Last updated on 15th June, 2022
Website personalization is the process of creating a unique experience for each visitor tailored to their specific needs, interests, and preferences. It’s one of the most powerful tools for increasing engagement with customers, which leads to increased revenue. This post will cover everything from why you should care about website personalization, what it means, and how to do it right. So buckle up and get ready for a ride!
What is Website Personalization?
Why is Website Personalization Important?
The Benefits of Website Personalization
How to Personalize Your Website
Personalization and Customization – What’s the Difference?
Personalization at Scale – Best Practices To Help You Get The Basics Right
Industry-Wise Website Personalization Examples
Frequently Asked Questions on Website Personalization
Web personalization lets businesses tailor their interactions with every customer persona. As a result, it makes your website feel and look unique to anyone. In particular, it lets you serve different people with different needs. The benefits?
Increased sales, more engagement, and deeper loyalty.
In other words, if a customer sees what they’re looking for, they’re likely to come back.And, you don’t have to be an IT expert or design pro to do web personalization. In fact, there are lots of easy, cost-effective ways to get started.
Tried website personalization? Didn’t see those efforts translate into more revenue?
Not sure where to start?
Now, let’s dive into what website personalization means (hint: it’s not about creating different websites).
In short, web personalization is creating a unique experience for each visitor according to their specific needs, interests, and preferences.
What does this mean? “Personalized” means tailoring your website or digital experience to make it relevant to each visitor—whatever their individual needs. As a result, the type of website personalization you choose depends on the requirements of your business.
In truth, website personalization is about anticipating customer needs. By responding to those needs with a tailored digital marketing experience, visitors feel valued.
Firstly, web personalization is an important part of providing a high-quality customer experience. Secondly, it’s key to delivering personalized content and messages that resonate with each individual site visitor.
Thirdly, personalization helps visitors feel like they’re being listened to, respected, and valued.
Last, but not least, it’s important to anticipate their needs and streamline their search. In other words, drive your sales and convert one-time shoppers into repeat business. Now, let’s examine the benefits of website personalization in more detail.
Strategic website personalization can bring many benefits, including:
However, getting irrelevant content recommendations can be annoying. It’s as if someone is trying to sell you something you don’t want or already have.
So to get the most out of website customization and keep visitors from leaving, make recommendations they’re interested in. Use the customer data you’ve gathered to tailor their experience and show them new and relevant products, services, or content.
Furthermore, prevent customers from leaving your website and increase the amount of time they spend there. In short, more time on your website translates to increased customer loyalty, and ultimately a higher retention rate. The greatest example is Google. The search engine creates precise data based on a user’s browsing history, records their unique behavior, and displays content systematically fitting their interests.
In truth, website personalization is about anticipating customer needs. It’s about delivering tailored experiences to the people who want them.
Leads that have been nurtured, segmented into customer segments, and shown relevant content are more likely to enter your sales funnel.
These leads are more likely to buy from and recommend your business to others, have higher revenue potential, and better customer loyalty.
Naturally, increased revenue potential leads to improved marketing ROI.
Of course more personalized messages, product suggestions, and content recommendations result in a better customer experience.
So now that you know the benefits of website personalization, lets learn how to implement it.
Naturally, increased revenue potential leads to improved marketing ROI.
Of course more personalized messages, product suggestions, and content recommendations result in a better customer experience.
So now that you know the benefits of website personalization, let’s learn how to implement it.
Firstly, define your website personalization goals. But know you can’t do that without the right data.
To clarify, the more visitor data you have, the more personalized content you can create.
So, let’s dig into the website personalization process.
In today’s highly dynamic and customer-centric marketplace, it’s critical to attract the attention of your prospects. You can do this by gathering the right kind of data in a CRM to fine-tune your marketing strategies.
Planning to personalize your website? You must consider what kind of visitor data you can collect to create visitor segments. Next, use machine learning and predictive analytics to deliver an experience your website visitors want for each of the segments.
