Emerging Trends in Ecommerce: Personalized Automation for Customers

Richard Parker  |

As the ecommerce industry continues to grow, standing out from the competition becomes more challenging. Small and medium-sized businesses must face giants like Amazon or Alibaba and vie for customers. Tapping into personalized automation can help companies connect with shoppers while being more memorable.

What Is Personalized Automation?

Personalized automation is an emerging ecommerce trend that is set to become more popular over time. It is a type of artificial intelligence or AI-powered marketing that connects with the customer. Personalized automation targets the individual with specific campaigns, messages or other information.

By using technology and automating the process, ecommerce companies can save time and money. Personalizing offers and experiences can also help them stand out in a competitive industry where customers often feel overwhelmed by marketing. Although some businesses are creating their own tech to achieve this, others turn to easier solutions such as Shopify Plus, which allows for automated campaigns, automatic product drops and even has a personalized wholesale channel for high-volume customers.

Finding the Right Fit

If an ecommerce business can determine exactly what a potential customer wants, then the entire sales process is simplified. Unfortunately, figuring out a specific customer's needs can be complicated. Many factors and variables can influence a person before, during and after making a purchase. From their mood to their color preferences, shoppers can be hard to figure out.

Traditionally, ecommerce companies relied on surveys and other marketing techniques to gather information about customers in a large group. Although some still turn to SurveyMonkey or Avius to collect data and feedback, more businesses are seeing the potential of personalized automation. When you combine better technology with data, the results can be dramatic.

For example, The North Face turned to AI-personalization to sell more jackets. Using IBM Watson, it created a simple website to help customers find the perfect jacket. On the site, artificial intelligence asks the questions, gathers the answers and picks out the coats. There are no humans, besides the customer, involved in the process. It acts like a personal shopper and gives consumers a better experience than browsing the entire North Face site for hours.

Segmenting Leads

Personalized automation allows ecommerce businesses to carefully segment leads into smaller sections, such as down to each individual. Instead of sending out a mass email that promotes an upcoming sale for sweaters, AI can help you determine which customers actually live in cold climates and would be interested in buying a sweater.

AI can also help you determine if the leads you collected are worth emailing and spending time on. It starts by looking at email addresses that bounce or are inactive, which are not worth targeting. In addition, it tracks open rates and click-through rates to see who is actually interested in your messages. However, these steps are just the beginning.

Advanced AI can track exactly where your leads are clicking in an email, and the parts that interest them the most. It can also see how much time they spend on the email and website. All of this information is useful for creating targeted, automated campaigns that create sales. This means that shoppers will have a better customer journey that matches their tastes, preferences and styles.

Keeping Customers Happy

One of the benefits of using personalized automation in ecommerce is that it can reward shoppers without customer service getting involved. Keeping customers happy improves retention and leads to more sales down the line. It may also encourage existing customers to advocate for your business and send you referrals.

You can use AI to track a customer's shopping history and send rewards when they reach a certain amount. You can also see if they put things in a shopping cart but do not buy them. Then, the technology can automatically send them a discount code through email or a popup on the website to encourage them to finish shopping and checkout.

Another option is to recognize important events in a customer's life such as birthdays or anniversaries. Some ecommerce companies send their shoppers an annual gift or discount on their birthdays. Others celebrate the number of years they have been customers with an incentive.

Seeing the Potential

Personalized automation is an important strategy for ecommerce companies. Whether you use it to send rewards or track purchases, there is a lot of potential with this technology. Moreover, companies are just beginning to test different marketing strategies with AI, and it is set to become a bigger part of business in the future.

If you're interested in personalized automation for your ecommerce business, then start slowly. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the software and tools. Automate one process at a time and expand once you are comfortable. AI will continue to get better, so you will always have to make changes to keep up with it.

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