Syte Studio: 5 Steps to Master eCommerce Personalization

Syte Senior CSM Aaron Ellis gives you five practical steps to follow in order to deliver a truly personalized online shopping experience. 


Prefer to read? Check out an edited transcript of this video below:

Introduction: Why Personalization Matters

Hi, my name is Aaron Ellis and I’m a Senior CSM at Syte. Today, I want to talk about how to master personalization for your website. A highly personalized shopping experience can help your customer feel seen and connected to the brand. Providing the right products at the right time can inspire your customer and help them move on to a purchase.

When you are able to provide a great personalized shopping experience, it can help increase brand loyalty and obviously customer retention. So I want to talk about five key steps that will help set the foundation for personalization on your website. Let’s dive right in.

Step 1: Know Your Customer

The best place to start is by knowing your customer. We need to be able to identify the key demographics of our shoppers. We need to know their ages, their genders, their locations, and going the extra mile by understanding their tastes, styles and preferences. 

Looking at and storing their prior purchasing habits will let us shape recommendations that make sense for them, while also avoiding recommendations of purchases they’ve made in the past. For example, if we understand that one of our customers is in the habit of buying activewear, then we most likely should not provide high fashion as one of our recommended options. 

When we take into account all these layers of segmentation, we have the best chance of providing the right product for that right customer at the right time.

Step 2: Anticipate Their Needs

Now that we know our customer, we need to understand and anticipate their needs. A highly personalized experience involves providing the right recommendation, content, or assistance at the right moment in time. So assessing factors on top of the demographics — items like shopping behavior, seasonality, trends, the source of where they’re arriving from — is going to help us shape the right recommendation for that specific user.

For example, if a user is coming from Google search, text-based, they don’t have any visual cues of the product they’re going to see. So it makes sense we’d want to provide visually similar items to the PDP. On the flip side, if we are arriving from a Google shopping ad and they have a visual cue to the product, it might make more sense to provide complementary products, products that are going to help uplift the AOV.

Step 3: Keep Up With Shifting Contexts

Shoppers’ intentions and motivations change between sessions and obviously in between visits. We need to be in tune with that shift in focus in order to provide the right recommendation in that right moment in time. 

If we are taking an example of a mother or a father shopping for evening wear, finding the product that inspires them, adding it to cart, and then continuing their shopping experience by looking for clothing for their children. That is a major shift in context, and we need to be in tune with that in order to provide recommendations for their children. 

Understanding their demographics, knowing our customer, and understanding and anticipating the needs are critical steps for sure, but we definitely need to be dynamic enough to react to that shift in intention.

Step 4: Identify the Stage of the Sales Cycle

Another important factor to take into account when you’re shaping your recommendations is knowing where your customer is sitting in the sales life cycle. And why that’s critical is because a first time user has a very high likelihood of not making a purchase on that first visit. So what we want to do is reassure them and provide them a variety of options so they can understand the type of products we are selling. 

On the flip side, when we have a customer that has visited several times, potentially added items to the cart in the past, we want to provide more hyper-focused recommendations — taking into account their demographics, taking into account what we anticipated their actions were going to be, and of course, as we mentioned before, the shifting contexts.

Step 5: Prioritize Ease-of-Use

The last point I would like to discuss is just how important it is to prioritize ease-of-use. Our goal is to connect our customer to the product they’re looking for as seamlessly and as quickly as possible. 

We can tackle this from two fronts. One from the UX standpoint, by ensuring that we’re utilizing the right real estate and the right recommendation within that real estate at the right time — and creating as little friction to be able to convert that purchase as possible. The other front we want to tackle is making sure that we don’t provide irrelevant recommendations in our options or items that may be out of stock. 

The key element here is that we provide the right products in the right area at the right time from the get-go and that will provide just an awesome experience.


When we take into account the five points we discussed today, we’ll be able to provide a highly personalized experience for your shopper. What we want to do is make them feel like we’re talking to them directly and providing a one-on-one shopping experience. 

My name is Aaron Ellis for Syte and if you have any questions, please feel free to leave us comments below or reach out to us directly. Thank you.