Personalization principles for the “new normal”

As a reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer behavior is changing on a dime, in new and frankly unpredictable ways. As the whole world is forced to rethink their online vs offline habits, their spending power, their personal and professional priorities, buying habits are fluctuating in kind.
For online retailers this means an upending of existing norms. And it means needing to find ways to adapt – fast.

Personalization and product optimization is the profession of AB Tasty.

When it comes to personalization, the main premise remains the same: consumers find messaging that is truly relevant to them more appealing. And while there are experiences that will apply largely across the board, there are new opportunities to speak in a ‘one to few’ manner to customers that take into account this changing consumer landscape.

With that in mind, here are some examples of personalization principles from our latest ebook to help guide customer experience optimization strategies from now until we reach ‘the new normal’.

1. Wishlist strategy

We think that many consumers are going to go into a ‘wishlist’ mentality – perhaps powered by the increased screen time many are experiencing across the globe. Browsing online, making mental notes of purchases to make when the skies begin to clear…this is an opportunity for brands, especially retailers, to keep these earmarked items top of mind.

You can use personalization capabilities to not only identify consumers interested in specific content on your website, but also create segments based on those consumer interests; use this information to personalize the experience with these wishlist items to keep them fresh in the mind of the consumer.

Model your strategy off of cart abandonment techniques, current wishlist functionalities, or new creative ideas that put these items front and center, like personalizing a homepage slider with a frequently looked at product, or one added to the shopping cart.

2. The deal with data

Data powers personalization campaigns, there’s no way around it. And right now, people are being confronted with the issue of when and how to share data in new ways: entering your personal information to get groceries delivered or increased use of fitness apps that run off personal data.

It’s difficult to predict exactly how, or if, this will create a shift in consumer consciousness

regarding data sharing. But it’s something to keep in mind, and as a rule of thumb, extra transparency and a strict adherence to regulations and best practice is advized.

But this doesn’t mean you need to slow down your personalization efforts! By using powerful Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning you can infer the interest of anonymous individuals through their behavior. You are then able to serve up targeted ‘one to few’ messaging based on this.

3. Personalize by segmenting – keep the momentum going

You’re going to want to do everything you can to metaphorically take these new customers by the hand and lead them along the buyer journey to ensure they keep these new habits they’re forming.

Personalize the experience by segmenting based on ‘new’ vs ‘returning’ visitors, or by Engagement Level. To do so you could cluster your traffic into distinct categories based on the consumers’ level of engagement with your site.

4. Experiment to confirm uplift

If there’s one rule of thumb we want to emphasize, it’s this one – experiment to measure the efficacy of your personalization campaigns. Now, more than ever, you need to confirm hunches or ideas with cold, hard data. Run a control experiment to be sure that your personalization efforts are actually creating better customer experiences and showing the uplift you’re aiming for. With consumer behavior fluctuating as it is, previous guidelines or ‘what worked before’ maxims have been thrown out the window. It’s essential to vet any new ideas to be sure they’re aligned with these new customer expectations.

At AB Tasty, now more than ever, we help companies optimize customer journeys at every step of the way, with features like experimentation, personalization, and product optimization. Whether your KPI is a fast conversion, a subscription, or frequency of use, our platform is built to optimize every digital touchpoint across all devices. Learn more about Personalization during our Masterclass “Let’s Get Personal, Marketers: Using AI Personalization to Create Relevant Experiences” or in our latest Ebook.