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Make More Money by Making It Personal

By Andrew Luu

To capture a consumer’s attention and wallet today, they expect personal attention from retailers. 


  • Over 70% of shoppers say they will only engage with personalized messaging 
  • Six in 10 will stop buying from a brand altogether if they don’t like its personalization strategy


Retailers that understand personalization and get it right are rewarded with a: 


  • 15% boost in sales-conversion rates 
  • 20% increase in customer satisfaction  
  • Reduction in marketing and sales costs by up to 20%


Here’s six ways to get your personalization game up to speed and some textbook examples of retailers who do it successfully.

1. Recommendations Need to Feel Personal

Recommendations based on purchase from people who have bought the same product, along with a customer’s previous shopping history are highly profitable strategies as 85% of shoppers have purchased something based on personalized recommendations. 


Target does exactly that by frequently sharing product ideas to shoppers in its app, including when they search. 


2. “Complete the Look” Reccos

Nordstrom does this with near perfection with “Style Ideas.” When a customer selects an item, they are served a host of complementary pieces that, well, help them complete the look. This is where you can also take advantage of metrics by recommending pieces that are often purchased together.


3. User-Generated Content – It Works

“Let me Google reviews” is a natural reflex for most shoppers. Displaying user reviews is so important it can improve conversation rates by up to 115%. 

Popular products often a ton of reviews, so filters are the next step in this strategy.  For example, at beauty retailer where reviews could fill a library, shoppers can filter results down to skin type and skin tone to quickly find reviews relevant to them.


4. Location, Location, Location!

If you can leverage geotargeting, not only does it save consumers a step in finding the closest store, you can also show best sellers in their city. This is a great tactic because trends in Toronto can be quite different from Vancouver throughout the year and you can take advantage by recommending products that are popular in each city. Seasonal is important to outdoor retailer REI and here’s how they capitalize on local trends.


5. Go After Abandoned Carts

People close browsers with items still in their cart all the time and going after them with abandoned cart emails has an impressive 10% conversation rate – other methods only have a 1% to 2% success rate. 


Since you know what they were shopping for and their emails, this strategy is about as personal as it gets and here’s what to include: 


  • A personalized subject line with sense of urgency
  • Photos of items left behind
  • An offer or discount
  • A CTA to buy now, with a link to their cart

Learn more about creating successful abandoned cart emails in our in-depth tutorial here.

6. Follow Up After the Purchase

Like a good server will do after you’ve had the first few bites, an attentive retailer should also follow up with shoppers after they’ve made a purchase to strengthen and build a relationship. 


You can craft emails with tips about the product or recommend other products that complement the initial purchase. If you have a blog that’s related, share that too. 


Here’s an example from Sephora where it offers “pro tips” to customers on how to get the most from their recent purchases:


A personalized shopping experience will always perform better than one that isn’t. It just makes sense and cents. The increase in conversion rates and average order volumes (AOV) is proven and it can be further boosted by offering buy now, pay later (BNPL). At Zip, our merchants have experienced a 20% lift in topline sales, 60% improvement in AOV and 80% higher repeat customer rate all thanks to BNPL. 


Now that you understand personalization, come learn how to add Zip BNPL to your business.

About the author
Andrew Luu

Andrew Luu is an international award-winning journalist who spent a decade writing about cars before turning to the world of advertising. His resume includes AutoWeek Magazine where he tested cars and hosted its TV show, along with clients such as Chrysler, Ford and TD Bank.