The Stream Blog

Creating a Personalized Buying Experience

Remember when online shopping was a new phenomenon that seemed risky and impractical? I certainly do. Fast forward to present day. Not only are retail companies expected to have an online purchasing option (eCommerce), it seems as though in-person shopping is becoming a thing of the past. In fact, we’ve become so lazy busy that we use online services to order and deliver groceries rather than going inside of an actual grocery store.

Since online shopping is a somewhat new way for retailers to get in front of their potential customers, most have adopted a platform that allows for online purchasing. Many companies have even taken it one step further by providing each potential customer with a personalized marketing experience. This personalized marketing experience does two things: 1) it removes the monotonous footwork required of the customer and 2) it eliminates the negative feeling of being marketed to. Potential customers can now enjoy a simple, unique experience with a company that truly “gets” them. Fortunately for consumers, and unfortunately for providers, this tailored experience is not only becoming more common, it’s also becoming the expectation.

Examples of eCommerce Excellence

Rent the Runway allows customers to rent designer clothes and accessories at an affordable price. It has disrupted the market with its revolutionary approach to helping customers find the perfect outfit within a smart app experience. Customers can share reviews and include pictures of the item(s) worn. It can even filter those reviews by rating, newest, features and by customers “like me”. In providing this wholistic experience for customers, Rent the Runway has created a loyal following and have grown much faster than more traditional competitors.

Traditional retail companies are getting in on the trend as well, and partnering with forward thinking companies such as Liketoknow.it.

See an outfit on Instagram that you just have to have, but don’t know where it’s from? Liketoknow.it has solved that problem. Liketoknow.it allows you to shop from the screenshots of top bloggers and influencers. Once a screenshot has been taken, the image(s) shows up in your personal inbox and then saved to your Liketoknow.it app. From there you can click on the image(s) taking you directly to the website where you can purchase the item(s). Boom. It’s personalized and immediately gratifying, both requirements for today’s digital consumer.

Finally, eBay is on the forefront of making online shopping as simple as possible by mastering personalized user experiences. The more you browse, favorite, or purchase on the eBay app or website, the more tailored or personalized your experience becomes. It has customized every aspect of your shopping experience – from the way items are displayed in your feed to customized emails and item recommendations. Brilliant – but not good for my New Year’s resolution to save money.

Personalization is Crucial for Customer Retention

52% of consumers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t make an effort to personalize communication.

With such a big risk to customer retention, why don’t more companies make the purchasing experience easier and more personalized? Four main reasons: time, resources, budget and understanding your customers.

Let’s face it, all companies need more time and resources to complete the endless to-do list of projects. Factor in the costs and knowledge needed to create a highly effective and personalized shopping experience and it becomes a daunting task for many companies and is often de-prioritized. However, the fact remains if you want to create loyal customers and want them to buy more, companies must anticipate customer’s needs. One of the most common ways to display curated, personalized content is through an activity feed. Luckily there is a way of doing this without the headache and without breaking the bank. Anticipating Customer Needs

So how do you start to anticipate customer needs? Create a personalized feed experience within your app and optimize emails and item recommendations.

Stream specializes in helping companies build personalized feeds like the ones mentioned above. The ranking for personalized feeds is based on each customer’s individual interest profile: what they like, purchase, add to-cart, click on, etc. Collecting this type of data enables you to build very complex ranking rules that show the most relevant content such as recommendations on influencers to follow, relevant reviews or item recommendations.

The detailed interest profile, based on user engagement, allows you to send the most relevant content and “stickiness” to keep users coming back for more.

Getting Started

Users of an intelligent, highly personalized ecommerce experiences are more likely to remain engaged, buy more, and spread the word to their friends. To learn more about the benefits of feed technology or for a complimentary evaluation of your application, contact us. We love helping companies build great experiences.

Complimentary Application Evaluation (and drone giveaway)

Whether you have an existing feed or haven’t thought about feeds until now, we’re offering a complimentary evaluation and review of your application. Give us just 20 minutes and we believe you’ll walk away with actionable suggestions to drive engagement and improve retention. Plus to sweeten the deal, and because we’re cool like that, we’re entering all evaluation participants into a drawing to win a drone.

Fill out the below form to get the process started. We promise you won’t regret it…or flying your new drone.