21 Ecommerce Personalization Examples & 7 Tactics That Won’t Break at Scale

21 Ecommerce Personalization Examples & 7 Tactics That Won’t Break at Scale

In this article, we’ll examine ecommerce personalization examples proven to sell more, retain customers, and increase lifetime value. Here are just a few of the results we’ll cover …

  • How “continuous shopping” on your homepage can generate as much as $600 per 1,000 impressions
  • How leveraging user-generated content throughout your funnel lifts conversions 166% on average
  • How a bestsellers page — personalized by recency, popularity, or geography — can drive a 50% on-page CTR

If you’re curious about getting similar results … schedule a Shopify Plus demo today.

This is a special guest post from Jan Soerensen, General Manager North America at Nosto.

The future of ecommerce belongs to brands who create unique experiences that capture attention and keeps customers coming back. To do this, 94% of companies see personalization as critical to their current and future success.

Of course, online personalization is easy when your SKU count and customer base are in the low-to-mid thousands.

Unfortunately, when those numbers jump into the hundreds of thousands and beyond, finding a simple yet profitable solution is overwhelming.

At Nosto, we provide high-volume online retailers with the ability to deliver those one-to-one experiences. From our experience with 3,000 ecommerce professionals in more than 100 countries — alongside 25B recommendations and growing — I want to share …

21 ecommerce personalization examples organized around 7 tactics that won’t break at scale: 
  1. Leverage Intelligent Product-Detail Page Recommendations
  2. Show Continuous Shopping for Returning Customers
  3. Create Personalized Bestseller Lists to Drive Click-Throughs
  4. Integrate User-Generated Content Across Your Funnel
  5. Retarget In-Session Based on Behavioral Triggers
  6. Time Social Retargeting with Smart Recommendations
  7. Automate Three Personalized Email Types

Keep reading to unearth the examples and tactics …


But, to go behind the scenes and find out how personalization is just one part of what helps the average Shopify Plus merchant grow between 126% and 274% YoY …

Then download the full recordings and slide decks from our two-part webinar event: Growing Your Entire Online Funnel.

1. Leverage Intelligent Product-Detail Page Recommendations

The idea behind product-detail page (PDP) recommendations is to show people similar or complementary products to the ones they’re already interested in. You can leverage dynamic up-selling by recommending items that are higher in price but similar in style or by brand (the ones with higher margins and proven to convert the best).

Cross-selling on PDPs make it easier to recommend complementary items and inspire them to increase their cart size. For example, Fashion Nova recommends similar jeans and complimentary lounge sets …

Merchant Spotlight: Personalizing Product Recommendations

Pura Vida Bracelets — a Shopify Plus merchant — was the first to leverage Yotpo, for customer reviews (a tactic we’ll look more closely at below), and Nosto. They created two recommendation categories on their product pages:

Within the first year, this combination generated:

  • 24M recommendations and +1.6MM clicks
  • 7.9% average recommendation conversion rate
  • More than 10% of overall revenue through Nosto’s integration with Shopify Plus

“Shopify Plus is just the best,” says Griffin Thall, co-founder of Pura Vida Bracelets.

“It is by far the best ecommerce platform out there and has truly allowed us to sync our operations with vendors, apps and tech partners, as well as provide amazing reporting.”

Good PDP recommendations allow shoppers to jump to associated complimentary categories. For example, Oka Furniture recommends sofas similar to an armchair.

And similar to continuous shopping, browsing history on PDP makes it easy to return to previously viewed items. PDP recommendations not only make the shopping experience better for your customers but have been proven to be one of our most successful approaches.

2. Show Continuous Shopping for Returning Customers

“Continue watching” is one of the most powerful features Netflix created. When we saw that, we realized we could apply it to ecommerce. Thus, continuous shopping recommendations was born, and it’s one of the tactics we recommend most to high-growth retailers.

With Netflix, instead of manually searching and scanning through videos, you can pick up right where you left off with a click of your remote.

Similarly, this approach remembers your visitor’s selected items and preferences through previous sessions and makes it easier for them to pick up right where they left off. Though this isn’t a very complex algorithm, it has shown to be very valuable by making it easier for your visitors to buy.

Continuous shopping sits on the homepage to greet returning visitors immediately. This is one of the most valuable tactics to date, on average generating $600 per 1,000 impressions.

3. Create Personalized Bestseller Lists to Drive Click-Throughs

People are drawn to popular products. Chart-based economies like books and music come to mind. Those are just two examples that show the magic of the bestseller list …

We prefer showing the bestsellers with a twist — by adding in the dimension of time. You can show the bestselling products over the last 24 hours, or zoom in the past one hour, depending on how much traffic you have.

