“What’ll it be, Joe?”
“I’ll have the usual, please.”
When you walk into your favorite diner, and the waiter already knows your favorite order, that, perhaps, is personalization working at its best!
The word ‘Personalization’ means designing or producing something to meet someone’s requirements.
Personalization enhances the user experience; it makes them feel special. It tells the customer that they are recognized, that we understand their needs and desires, and we will do our best to fulfill them.
What about website personalization? How can you make your customer feel special in the virtual world?
What is website personalization?
What is an example of personalized content?
Benefits of website personalization
Is personalization important to customers?
What are the approaches to website personalization?
Best practices for website personalization
The Experts in Website Personalization
Website personalization is the process of creating customized experiences for visitors to a website. Rather than providing a single, broad experience, website personalization allows companies to present visitors with unique experiences tailored to their individual needs and preferences.
Personalization can include:
Notice how your friend’s Facebook news feed looks completely different from your own? That is Facebook personalizing your experience; they curate your experience by considering and including topics you are interested in, updates from your friends, event suggestions you might like, and news from your region. Even the advertisements that you see are based on your tastes and past browsing history.
It’s not just social media sites like Facebook that personalize content, many brands nowadays use website personalization to cater to user-specific needs.
This is how Philips took Insider’s advice and implemented social proof messages on product pages for users who already had the product in their cart.
According to Statista, 90% of U.S. consumers find marketing content personalization “very” or “somewhat” appealing. Zoominfo found that 77% of consumers had selected, recommended, or paid more for a brand that prioritized a personalized customer experience.
Besides improving business revenue, here are some other benefits of website personalization:
According to econsultancy, “94% of companies that personalized their websites experienced a rise in conversion rates.”
Personalized CTAs, increased relevance of product recommendations, and higher converting landing pages were the main reasons for this improvement.
For example, if someone is already on your mailing list, they should not be compelled to provide their email address to download your gated resources. Instead, they should be encouraged for the next action — such as accessing a ‘Product Demo.’
Personalization leads to higher conversions and happier customers, which results in increased brand loyalty.
SmarterHQ found that 72% of consumers claim to only engage brands that provide personalized messaging. Collecting data about how users interact with your brand can help you to understand your customers’ reception of your website. This information is advantageous when shaping future website UI, choosing pricing strategies, tweaking products, and pursuing marketing initiatives to attain more competitive positioning.
Sales teams love to pitch and close deals. What they don’t like is wasting time validating leads or fielding calls from unqualified leads.
With personalization, you can better segment the audience for the sales team to identify better-qualified leads and ensure more effective sales calls.
Another way personalization can help is by cutting down the number of follow-up emails required to make a sale. A better understanding of a customer’s needs, and the personalized messages that will be most effective for them, can help close a deal quicker.
Be it content or product recommendations, personalizing customer experience on your website means making suggestions that are relevant to your customers as individuals. An example of this can be seen every time you search for a product on Amazon:
In this example, Amazon has recognized you viewed a digital camera, and is now showing you a set of related products you may enjoy. This personalization is also based on data from previous customers that are similar to you — other users who viewed this camera also looked at the suggested products, so you may be interested in them as well.
In fact, Amazon projects that 35% of its overall sales come from product recommendations!
In a content example, Netflix recommends movies and TV series based on the genre of content that you have already watched:
When you provide relevant content to your customers, they are more likely to want to remain on your site. Personalization provides people with more reasons to explore the website and engage with your products.
Personalizing your website will increase average session length on your website and will decrease bounce rates.
Improved retargeting via ads, personalized communication, tailor made landing pages and CTAs all lead to sharper, more focussed marketing campaigns which provide better ROIs. Personalization also leads to better account-based marketing initiatives.
Customers today like to feel like you are listening to them, and that you understand who they are. They naturally gravitate towards brands that take the time to attend to their needs.
Website personalization is about anticipating these needs and responding with a tailored digital experience, so that each visitor feels valued. It’s a way for brands to contextualize the messages, offers, and experiences they deliver, according to each visitor’s unique profile.
According to a survey by Accenture, 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who recognize and remember them, and provide relevant offers and recommendations. The same study showed 48% of consumers have left a company’s website and made a purchase elsewhere, due to a poorly curated shopping experience.
Consumers are more likely to purchase from brands that know their name and purchase history, and use their information to deliver personally relevant communications.
Let’s have a look at how Martes Sport use web personalization to increase ROI by 30x:
Martes Sport Group is a leading sports goods conglomerate that manufactures, distributes, and retails sports equipment in Central and Eastern European markets. The company employs over 3,000 people and has more than 350 stores across Poland and abroad.
Martes Sport wanted to create personalized onsite engagement and promote easier product discovery. To achieve this, Martes started incorporating Insider’s Image Overlays into their onsite campaigns.
