Point, click, buy? If only it were that easy.

In his book Successful Advertising, penned in 1885, Thomas Smith famously said that a prospect has to see an ad 20 times before they are finally convinced to make a purchase.

This typical customer journey – from ignorance of a product or service to a sale – is sometimes condensed into the “Rule of Seven,” stating that, on average, people need to see something seven times before making a purchase.

What does this have to do with personalization? Well, considering the mercurial nature of Internet surfing, you can’t always count on your web visitor to stay on your website long enough to see your message seven times. In fact, you might be lucky if they see it just once!

This is where “remarketing” comes in. By creating advertising that “follows” a visitor once they leave your site, you create that all-important frequency that drives them from an initial impression (one they may not even have remembered!) to a purchase.

But this is only one form of personalization.

Personalization is also important while prospects are on your website, and particularly if they return to it. The first visit, if tracked, provides a wealth of information that can be leveraged for subsequent visits. Where did they go? Does their journey align with any other previous customers?

In other words, if your current visitor has shown an interest in A + B, and 90% of prior customers who liked A + B also liked C, shouldn’t we show the new customer C, as well?

Personalization can be even more powerful once a customer is logged in, and we know (presumably) even more about them. If their purchase history shows they bought Widget A, we wouldn’t want to show them Widget A again. Rather, we might show an accessory for Widget A. Or, if we know they bought Widget A two years ago, we might recommend they upgrade to Widget A 2.0.

Surprisingly, relatively few companies are making use of the incredible power of personalization to boost eCommerce. According to Econsultancy & Adobe, 63% of companies surveyed do not have the ability to target personalized web content in real time. Even more shockingly, roughly 1/3 of those surveyed didn’t believe it was important!

Another aspect of personalized marketing is, of course, email. According to Forrester 30% of eCommerce repeat purchases come from email marketing. This can be everything from “empty cart reminders” to emails tailored to the behavior of almost any (registered) user on the web.

The upshot of all this? Not just eCommerce success, but a rise in customer satisfaction, as well.

According to a research by Invesp, 53% of online shoppers find customization to be valuable, and 45% of shoppers prefer to shop on sites offering personalized recommendations.

If that isn’t enough, personalized ads have a conversion rate 10 times higher than “one-size-fits-all” ads. Which means customers are finding what they’re looking for.

Talk about an undeniable recipe for success. When vendors and customers are happier, it’s a “win-win” that creates a good experience for both parties, and can even boost brand loyalty in the process.

Michael Buczkowski is a digital marketing leader and executive who has been helping global brand marketers navigate the new digital world by successfully operating at the intersection of marketing, data and technology.  See his full bio.

Mike Buczkowski | Partner
Strategy, Sales & Marketing

+1  (312) 420-4398