The importance of personalized search
E-commerce is shifting to a place where online stores look and feel more personalized rather than having a default look for everyone. Online customers do not seem uncomfortable anymore when they find multiple products, offers, and discounts on display. These products, offers, and discounts are becoming personalized. Remember Amazon? This helps in engaging customers to a point where they start feeling at home.
Customers leave the online stores when they are bombarded with irrelevant content such as images, product suggestions, or offers. People increasingly want things to be personalized and want more and more benefits wherever they go.
Personalized search for e-commerce stores is essential because it can decide whether your store is low converting or high converting. AI-based personalized search increases your store’s conversions and also helps improve the customers’ experience.
Your store’s search engine (site search) records all your customer’s activities and learns more about them. The search results are then shown according to the user’s behaviour.
What is personalized search?
Personalized search is when you show highly relevant search results to your customers based on their location, search history, clicks, purchases, and add-to-carts. AI-based e-commerce personalizationhelps to display the most relevant products to anyone visiting your store. You can have people who are there for window shopping, the ‘just looking’ ones, and people who intend to buy.
AI-powered personalized search shows your customer the result they will most likely find relevant or the result they are looking for. It removes all the clutter that the customer or the user finds irrelevant.
To put things into perspective, if you search “Shirt” on google, the search results will show you many types of results that have the word “Shirt” in them. However, if you have previously shopped or even visited an e-commerce store that sells shirts, Google will show you that website for a better and more personalized experience. You would not have to spend time looking for the e-commerce store in which you found your favourite shirt. This is the magic of AI-powered personalized search
Why is personalized search important?
Personalized search enables you to showcase the right product to the right customer. If your store has more than one product, you need to put all your inventory in front of the right customers. Right customers are the ones who are most likely to buy the products that they are looking for. To show the right customer the right product, you need an AI-powered personalized search mechanism.
According to SmarterHQ, 90% of people are willing to provide their behavioural data to get the relevant results that they need. However, as an e-commerce store owner, you need to avoid crossing the line and looking creepy. Users would love to save time by not looking for the result they want and seeing only the relevant results.
According to Epsilon, consumers in the range of 80% are more likely to purchase when online stores offer personalized experiences.
Every customer has some likings and preferences. These are used to show the customers what they prefer by analyzing their personal attributes.
How does it work?
Currently, search engines show the closest matches to users’ intent. The search phrase gets matched with the words, and if you don’t find what you are looking for, you can tweak your phrase and find the best matching search result. This is what we have become used to over the years.
What affects data for search personalization?
- Paid media pixels
- Personal data
The best personalization platforms run on artificial intelligence and machine learning. These track a user’s on-site behavior and customer data points in real-time. This helps in delivering a unique and personalized experience for every visitor.
The infrastructure is already in place that allows us to collect data in real-time accurately. The next step is to formulate a personalization strategy according to your own business needs. It depends on the size of your business and your store. The strategy will also depend on your customer base, sales volume, and the tools you will use to deploy personalization.
Personalized search for an e-commerce store
According to Business Insider, Netflix clocks revenue of more than $1 billion every year through personalized AI-Based recommendations. Amazon does a stellar job of showing relevant recommended products to all its customers.
AI-Based e-commerce personalization allows Amazon to cross-sell and upsell. The data you collect will enable you to recommend the products to any customer through AI-powered personalized search
Customers that come with the intent to purchase will most likely buy products quickly, and you always have the option to cross-sell and upsell. The customers who are just surfing the net will also be able to see relevant products because of the various factors discussed earlier.
As an e-commerce store owner, you need to ensure that you have taken prior consent to use customer data from all the customers who visit your website. Not only does this keep you safe and on the right side of the law, but it also shows customers that you are trustworthy. This trust can help you in the long term when people start to buy more. Without trust, no customer would be ready to shell out a single penny on your store, let alone cross-buying.
All e-commerce stores can benefit from personalization, and your personalization logic should be based on your individual strategy and how you want to market. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and you need to test and see what works for you.
What is the need for personalization?
- It provides an easy-to-use platform and shows customers what they’re looking for easily.
- For e-commerce stores, it helps in providing targeted and focused offers to customers. These AI-based recommendations are based on the browsing and some other behaviours of the users.
- With e-commerce personalization, any marketer can create attractive promotions and improve the user’s experience. All it involves is presenting personalized content to each customer.
- You earn a loyal clientele by providing AI-based recommendations, and this AI-based e-commerce personalization resonates with the offline selling and marketing approach. Earlier, offline marketers used to touch the desires of their users through personal attention. It has just shifted online.
- Users are used to getting personalized attention in their news feeds. The personal touch is something that is slowly picking up pace in the e-commerce domain.
- It is mooted that e-commerce personalization is the next big thing in technology. Only time will tell, but the benefits are far more significant than any negatives.
- AI-based e-commerce personalization leads to e-commerce conversion improvement.
Benefits of personalized search for e-commerce stores
The following are the various benefits that you can enjoy if you use an AI-powered personalized search mechanism on your store:
E-commerce stores that use personalized search enjoy higher conversions. It is no secret that store owners are shifting to this method increasingly. When customers see what they like, they are more likely to buy more because they are interested beforehand.
Better user engagement
When you provide the experience that customers want, they stay on your website longer, and your bounce rate reduces significantly. Customers don’t have to waste their precious time seeing things they don’t want to see, and their inability to do anything about it can make them leave the website in a heartbeat.
Better user experience
When you provide relevant search results, you will see that your customers enjoy visiting your store. Your customers will most likely engage with your website much more, and you will see higher conversions because of this.
Cross-selling and upselling
With personalized search and AI-based recommendations, you have the golden opportunity to show customers what they really want to buy. You can either take advantage of the user intent and present them with more items they would like to buy or create intent by displaying products they will most likely be interested in buying.
E-commerce personalization is when you dynamically change your store’s content with offers, images, products, and other details according to the interest of any individual that visits your e-commerce store. This happens in real-time and is also called real-time e-commerce personalization.
As you might have guessed, this results in –
- Better user engagement
- Increased session-by-session rate
- Higher conversions
- Better user experience
- Likability of your store
- Staying ahead of the competition
The next big thing
Personalization is slowly and steadily becoming the next big thing. The advantages are numerous, and marketers and customers love it. A study by O2 showed that, by adding personalization to their e-commerce store, sellers experienced an increase in sales by up to 7.8%. Online sellers that continuously use the AI-powered personalized search mechanism saw a rise of 19% in their sales across the board.
Personalization is critical to a marketer’s or seller’s success, and it is still in its early stages. Many marketers and sellers struggle to use this excellent feature effectively in real-time.This is because marketers and sellers alike feel that personalization is too complex and hard to crack. However, that is not the case anymore!