According to research by Canadean, UK consumers want more online stores to remember certain aspects of their online navigation and give them a personalised experience.
For beauty brands this can help to suggest similar or matching items, or remember certain brands or products that have been bought in the past or browsed. For example, the site could suggest a lip gloss to with an eye shadow.
By realising that shoppers no longer wish to be pigeonholed into homogenous groups, brands will face a challenge and also an opportunity for e-commerce.
According to Canadean, over half of all UK consumers expect online retailers to remember their past purchases, followed by nearly a third of consumers wanting online retailers to recall the items that they have previously viewed.
Another third of consumers wish for a personal shopping experience that notifies them when their favourite items go on sale, and a quarter of consumers want VIP treatment in the form of appreciation gifts. It can even go as far as knowing exactly how long they have been an online customer.
“Consumers do not want to be seen as a monetary unit of commerce when they are spending money online,” says Thomas Delaney, analyst at Canadean.
“Instead, they want to be remembered, even if it’s as insignificant as a personalised welcome message when they return to the site or app.”
However there is a line that brands need to be wary they don’t cross, as shoppers do not want retailers to have too much information.
Canadean’s survey suggests only 6% of consumers think it is a good idea for online retailers to track promotional material they received via email.
In summary consumers do not want a brand dictating to them, but a successful strategy is to listen to the customer and utilise the correct platforms and social media presence to provide inspiration, online coupons, discount codes and competitions, tailored to each person.
“In 2015 online retailers need to move to a platform which bridges the gap between global brand awareness and the romanticised notion of a local retailer that remembers the names, faces, fashion sense and personalities of individual consumers," says Delaney.
With 58% of the UK population owning a smartphone, 44% a tablet, and 70% a personal laptop, almost anything can be purchased at the click of a button or the touch of a screen.
“Technological innovation has moved e-commerce beyond its troublesome navigation and payment methods of the past and into an era of social commerce,” he adds.