When we worked with Campus Protein on this, we saw a 50% click through rate from the bestseller page to product-pages.

You can definitely get creative with this approach. Instead of ranking products by sales, try displaying the most reviewed or divide the data by location. Find which factors work best for your products and resonate with your visitors the most.

Alloy Apparel, for instance, targets visitors by location and personalizes their most popular accordingly:

4. Integrate User-Generated Content Across Your Funnel

User-generated content (UGC) can bring another dimension to your site. By posting photos, videos, and reviews from customers, visitors get the chance to see your product in real life.

Yotpo’s benchmark study of 559,276,000 online shoppers found that the average conversion rate of visitors who saw UGC is 166% higher than those who don’t.

Unfortunately, most businesses stop short of integrating UGC throughout their onsite funnel, limiting its use to rating on product-pages or shares on social media.

What are top-brands doing instead?

SeaVees makes UGC through Instagram prominent at their homepage by linking directly to a curated collection of shoppable posts, many of which are submitted by customers through SeaVees branded hashtag:

Campus Protein places UGC front and center by adding ratings to nearly their entire product catalog as well as framing their homepage products under two UGC-inspired subheadings:

In addition to their homepage, they also feature a carousel of Instagram-inspired UGC at the bottom of each product page that can be expanded to reveal the full, original post:

5. Retarget In-Session Based on Behavioral Triggers

Offsite retargeting has a huge impact on sales … so why not start onsite? The key is to not be too intrusive with your popups; but instead, intuitive.

You can do this by timing or triggering your popup offers to match each visitor’s in-session behavior.

First-time visitors should be offered exclusive discounts and promotions

Once someone has added items to their cart, tiered discounts can drive up average order value

Dope shows an alternative to a straight discount — free shipping with a pricing threshold

Exit-intent popups ought to provide deep discounts with strong incentives as a last “But wait, there’s more” offer

You can trigger these popups through automation based on things like number of sessions, cart value, and browsing behavior (both historical and real time).

6. Time Social Retargeting with Smart Recommendations

Even if a visitor leaves your site, there are ways to get their attention back through retargeting on social. In order to make this approach successful you have to choose your timing and promoted products wisely.

One of the most exciting things you can do is granulated retargeting. The value of a site visitor declines the longer they’ve been away from your site, so you can save a lot on ad spend by layering your retargeting as their value declines.

It’s also important to look at the products you’re recommending instead of letting social run retargeting automatically. By being hands-on you can switch what brands, or prices, you’re showing to best drive conversion and meet your sales targets.

Retarget customers who have visited your store with recommended products based on their previous shopping behavior
Abandoned cart recovery ads can serve up exactly what a visitor left behind
Customers who return after being retargeted with a post-purchase ad for related products generate 10.6X ROAS

Timing your social retargeting with smarter product recommendations will make an impact on your bottom line.

7. Automate Three Personalized Email Types

If the visitor shared their email address with you, you could also reconnect with them in their inboxes. There are three types of emails that get their attention:

Abandoned cart emails: While optimizing checkouts are crucial to reduce abandoned carts, some visitors might simply not have remembered that they were shopping. In this case, you can jog their memory with an abandoned cart email. Morvélo sends customers an email with items they’ve left behind on their site to encourage a purchase.You can also use this as a way to catch visitor’s attention. For example, Dope displays a pop up after a visitor adds an item to their cart:

“We Miss You” emails: If they forgot about their cart, there’s a chance that they forgot about your store as well. Not a problem — you can nudge them with a kind email. Supporters Place sends emails to re-engage visitors and announce new, exciting, products, and remind the visitor of what they’d looked at in the past.

Order follow up emails: The checkout is just the beginning of your relationship with a buyer. Check in with buyers and provide customized product recommendations based on their previous orders. Here’s how ergoPouch does it:

Final Thoughts

As HBR highlights, if a business increases its retention by a mere 5 percent, they would see profit increase between 25 and 95 percent. That type of sustainable growth is also the cheaper option for you as a retailer, since it’s between 5 and 25 percent more expensive for you to obtain new customers than it is to retain current ones.

Personalization sets your brand apart from others and creates a relationship between your business and your customers. Armed with these tactics, you’ll see customer retention improve, resulting in a sustainable, successful future for your business.

About the Author

Jan Soerensen is the General Manager for Nosto in the US. He spends most of his day working with the teams in NY and LA to increase the visibility of Nosto in the North American market. Previously leading the Customer Success team he has intimidate knowledge of AI powered personalisation currently revolutionizing the digital space and is a true ecommerce insider.