Illustration of people using a tablet like a shopping mall. A representation of an e-commerce site.

Personalizing the user experience of your e-commerce site can help increase your sales.

It is easy for everyone to agree that the number one player in e-commerce is Amazon. They figured it out and ran with it. They developed the concept of an online store that literally sells just about everything. And yet they don’t make that concept seem too overwhelming, even for a customer who wants to buy only some Styrofoam cups and a package of stirrers for the break room at the office.

What is Amazon’s secret? Personalization that leads to solid product recommendations.

So how can your e-commerce site follow suit? Here are 3 simple rules about personalization for an e-commerce site.

1) Know Your E-Commerce Platforms

Plenty of technology is available today for online stores when it comes to personalizing your site for consumers. Getting to know the different management platforms can help you see which ones provide the specific user experience that you want customers to have on your site. The key is to be willing to invest the time to go over each platform and its features so that you make the right selection the first time.

2) Know Your Customers

Don’t forget that the client who prefers your site to a giant like Amazon does so for a reason. So you don’t need to provide the exact same experience that Amazon does. Instead, with your specific industry in mind, focus on providing a better experience than your direct competitors—since most online stores do not have the diverse product list of a site like Amazon.

3) Know Your Boundaries

There’s a fine line between recommending a good product to go along with what is already in a person’s shopping cart, and sounding like a drive-thru employee asking everyone, “Would you like fries with that?” Making recommendations should feel like a natural part of the shopping and checkout process. However, it is possible to go too far and infringe on a consumer’s privacy. For example, some expectant mothers were surprised to get maternity coupons from Target due to a campaign that was based on the shopping behavior of customers. Keep suggestions helpful without scaring off consumers.