at.

A perfect example of when this website personalization can help make a sale is if a customer wanted a pair of blue jeans but their specific size was not available. In this instance, you can show them a similar pair of jeans in a slightly different style that is available in their size. This has a high chance of resulting in a sale and shows you understand the customer's needs.

Contextual Personalization

Contextual personalization is one of the more advanced examples of E-commerce website personalization.

This type of personalization goes beyond similarity to make proactive suggestions for a specific shopper. This can include:

  • User-specific discounts based on observed price point tendencies
  • Cross-selling items to complete an outfit based on their specific style philosophy

Due to its complexity, contextual personalization is hard to achieve. But, by implementing this level of personalization you not only improve your sales but also elevate the customer experience to be industry-leading. This has all kinds of benefits for customer retention and your brand value over time.

And, as personalization in E-commerce grows to be more popular and more elaborate, those who take the first steps towards excellent personalization are sure to benefit more quickly.

How do I implement personalization in my fashion E-commerce business?

There are plenty of ways to get started with upping your website personalization game. But, the simplest and most efficient way is to utilize the tools that are already available. Personalization engines are custom-built to give you access to the types of website personalization listed above, with little manual work needed.

Depict is by far the quickest way to get started with high-impact website personalization. Thanks to our quick integration time, you can begin the personalization process in just a few clicks. This means you’ll be seeing (and feeling) the results in no time.

Learn more about personalization in fashion E-commerce

Want to know more about how your business can benefit from personalization? We’ve touched on this in our whitepaper on personalization in fashion E-commerce, and you can discover plenty of other trends to expect from 2023 in our fashion E-commerce trends report, which you can download here.

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