Home » Magento Extensions » The Secret to eCommerce Success?  Driving Sales Through Personalized Offerings and Relevant Recommendations

The Secret to eCommerce Success?  Driving Sales Through Personalized Offerings and Relevant Recommendations

shutterstock ecommerce secret smallAlthough the subject of this article refers to a “secret”, there is nothing new about driving up sales through offerings that are customized to each customer’s specific needs.  Customers are much more likely to buy from an expert who can advise on the best-suited products. It’s a no-brainer that every customer prefers to be treated as individual, rather than an ordinary shopper.

In this article, we will explore the reasons why so few Magento shops utilize the common-sense technique of personalization, and we will show you a cost effective way to fix it. We will focus on personalized offerings, marketing automation, and provisioning of new functionality.

There are a number of factors that can get in the way of adopting a more personalized approach, but the most common barriers are:

    1. Development cost
    2. The need to integrate multiple extensions in Magento
    3. Lack of automation

Now that you know what the issues are, we can talk about addressing them in a cost-effective way. In the next section, we will refer to the RonweCXM extension for Magento, and we will explain how you can use it to solve these three problems.

First things first — what exactly is the RonweCXM?

It’s a first native Magento extension for personalization and marketing automation. Ronwe saw a big gap in Magento functionality and realized that there is a cost-effective way to address it. We looked at other eCommerce platforms like Oracle ATG and IBM Webcommerce too. We used that experience to improve personalization in Magento. Ronwe came up with a solution that will increase sales and decrease development cost in Magento.

Below is the list of topics that we will focus on in the next part of this article:

1. New functionality prototyping and testing.

Most of the time, developers receive incomplete descriptions of the new functionality that’s needed. Since technical specification is based on the business user’s description, there are differences between what business users require and what developers build. Business users need a lot of flexibility and ability to make changes, where developers need pretty solid specification. Developers have to spend quite a lot of time to develop single personalization functionality, which drives up the cost — and every change in the requirements makes it even more expensive.  When we designed RonweCXM, we decided to address this issue, too.

Provision, testing, and easy tuning. It is a matter of configuration — not coding — to add new personalization functionality in RonweCXM. Developers can make easy adjustments without touching the source code. At the same time, you can easily test what works for your company and what doesn’t. To understand this better, let’s a have a look at a real example:

The marketing team wants to promote a new product over the next two weeks. For every online visitor that looks at more than three similar items or searches for product-related phrase, they want to display banners showing special offer.

With RonweCXM:

• The business user can build a scenario to address these requirements in minutes

Without RonweCXM:

• Developers have to modify business logic, which requires coding and developer involvement

• Developers have to modify the database to store specific values

• Estimated development time – two weeks

The last survey we did shows similar results. Developing sample personalization functionality would take, on average, 11 days — compared to just a couple of hours in RonweCXM. The key to this efficiency is using configuration, instead of coding each personalization scenario on its own.

development time of magento developers

Figure 1 illustrates the responses from developers with regards to number of days required to implement given scenario. Red line shows average time required to complete the work (11 days)

distribution of development in days

Figure 2 illustrates the distribution of time estimates for given scenario. The largest number of respondents (34%) needed 10 development days to complete the work.

How does RonweCXM actually make things easier?  To understand that, you have to understand exactly how it works.

In a nutshell, RowneCXM is built around a business scenario. Business scenario consists of three elements:

  • Events — Every scenario is triggered by one of the Events
  • Conditions — we use them to filter and restrict users that would be a part of the scenario
  • Actions – they can modify the response of the store. For example, we can show a banner, change the layout or send an email

In other words, based on events and condition we can trigger number of actions that we apply to a number of customers. All of it is wrapped up in a scenario that business user can configure from Magento admin console

RonweCXM magento extension

RonweCXM magento extension conditions

2. Personalized content and functionality

This is one of the most powerful ways of attracting new and returning customers. Engaging customers through personalized recommendations and tailored offerings is one of the best ways to increase sales. However, they also come with a price. Developing multiple personalization features might be very expensive, and using multiple extensions that cover different areas of personalization (like popups, banners, or product access) can get very pricey, too.

According to the latest HubSpot report on personalization in Magento(more on the topic here):

  • 74% of people say that they get frustrated when they repeatedly see content that’s not relevant to their interest

When we designed RonweCXM, we knew that personalization is the key element of great customer experience.  If you look at the RonweCXM extension, you will see that it lets you create an unlimited number of personalization scenarios. Events help to track customer’s behavior on site (like which products customer clicked the most or which banner increased the number of clicks on site).

RonweCXM real-time personalization helps to customize content based on the information stored in Magento datasets like CustomerCart, ProductAttribute, OrderHistory or CustomerProfile. When it comes to personalization, RonweCXM can:

  • Show only the most relevant offerings
  • Display highly personalized content
  • Deliver a dynamic marketing message based on segment (in real time)
  • Use standard Magento datasets like CustomerCart, ProductAttribute, OrderHistory or  CustomerProfile

If you want to see some results of personalization that were measured, we recommend reading this Econsultancy article on how personalization can increase sales.

3. Marketing automation

Let’s start by talking about the term itself. Most eCommerce users would define “marketing automation” as something that:

  • Targets customers and prospects better
  • Saves time
  • Avoids errors that are part of a manual process
  • Takes away a lot of the manual elements that are involved with interacting with customers.

Automated marketing helps you to track each customer’s journey and helps improve your overall customer experience. According to TFM&A insight, one of the major barriers in adopting marketing automations is the prohibitive cost associated with it and a lack of technical proficiency in the team.

Those who work in marketing know that a big chunk of their work is experimental. You need to find a clever way to deliver a relevant message to the customer at the right time.  To do this, you need to combine knowledge of the customer’s history and his real-time activity. If you look at the RowneCXM, you will notice that:

  • Any business scenario is an automated process that can be easily enabled or disabled
  • Merchants, marketers can quickly test which campaigns work and which don’t
  • Advanced conditions help to target better

When it comes to the cost, RonweCXM isn’t a subscription service.  It covers functionality of multiple extensions, which can deliver a significant savings. If you are familiar with basic Magento configuration, you will be able to set up RonweCXM in minutes, instead of dealing with a major technical challenge.  List of sample marketing scenarios

All sample scenarios are available at demo.ronwe.com

Login credentials: demo/ronwecxm123

Summary

If you plan to implement personalization for your eCommerce site, you will need to decide what methods you want to use. You will need to figure out the most cost-effective way to do it, along with determining which tools are the best to use.  Using all of the features RonweCXM offers will not only help you understand your customers better, they will also help you market to them the right way.

About Brian Wilson

avatar
Brian is a freelance Magento developer with 5 years of experience with customizing Magento extensions, magento themes. He's interested in sharing Magento Tutorials to the community

2 comments

  1. avatar

    Interesting marketing extension for Magento, however, I would like to try demo of this extension. Where can I access demo page?
    Thanks
    John

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