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Sitecore Commerce 9: Three Personalization & Promotion Tactics to Increase Basket Value

Ask an e-commerce marketer what one of their top objectives is and you will no doubt hear about the need to increase average order value. Pair this with the phenomenon that online shoppers are growing increasingly sophisticated and discerning. They expect higher levels of personalization and efficiency in their ecommerce shopping experiences.

Given these challenges, how can online retailers provide personalized experiences that help drive increased customer satisfaction and increased average order value?

Here are three effective tactics you can employ using Sitecore Experience Commerce 9 (aka XC9). These tactics are easy to work with. They are designed to help optimize activities such as product campaigns and promotions. Even if you are using another commerce platform, you'll likely find these tactics inspirational.

Tactic 1: Employ Campaign Personalization to Increase Shopping Cart Promotion Conversions

Many online retailers use retargeting or remarketing via Search Engine Adverting (SEA) to acquire traffic and hopefully boost sales. Retargeted online ads are used to attract visitors back to a site they previously visited.

With Sitecore and personalization, when a retargeted visitor is onsite, you have the opportunity to use personalization to display targeted messaging just for the online ad respondents. This is akin to personalization 101. If you are using Sitecore Experience Platform, you are hopefully already using in-session personalization.

But what if you could continue delivering targeted messaging to return visitors even when they don’t return via the online ad? And what if you do this in combination with a voucher promotion? Think of this as retargeting (at not extra cost) your retargeted traffic. For each return visit, you significantly reduce your cost of acquisition-to-conversion.

For example, let's say you're marketing a 30% discount for a TV using a discount code that should be entered at checkout. You promote the discount using an online ad that contains Sitecore campaign tracking. When the visitor arrives onsite, you use personalization to display a call to action (CTA) that contains the discount code.

Now here’s the kicker. You can configure the Sitecore personalization condition to continue to target the person each time they return—for a number of days or visits. In effect, you are retargeting—at no cost—your previously retargeted visitors. You can do this thanks to Sitecore historical campaign personalization

Here are the steps describing how you can implement this tactic.

First, using the Promotion tool in Sitecore Commerce 9, create a promotion with a voucher code that provides a discount code that a customer can key in at checkout. Then create an online ad that is displayed in a channel such as SEA. The call to action or the ad should promote the campaign offer and discount code. Next, create a campaign in Sitecore. Assign the Sitecore campaign tracking code to the URL in the online ad.

In Sitecore, create a personalization content variant (using the Sitecore campaign) with a call to action that promotes the offer and discount code. When configuring the personalization rule, you can specify, for example, that the CTA should be displayed for the subsequent five visits since the visit when the campaign was last triggered. Here is an example of how you can configure the personalization rule:

where the Get 30 percent off TV campaign was triggered during a past or current interaction and when the number of elapsed days is greater than or equal to 0 and when the past number of interactions is less than or equal to 5

Set up the personalization on the page or pages on your site you want the personalized messaging to appear. You can supress displaying the personalized message if the customer has already purchased the product.

That's it. With this tactic, you have the possibility to not only increase sales bit also lower the cost of online-ad-spend acquisition.

Tactic 2: Target Dynamic Product Bundling Offers Based on Digital Behavior

Product bundles are a common tactic used by online retailers as a way of reducing inventory and increasing basket value. Bundles typically offer a discount savings for the customer. This is the attraction that helps drive sales. But what if you could target a given bundle¬¬—from amongst several possible bundles? And what if you could do this on the fly—based on a given customer's current or past digitally revealed interest?

To set this up, let's say that you prepare three product bundles. Each bundle contains two or more different products. For each bundle, you set up a shopping cart promotion and corresponding coupon code. In Sitecore Commerce 9, the Promotion tool is now part of the commerce business tool suite.

Then for each bundle, create a personalization content variant with a call to action that contains the relevant coupon code. For example, "Buy the Ball Cap and Baseball Jersey Bundle and Save 25%. Use Coupon Code 23GF34"

Next, on a page where you would like to display the personalized call to action, edit the content component by creating three personalization conditions --- one condition for each bundle / call to action. When editing a condition, use a personalization rule that enables you to specify that if a visitor views one of the products in a bundle, then display the bundle call to action that includes the viewed product.

Once you have set up your bundles and personalization spots on impact pages, you will be dynamically promoting the bundles that are relevant for each visitor based on product interest behavior. Using this technique, you avoid promoting an irrelevant offer to a visitor who is not interested.

Tactic 3: Personalize Offers for Returning Visitors Based on Products in Cart

In Sitecore 9 (and 8.2.1 as well) you can display personalized messages to each visitor based on the product or products in the visitor's shopping cart. There is one simple, out-of-the-box personalization rule that enables “product-in-cart personalization”.

It’s a simple but highly effective rule for increasing average order value. Out of the box, it appears as:

where the quantity of product product id in user's cart compares to specific value

You can configure this rule in a variety of ways. Here are a few examples:

  • where the quantity of product 6042891 in user's cart is equal to 1
  • where the quantity of product 6042891 in user's cart is greater than or equal to 5
  • where the quantity of product 6042891 in user's cart is less than or equal to 2

You can in fact get really creative using this capability. Here are a few examples of personalization concepts you could employ using product-in-cart personalization:

  • Display personalized messages and CTA's based on in-cart products to buy two and get a discount for the pair
  • Target return visitors with a promotion or content that reinforce the unique selling points of the products in the cart
  • Display progressive CTA's based on the number of specific products in the cart
  • Promote a product bundle that includes one of the products in the cart where the other product is not yet in the cart

You can use these techniques for any on-site visitor as well as returning visitors. And keep in mind that because Sitecore hosts not only product catalog and cart content but also editorial content pages, you can use this personalization tactics in a variety of cross sell and up sell scenarios.

Unlock the Promise of Content and Commerce

The three tactics I have described in this post are specifically intended to help e-commerce marketers go beyond traditional scenarios. Sitecore Commerce 9 provides the unique ability to track, trigger and measure visits that traverse content pages and product pages.

Unlike the traditional commerce approach where commerce visits are not well connected, Sitecore Commerce 9 unlocks a range of new possibilities to increase customer satisfaction via connected personalization and at the same time help online marketers increase average order value.

No doubt, Sitecore Commerce 9 provides new tools in the toolbox for online retailers of all stripes. Visit implicit.dk and get in touch to learn more.

Chris Nash

Chris Nash

Digital Experience Strategist and Keyboarder. Co-author of Connect - How to Use Data and Experience Marketing to Create Lifetime Customers available on Amazon. Craft Beer Consumer.

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