Stand Out From the Crowd in Peak Season: Delight Your Customers With Hyper-Personalized Shopping Experiences

by  YJ Ma

Updated: March 01, 2024

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Published: October 13, 2023

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9 mins read

Peak season has changed. In the past, holiday shopping was an event, often shared with family and friends. It was a delight to spend hours hunting for the perfect deal, not a chore. (At least, that's how we remember it.)

But in an eComm world, it’s all about convenience. Today’s consumers have more choice and shorter attention spans—shopping never feel more overwhelming than during the holidays, in the face of marketing messages across every channel. 

During the busy peak holiday season, starting on Black Friday, eCommerce personalization is like a helpful elf, guiding shoppers through Santa’s workshop. It simplifies the customer experience, saving shoppers time and headaches by recommending products that align with their interests and needs. From the merchant’s perspective, that also means boosted revenue as your customers quickly and easily find what they want.

With innovative solutions like AfterShip, these experiences are within reach for every retailer. Today, we’ll explain:

  • Why personalized shopping experiences are critical during peak season
  • Five ways AfterShip Personalization enables hyper-personalized shopping experiences

Personalization is power during peak season

The digital age has elevated what we expect from shopping. Consumers want their buying experiences to feel relevant, contextual, and convenient, especially if they’re paying a premium price.

Today, 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions—and 76% get frustrated when that doesn’t happen.

Source: McKinsey & Company

eCommerce personalization becomes even more critical during peak seasons like Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM). As brands inundate customers with discounts and promotions, customer acquisition costs skyrocket. Ads bidding becomes even more competitive, and with the phasing out of third-party cookies, effective targeting is harder than ever. 

The pressure is on—everyone is going after these shoppers, and it’s harder than ever to reach them. Companies can’t get trapped in a race to the bottom with discounts, or pour unlimited money into social ads. 

Personalization is the answer—not just for customer satisfaction, but for driving revenue. By investing in personalized experiences, brands differentiate themselves from the competition. 

Customers notice when retailers cut through the marketing noise with products and offers that resonate with them. The result is increased customer engagement, conversions, and revenue. (In fact, McKinsey found that companies that excel at personalization generate 40% more revenue than their competitors.)

“Personalized shopping” might sound difficult or expensive for brands to realize without a big budget and a bigger engineering team. But today, there’s a plethora of solutions like AfterShip Personalization that make it possible. Especially in a digital-first shopping environment, there’s no reason merchants of all sizes can’t connect shoppers with products, deals, and offers designed especially for them.

How AfterShip Personalization helps brands drive hyper-personalized shopping experiences

AfterShip Personalization is an AI-powered product recommendation engine.  As customers shop, AfterShip recommends products, offers, and deals that will intrigue them across a variety of touchpoints. (The solution was built for an age of heightened privacy concerns—so it does all this without third-party cookies.)

Our algorithms work—retailers see as much as a 70% boost in Average Order Value (AOV) and 4.9% increased revenue after personalizing with AfterShip!

Here are five ways AfterShip Personalization helps retailers deliver a more personalized customer experience. (And how you can implement them.)

1. Showcase relevant products 

AfterShip Personalization uses AI algorithms to recommend products that complement a customer’s current shopping basket. One of our most powerful applications is recommending items “frequently bought together” by analyzing co-purchasing frequency.

"Frequently brought together" recommends accessories and other complementary products that the AI algorithm determines your customers are more likely to buy.

By showcasing relevant products, brands simplify the shopping process. Customers can discover related products that they may not have considered otherwise. At the same time, you can use the recommendation tool to create custom bundles that save shoppers money.

2. Deliver targeted offers

During peak seasons, brands often purchase traffic from channels—like Google and Facebook—to attract customers. 

But audience price sensitivity varies between channels, and it might make sense to present different offers to different audiences. For example, Facebook users are often more price-sensitive than those on Instagram because Instagram users are more likely to purchase items based on recommendations from key opinion leaders (KOLs), so they tend to be less price-conscious.

