About three-quarters (74%) of e-commerce leaders say their company has a website personalization strategy in place. During COVID-19, customer retention has become the motivation behind the website personalization strategy for many of these companies. This is according to a recent report [download page] from Yieldify, which looks at the impact COVID-19 has had on e-commerce companies’ website personalization strategies.
Some 58% of the 400 e-commerce leaders from the US and UK cited increasing retention rates as what motivates their drive to pursue a website personalization strategy. Retention rates are now a bigger priority for e-commerce websites than that of conversion rates (55%), order size (53%), engagement (50%) or meeting customer demands for a personalized experience (50%), while only 45% are being driven by increased return on acquisition spend.
The report postulates that the emphasis on retention during COVID-19 is likely due to the fact that conversions and acquiring new customers are easier to achieve in a time when physical shops have been closed.
That said, other research has shown that companies are paying more attention to retention than acquisition as a result of the pandemic. For example, the CMO Survey found earlier this year that marketers are making customer retention a priority. Presented with a list of 5 objectives and asked to choose their primary one during the pandemic, more than twice as many CMOs pointed to customer retention (32.6%) as acquisition (14%).
E-Commerce Site Personalization
In reference to websites, respondents utilize various forms of data to accomplish personalization. The largest share (74%) report that they currently use real-time behavior data, while many also use individual user data (63%), cookie-based historical data (62%) and data ingested from other channels (62%).
They also use segmentation methods such as real-time behavioral decisioning (68%), static segments (68%), dynamic segments (65%) and AI-driven predictive segments (54%). All this allows websites to personalize with static creatives (69%), dynamic creatives (60%), users-specific content (57%) and variable copy (55%).
Although websites are a primary channel for personalization, many are also currently personalizing email (60%), display ads (60%) and mobile apps (56%).
Privacy and Personalization
The emergence of more stringent privacy regulations in the past few years is likely to impact personalization. Nonetheless, 8 in 10 respondents see privacy rules as having a large positive (33%) or a slight positive (47%) impact on their personalization program in the next 5 years. Indeed, very few (8%) foresee the impact of regulations as having a negative impact on personalization.
To read more, the report can be found here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 400 (US – 200; UK – 200) senior marketers or e-commerce directors at retailers with an e-commerce presence.