2017 was a breakthrough year for personalized online shopping experiences.

Through continued innovation in technology and AI, many brands are taking full advantage of the opportunity to deliver hyper-relevant recommendations. The Personalization in Shopping report from Salesforce underscores the massive impact of delivering experiences that are both relevant and personal.

The Impact of Personalized Experiences in Commerce

A few of the most insightful statistics that demonstrate the power of highly relevant commerce experiences.

  • Visits where the shopper clicked a recommendation comprise just 7% of visits, but create 24% of orders and 26% of revenue.
  • Shoppers that click recommendations spend 5 times more per visit.
  • Shoppers that clicked recommendations were 4.5 times more likely to create a shopping cart than those who didn’t click recommendations.
  • Mobile shoppers that click recommendations complete orders at a higher rate than desktop shoppers (25% vs. 23%, respectively).
  • Shoppers that use search and click a recommendation convert 3.7 times more often than those that only search, and 4.2 times more on mobile.

Follow Five Best Practices to Implement Personalized Commerce Experiences

  1. Kick-off a manageable strategy: Start with one product type or category and slowly move into additional offerings.
  2. Lean on AI for tactical execution: Technology should support the micro-level decisions, allowing yourself to focus on more strategic efforts.
  3. Test and optimize: Set a cadence to review test results and continually improve performance.
  4. Use clean data: The accuracy and performance of your personalization efforts will rely on clean data.
  5. Explore new recommendation options, such as email and personalized search: Once you establish your personalization efforts in commerce, expand to personalized email communications and online search results for a more effective overall experience.

It Doesn’t Have to Be “All or Nothing”

Rama Ramakrishnan, SVP of Data Science at Salesforce Commerce Cloud, shares a great perspective for those intimidated by the implementation of personalization.

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing — test gradually. Try recommendations on a few product detail pages, not your entire site. Start small and, if something doesn’t work or your strategy needs further development, you can revert your site back quickly. After you’ve experienced success with early personalization efforts, you can test predictive search, which gives two people searching for the same thing different search results. The possibilities of personalization are endless.

In 2018 personalization will be paramount. Digital marketers who focus on delivering personalized, relevant experiences across the digital ecosystem will be rewarded with deeper customer loyalty.


Spencer Smith
Director, Strategy and Marketing