Using UTM conditions, AfterShip Personalization can serve different offers to different audiences based on source, medium, campaign, and other parameters.

With AfterShip Personalization, retailers generate highly relevant offers based on customer price sensitivity levels. The platform uses UTM sources to identify where audiences come from and deliver targeted discounts. A brand could offer thrifty Facebook shoppers 50% off, and 20% off to shoppers coming from Instagram who were driven by their favorite influencer. 

With the right discounts tailored to your audience’s price sensitivity, brands can increase conversion rates without sacrificing average order values during peak season. At the same time, retailers better track the performance of different traffic sources and optimize accordingly—boosting eCommerce ROI.

3. Optimize product recommendation performance with AI deep product tagging

AfterShip Personalization also uses AI-powered textual and visual search to generate product tags—such as gender, color, or product type. Detailed product tags improve the customer experience, ensuring your products appear in relevant search results. 

Artificial intelligence helps make AfterShip’s deep product tagging much richer and more accurate than many other eCommerce industry players. Our tagging system is trained from a huge dataset of over 100K stores, 10K industries, and 100M SPUs. 

Tagging products using AI saves both customers and merchants time.

This kind of tagging saves customers time as they wade through the ocean of products available online. That means more relevant recommended products, better conversion rates, and higher average order volume.

4. Ensure personalization across the customer journey 

With AfterShip Personalization, brands infuse personalization into every customer touchpoint—from checkout to post-purchase. 

Some examples include:

  • Checkout upsells: Drag and drop personalization widgets straight in the Shopify Checkout. For example, you can prompt shoppers to “add more for free shipping,” then suggest products that would let them do so. 
  • Post-purchase one-click upsells: It’s not too late to upsell once customers have hit ‘purchase’. AfterShip OneClickUpsell (OCU) lets you personalize your post-purchase page, creating an additional sales opportunity between checkout and thank you pages. OCU lets you populate this page with AI-powered product recommendations, as well as conversion tools like targeted discounts, free shipping, and countdown timers. These tools enhance customer engagement and increase conversion rates, leading to higher revenue per transaction.
  • Smart upsell widget: Recommend the right products at the right time with smart upsell widgets. Whether you’re creating a product page, cart page, thank you, or tracking page, the smart upsell widget generates relevant product recommendations tailored to the customer journey.

5. Enhance brand trust by displaying reviews on product recommendations

AfterShip’s integration with Yotpo uses product ratings to create more relevant product recommendations. At the same time, customers have instant access to star ratings when browsing recommended products. This integrated social proof enhances the experience, builds trust, and encourages conversions. 

Automatically adding star reviews to product recommendations can encourage additional purchases.

How AfterShip Personalization helped Elegoo increase AOV 70% and 40x their ROI

Elegoo is an online retailer dedicated to making 3D printers more accessible. At first, Elegoo used multiple tools to optimize touchpoints. But relying on point solutions was time-consuming and often resulted in a fragmented customer experience.

When building out their Shopify-branded store, Elegoo instead wanted to find a way to enrich the entire purchase journey. Using AfterShip Personalization, for instance, their team introduced a “Frequently Bought Together” at its checkout page, enabling customers to shop supplementary products or bundles. 

Customers buying a 3D printer from Elegoo might be recommended accessories, like resin or build plates.

The brand also introduced merchandising rules to highlight clearance items during search and checkout. And the retailer created a subscription program to boost customer loyalty. The result? Elegoo saw a 40x return on investment—increasing average order value by 70%.

 “AfterShip Personalization has helped us optimize the customer shopping experience. Its smart recommendations help promote print and accessory bundles at the right time, and promote clearance items at checkout to boost sales.” - Kevin Wang, Vice President and Director of Operations

Deliver personalized experiences that delight customers this peak season

When executed correctly, personalized experiences feel like holiday magic.

Brands can make the most of their consumers’ shopping experience—instead of seeing it as a perfunctory final step, it’s an opportunity to delight customers and build deeper, lasting relationships.

Book a demo today to learn how AfterShip Personalization can help your brand stand out this holiday season.  

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