Ecommerce Personalization Guide 2021

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In the rapidly evolving world of ecommerce, merchandisers have to keep up with the latest trends and innovations to stay competitive. Ecommerce personalization has become a pillar of digital merchandising in recent years, and for many retailers, it's the key to successfully selling products online.

If you're new to the concept of ecommerce personalization and want to integrate it into your web development strategy, you've come to the right place. Here's everything you need to know about the personalized shopping experience for your ecommerce store, including why it matters, how you can utilize it for your business, and the best personalization tools and software currently available.

Why Is a Customer Personalization Strategy Important?

So, why does ecommerce personalization matter? In the digital era, consumers expect their online experiences to cater to their unique demands and desires. Whether they're aware of it or not, intelligent ecommerce can identify a potential customer's needs and wants before them. Staying a few steps ahead of your customers and guiding them to items that satisfy their search is crucial for successfully selling products online.

Additionally, online shoppers are more likely to stay on a site and make a purchase when they find what they're looking for quickly and easily. Outside of your website, they're more likely to engage with personalized emails and social media ads than they are with generic content. In fact, personalized emails have a 26% higher opening rate and are nearly eight times as effective at generating revenue.

It's all about utilizing intelligent web development software to predict and generate content that guides the customer journey to certain actions. For example, these actions include opening a marketing email, clicking on a sponsored social media post, exploring related product(s), or considering personalized product recommendation(s), ultimately leading to a purchase.

What Can an Online Retailer Do to Increase Personalization?

Personalized content is typically automatically generated by intelligent software, which is why digital tools and ecommerce platforms are critical in creating an effective strategy. The best tools help you gather customer behavioral data by tracking each shopper's interaction with your website.

This data can be utilized for a range of customer personalization strategies, including intelligent product recommendations, continuous shopping for repeat visitors, personalized "best-seller" pages, in-session retargeting, automated personalized email campaigns, and social retargeting.

Intelligent Product Recommendations

Personalized product recommendations present shoppers with items that complement those they've already seen, as well as popular alternatives. For instance, your ecommerce site could suggest a shirt or jacket to complement the pants your customer is viewing or a similar pair at a slightly higher price point. This strategy can be incredibly effective for upselling and increasing your margins.

Continuous Shopping for Repeat Visitors

Similar to being able to pick up where you left off with a streaming TV show, continuous shopping allows your visitors to continue with their previous session, even if they've left the site or closed the browser. By holding the contents of their shopping cart and presenting them with items they viewed the last time they were on your website, you can boost your customers' chances of making a purchase.

Personalized "Best-Seller" Pages

Consumers want to know which items are the most popular. Without ample research or testing a product themselves, user reviews and best-seller pages help them quickly filter through standout items. Personalization software can create customized pages or filtered results showing best-sellers based on a shopper's location, search history, or previous purchases.

In-Session Retargeting

In-session retargeting is an excellent way to drive conversions. You can use intuitive pop-ups with recommendations aligning with your customers' activities and behaviors on your site. This could include shopping cart reminders, highlighting previously viewed products, or video content showcasing your strengths versus your competitors'.

Automated Personalized Email Campaigns

There are many reasons to focus on building an email list, and personalization is one of them. You can engage with your customers directly through their inbox with customized messaging to boost brand awareness, showcase your products, lead them back to your site, and encourage a transaction.

The right ecommerce personalization software can automate your campaigns for you. Some effective attention-getting techniques include cart abandonment notifications, "We miss you" messages, order follow-ups, requests for product reviews, recommendations based on previous purchases, and new product announcements with collections curated to their browsing history.

Social Retargeting with Intelligent Recommendations

Just because a shopper has left your website doesn't mean you can't reattract them. One of the easiest ways to do this is through social media retargeting. Social retargeting could involve sponsored display ads, carousel ads showcasing the products a shopper viewed, or user-generated content. When AI-powered recommendations are timed carefully, you've got a recipe for success.

Ecommerce Personalization Guide

Personalization software uses algorithms to determine the best time to retarget a consumer. But generally speaking, the longer a shopper has been away from your online store, the less likely they are to come back and make a purchase. The sweet spot for successful retargeting is usually within one to two weeks after a shopper visits your site. Within this window, there's a good chance they haven't purchased an alternative somewhere else and are still interested in buying a specific product.

The Best Ecommerce Personalization Software

Though there are many ecommerce platforms with personalization capabilities, the best tools for startups and mid-market merchandisers include Nosto, Bloomreach, and Dynamic Yield. Here's what you should know.


With Nosto, you can personalize every piece of content that comes across your customers' screens to deliver a better brand experience and drive more conversions. The platform uses machine-learning algorithms and powerful AI to create dynamic, customized messaging and imagery relevant to a shopper's unique needs and desires. In other words, each visitor will feel like your website was made exclusively for them.


Bloomreach Experience Manager is a robust ecommerce platform that leans on progressive profiling, targeting, and audience segmentation to deliver personalized content in real time. Its intelligent software uses data collection, set logic, and A/B testing to curate an individualized customer experience that meets each shopper's needs and becomes more useful with every click.

Dynamic Yield

With Dynamic Yield, merchants can tailor static website content (like hero banners, search results, and call-to-action buttons) to each visitor. The AI-powered platform also allows you to personalize page layouts according to a shopper's preferences, create customized multi-channel experiences, automatically generate product recommendations in real-time, and trigger promotional emails and pop-ups.

How Ecommerce Personalization Supported T3's Online Sales

Cult-loved hot hair tool brand T3 turned to Guidance for its multi-site platform upgrade. The goal was to showcase its brand promise, create customized purchasing opportunities, and encourage continuous engagement.

Our team of experienced web developers drew on analytics and interviews with customers and stakeholders to develop personalized widgets from scratch. Since T3's hair tools are made to last, this allowed for product suggestions to complement the items shoppers already own instead of recommending items they're unlikely to purchase.

How Ecommerce Personalization Supported City Chic's Growth

Plus-size women's apparel retailer City Chic previously had three stand-alone sites in the U.S., New Zealand, and Australia. Upon acquiring two other brands, the merchant partnered with Guidance to combine all five sites onto a single platform.

This web development project included several customer personalization strategies, including timed campaigns derived from visitor widgets, localized content for each continent, and a customized checkout experience. We also created a "Rock the Style" concept in which customers can shop the clothing and accessories seen on an outfitted model. With a single click, they can add each item to their shopping bag.

Personalized Ecommerce Web Development

In today's world, personalization is key. If you are looking to boost your revenue or grow your e commerce business, effective personalization is essential to create a user experience and customer journey that ensures customer satisfaction.

Onsite personalization not only makes it easy for shoppers to find the product they are searching for, but it also helps identify other purchase opportunities that the shopper may not have considered before visiting your site.

Whether it is a personalized product recommendation, personalized emails, or another type of marketing strategy customization, leveraging customer data to create a personalized shopping experience has never been more important.

At Guidance, we're committed to helping growth-oriented merchants set themselves apart from the competition. With over 25 years in the industry and a finger on the pulse for the newest strategies, we know what works. We partner with Bloomreach, Nosto, Dynamic Yield, and other AI-powered software platforms and can help you determine which tools will support your bottom line.

Are you ready to explore the world of personalized online shopping? Contact us to get started.

Written by Guidance
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