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Email personalisation the future of ecommerce

Email personalisation is the key to conversion, and the logical endpoint for communicating with your database, it’s conversation rate to sales is phenomenal, and it’s ROI unparalleled in all ecommerce marketing.


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SwiftERM - AI personalisation for ecommerce email marketing

a year ago | 4 min read

Email personalisation is the key to conversion, and the logical endpoint for communicating with your database, it’s conversation rate to sales is phenomenal, and it’s ROI unparalleled in all ecommerce marketing.

We thought you’d appreciate a perspective on what you should expect from personalisation over the year. The pressure of current uncertainties has brought about a variety of constraints, falling economy (in all things but retail set 6.5% growth this year according to a variety of pundits) changing consumer behaviour and privacy laws. In fact the stability of each individual consumer personalities might the only certainty you can invest in. 

Here’s the thing about personalisation: don’t believe (all) the hype. Some software companies are living in the dark age and still spout rubbish defining their definition of personalisation, to ensure their offering appears appropriate. 

But keep your focus on where tech is moving and clarity abounds. further automation and AI gang-up to deliver returns unheard of a few years ago. Spend your time figuring out which those are, focus on them. 

Personalisation has been around for years. The problem is most brands—because of data or technological limitations—are still “personalising” at the segment level. All of that is to say, they’re not really personalising at all.

While marketers know the value of personalisation in building loyalty and trust, they’re were unable to deliver uniquely tailored creative content for each customer; more than that, they’re were unable to deliver it in an efficient, scalable way. Without the right technology or data access, it’s humanly impossible to deliver one-to-one personalisation across millions of customers, until predictive personalisation software (PPS) came along, and now dominates growth.

Nearly 70% of consumers say they’re more likely to be a loyal customer or increase their purchase rates when brands build personal relationships with them, as marketers it’s pretty much a no brainer.

Brands and agencies don’t need huge resources to take advantage of personalisation. The plug and play nature of technologies such as dynamic product selection software allow campaigns of any size to enjoy the benefits of personalisation, improving an across the board improvement to returns, higher AOV, CLV, lowering the RoR, increasing loyalty and smashing a hole in marketing costs, increasing profits massively.

What is the future of personalisation?

Consumers always seek value for money, but the ongoing cost of living crisis has certainly heightened price awareness. However it doesn’t have to be explicit. the benefits an email has over web visits is that it appears alone, without the encumbrance of competitors available for immediate comparison. Human nature being what it is, means a prior decision to shop with you, by which your began to capture data on that customers, often can rest on the laurels of the previous purchase decision. But don’t assume this is an across the board free pass, you have to respect their intelligence, as sooner or later this check with be made by everyone.

Consumers are definitely in ‘deal-seeking mode’ currently and will be particularly receptive to timely recommendations and offers from businesses. This is especially the case when the messaging is relevant, personalised and  based on previously viewed products, categories and basket behaviour.

Personalised messaging consistently performs better than generic communications because as consumers, we all like to hear about products and offers that are relevant to us. Again this doesn’t have to be explicit, but if you’re showing them products they have, by their actions, time on site, repeat visits, proximity to prior purchases etc, then they will quickly appreciate what you’re doing, and like it. If retailers get their product selection right, it can generate conversion rate uplift as high as 20%, with the added benefit of making customers feel genuinely seen and valued. A separate survey of 2,000 UK consumers we conducted [in 2021] found that two-thirds (68%) are ‘less likely to engage with content that feels automated’, while a similar proportion (69%) are ‘more likely to engage with content that feels as though it has been tailored to their needs and interests’.

Although these results aren’t surprising, there’s a real urgency for retailers to get it right given the current climate. Customer acquisition costs are rising – Facebook CPAs increased by 43% from 2021-2022 – and with third-party cookies being phased out in 2024, ecommerce businesses need to focus on driving revenue efficiently. By growing their owned audiences, building up their first-party data – and then targeting those audiences with relevant 1:1 messaging – brands can establish a sustainable revenue generation model that’s less reliant on third parties and more resilient in tough economic times.

Email personalisation – the concerns?

Consumers are mindful and educated about the balance between personalisation and privacy, and are more likely to accept personalised product selections as long as they feel in control of how and who accesses their data. Again, they shop with you, so trust is established on one hand, and yours to lose on the other.

More brands are leaning into context, which is paramount for each person as an individual. This is exactly the way media brands do, and will be driven by the consumer. Consumers can get saturated with articles, videos, and social media posts focused purely on brand awareness and selling, that’s why there is an appetite for this.

Many growth marketing strategies relate back to efficient use of customer data in optimising campaign activity based on actual outcomes, as well as using demographic profiling to improve messaging and targeting for new and returning audiences. 

MarTech’s 2022 Replacement Survey, where 23% of respondents replaced a CRM tool in the past year, indicated that the facility for integration and open APIs were the most important factor in choosing a replacement. Closely followed by over half who also mentioned data centralisation capabilities.

They’re two sides of the same coin. With AI at the wheel, marketers and creative teams can free themselves from the typically laborious and monotonous work of their day-to-day and focus on more strategic initiatives.

There is a perceived surge in the number of marketers harnessing the capabilities of contextual targeting. Contextual has replaced behavioural targeting as the key to the personalisation of ad campaigns, offering a privacy-first alternative, where ads are placed alongside relevant and brand suitable content – a win-win for consumers and advertisers. 

The next year is likely to bring further development of AI capabilities which allow brands to better understand the context of digital content and the audience it serves.

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SwiftERM - AI personalisation for ecommerce email marketing

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