Insider’s website overlays made product discovery seamless by promoting trending products and categories. In a month, Martes Sport achieved a 10.3% uplift in clicks and a 6.6% increase in conversion rates!
Now that we have discussed the importance of website personalization, let’s discuss some approaches:
There are three broad categories of website personalization:
Explicit website personalization is when your customers themselves agree to provide you with the information you will use to customize the website. When the user visits your website for the first time, they choose a number of preferences saved as ‘cookies’ and are shown content according to their preferences on each subsequent visit.
Explicit personalization works as long as the user’s personalization preferences don’t change, and it is less effective when they do. This strategy struggles to encompass the complex needs a variety of individuals have, with demands that may differ across different contexts. Your needs may change even within one service, for example, your travel preferences can change depending on whether you are traveling alone, with family, on a business trip, or a vacation.
We need a more flexible type of personalization.
Implicit personalization is based on relationships between offerings, users, and content. This approach relies on a large amount of data to create an association between these factors. For example, when Youtube suggests you recommended videos based on your past viewing history, that’s an example of implicit website personalization.
Unlike the two approaches discussed above, context website personalization works by recommending products or destinations based on current time, location and other external factors affecting the user. As it taps into real-time user data, this strategy is able to offer experiences that are more relevant to each user. For example, when you search ‘Restaurants around me’, your Google assistant shows you restaurants near you that are open now, based on your GPS location, and the current time of day.
In some cases, apps can even merge multiple kinds of personalization. When Google maps tell you that it will take 20 minutes for you to reach home, they are using explicit information, your address, as well as contextual information, time and day, live traffic data, and current location.
With these three approaches to website personalization, let’s see how to do it best:
Before you start personalizing your website, you need to define your objectives. What are you aiming to improve by personalizing your website? You might focus on increasing engagement, improving conversions, reducing bounce rate, or growing customer loyalty.
Another method for defining goals can be by analyzing your current website and looking for gaps in function. Consider the following questions:
Answering these questions can help you define goals for website personalization that will navigate your campaign to success.
The best way to identify the unique needs of your users is to collect real-time data.
Data sources can include:
By implementing Insider’s Growth Management Platform (GMP) – backed by powerful AI technology and Machine Learning algorithms – on your site, you can learn about your visitors’ behaviors and preferences. Then you can use that information to segment users effectively and deliver a seamless, tailored experience in future.
Remember, it’s important to ensure the user doesn’t feel stalked.
Your customers may be concerned if they don’t know what their information will be used for. Ensure that you offer complete transparency on the use of their data, and provide a privacy statement that assures the user of their safety. This will show your brand to be trustworthy, reducing the risk that the user will be uncomfortable with your personalized suggestions.
Instead of having in-house arguments about website changes, it would be better to involve your existing visitors in the process. After all, if changes are meant to improve customer experience, wouldn’t it be wise to consider customer opinions?
Using surveys to get feedback from your customers about your website and proposed new changes can help mitigate the risks and avoid a disasterous loss of users as experienced by Snapchat.
Notifying your users of the upcoming changes is another great practice to follow. User frustration is a common complaint after a website undergoes a massive transformation.
Using Insider’s Growth Management Platform, you can announce changes coming to your website and build a sense of anticipation for your users. You can add countdown timers or banners announcing when the changes will be going LIVE.
Perhaps the mother of all processes, testing out your features before going in full-fledged with your changes can save valuable time and resources.
A/B testing your widgets and using multivariate tests can help you discover how users will respond to your changes. You can also slowly add some changes to your site and observe the response from those users before implementing them more broadly.
There is a fine line between making your customers feel important and coming across as creepy. Sometimes, showing similar content or product recommendations over and over again can annoy your customers.
Based on the goals set at the beginning of the process, you should consistently monitor your website analytics to verify your hypotheses. Monitoring via website analytics tools can help ensure that the changes you make continue to push your campaign towards success.
It’s 2022, and your customer is hungry. Are you going to serve them the same bland, boring generic food? Or is your website ready with that hot, steaming dish, just the way they like it!
To get the most out of your website personalization, you need an expert who can provide you with a roadmap. With Insider’s Growth Management Platform (GMP) in place, you can ensure quick and thorough fixes throughout the redesigning process. And, you can quickly test and deploy front-end changes without bothering your tech team. Here is a glimpse of what our customers are saying about us:
When it comes to website redesign projects, Insider’s technology and in-house expertise can save you significant time and resources along with delighting your customers. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a demo by visiting www.useinsider.com.
Since the beginning of her career, Aashna has maintained a niche focus on marketing of SaaS products. At Insider, she is responsible for managing the go-to-market strategies for Insider's product suite, and fostering relationships with analysts. A design thinker at heart, Aashna's current role empowers her to solve challenges for the larger marketing community that she's always been a part of.