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Once we were owls. Now, we’re hummingbirds.

That’s the reality of commerce today. Where in the past we spent time considering retail purchases, then rode by car or bus to buy them, we now flutter from site to site, our fingers flickering like tiny wings along the keyboard of so many url blossoms. Often we click “add to cart”—sometimes completing our purchases, other times leaving them in limbo—and when we do buy, we wonder how soon our goods will arrive at our door.

Tomorrow? This afternoon? By lunch?

To survive, today’s retailers must cut through their customers’ hummingbird behavior driven by too many options, too little time, and fragmented attention spans the duration of a flit. The latest chapter in bricks-and-mortar retail is “experience.” For online retailers, it’s personalization—getting the customer experience right for a journey that endures beyond the moment.

Personalization in today’s garden of web and email communications has three core pillars:

 1. Most important, make it about me.

Your customer doesn’t care about you. Remember, they’re hummingbirds. Their single focus is on nectar. Your job is to offer the tastiest assortment, served up specifically to their taste. Your site may have eight million products, but your shopper should only see a handful.

A few tips to make it personal:
• Tailor the assortment in every category to your users’ preferences. Get their input—they want to help! Filters should be easy to use and image sizes for highly visual categories, such as apparel, should be readily expandable.

  • Recommend based on user behavior and wisdom of the crowd’s patterns. “You Might Also Like” offerings related to purchase data or site behavior are very effective. And suggestive selling mechanisms like “Complete the Look” to group matching items are proven strategies. If they’ve bought from you before, your systems should know what they might want.
  • Remember: context matters. The search term “Paleo” is an ethos, meal, ingredient, diet article, recipe, or private chef. Which is your user looking for? Pairing search keywords with data about previous purchases or customer data (Salesforce’s Einstein Predictive Sort for Commerce Cloud) makes for smarter product recommendations and better experiences. Bonus tip: Use Journey Builder to reach users’ inboxes to gather greater context.
  • Listen to the conversation. Employ Salesforce Social Studio to see what your fans are saying. Analyze conversations from nearly any source to target the customer’s needs, and route issues directly to Service Cloud for the prompt follow-up customers expect.

2. Make it urgent.

Consider applying gentle pressure—winter is coming, after all, and hummingbirds need to fly South. To build urgency, use promotional offers with countdowns and extend offers personalized to users’ previous purchases, browse behavior, or demographics.

FOMO can also be an effective tool. Live notifications of how many other shoppers have that same item in their cart or how few are left compel buying behavior. And remember to be human; no one wants to engage with a robot. Being responsive to where and how customers want to shop—“You’re busy, we get it! We’ll save your cart for 72 hours. Or check out now and save 20%”—will get them clicking. So will follow-up reminder emails that nudge shoppers to buy.

3. Make it easy.

Hummingbirds have a lot of choices, like which garden, flower, or pistil to hover over. Their high-energy lifestyle compels them to locate reliable resources. It literally pays to make things friction-free; higher conversion rates demonstrate the ROI. No need to overcomplicate things; shopping should not furrow brows and confuse. The shopping experience should be easy.

A few tips for easy transactions:

  • Default to users’ currency if you can tell the location from their IP address (as long as users can easily change it).
  • Recognize users across devices with a minimum of sign-ins, and never, ever delete their carts. Having to recreate a cart is the opposite of easy—don’t make them do it (because they won’t).
  • Use Salesforce Advertising Studio to target sales in social media ads. Because who can resist a good deal?

Commerce Engagement: 1×1 Journeys

At Magnet360, we know how to connect hummingbirds with the nectar they need through all the available channels. Because of our extensive experience in digital marketing automation and multi-cloud capabilities, we’re uniquely able to amplify the marketing power of Salesforce to improve the multi-channel eCommerce experience. We go far beyond technology, putting strategy, data, technology, and customer insights together to drive ROI for our clients.

Count on us to get your customers’ wings beating faster to and feeding more frequently on your site.