Let’s explore how to gather data:
Good times to collect this information are:
You can use this opportunity to collect their:
By collecting this type of data, you can better understand your visitors and create a more personalized experience for them.
Want to know about your customers? Start with customer journey maps.
Measure customer’s time spent on each page. Look at their interactions: how far they scroll, where they bounce, and what they click.
By observing their behavior, you’ll gain a better understanding of their interests, preferences, and actual intent. You’ll see a true picture of what your customer’s really looking for, allowing you to better serve them.
In fact, you can track how visitors interact with your campaigns. Are they opening and clicking through emails? Are they ignoring push notifications? Getting insight into these visitor behaviors is a must for improving website personalization.
Equally, you can collect visitor data is by using cookies and web beacons. Cookies are small files that store information about visitor activity.
Web beacons are small pieces of code embedded into a page on your site. They gather statistics like how many people view it daily and which links they click on.
With these two types of data and other sources, you can get valuable insights into website user behavior. In turn, you can use this information to further personalize their experience.
Moreover, don’t forget the value of sales records and social media.
Specifically start by examining your customer records, transaction histories, and interactions with sales and support.
Next, collect data through social media and use this direct and unfiltered data to better understand your customers.
Email tracking is another way to learn about your customers.
You can track how many emails are opened, clicked links, when they were clicked, the number of times an email has been viewed, what time it is typically opened during the day, etcetera.
All this information helps you understand your visitors’ interests and preferences so you can better target them with personalized content.
Such data provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of different emails. Additionally, it can identify users who need more attention than others. In other words, email activity tracking offers huge potential for website personalization success.
After collecting data, the next step is understanding how you can best serve your visitors’ needs.
This includes basic personal information like their age, sex, location, occupation or industry. Apart from this, it can include details such as marital status, salary, and education.
Collecting this type of data helps you tailor the website content. You can provide them with useful and relevant information that’s aligned to their in-the-moment needs.
In brief, investigate what they like on social media, their purchases, and their reviews of products or services.
First, you may be noticing many of your visitors buying a specific product or service. You see them writing reviews about it on social media sites. Clearly, they’re interested.
Next, use these insights to tailor content around their interests. Instead of showing them articles with general advice, you might want to show them more targeted posts.
This is one of the key areas where website personalization can be most beneficial.
If a visitor’s expectations are not met, it can lead to frustration. As a result, they’ll leave the site and go somewhere else.
Luckily, you have more control here than on other channels, such as social media or email marketing. Because they typically only visit one page at a time.
For example, if they know about the product or service you offer, less information is okay. If they don’t know anything about what you offer, give them more.
This can include browser type, devices, and at what time of day they visit your site. You’ll see patterns of activity. Some days you’ll have people from a certain country or region, other days, you may see different visitors.
For this reason, understanding how people are behaving online will help you with website personalization.
In brief, identify goals for your website personalization strategy. Because having a clear goal will help you focus on the user data you need to test different ideas.
Finally, let’s look at some common personalization goals:
In particular, here are a few questions to think about:
After you’ve determined the goals for your website personalization strategy, it’s time to plan and implement.
How is that accomplished?
Follow the four simple steps below:
In the first place, you need to identify the campaigns to use in your personalization strategy. Consequently, you can
reduce bounce rates, that is if you test different content.
In short, you can do this by giving visitors quick solutions and relevant information on your site.
Therefore, if increasing conversion rates is your main goal, show personalized product recommendations based on customers’ past purchases.
Lastly, make a list. Include:
Metrics to gauge your success
The next step is prioritizing the campaigns you identified in your plan. By doing this, you’ll make sure your personalization efforts are working towards a clear goal. One big misstep in personalization campaigns is getting distracted by secondary goals.
Be intentional and remember to ask, “how does this fit our goal?”
Machine learning algorithms can scale up your personalization strategy. From basic personalization campaigns to advanced one-to-one experiences, AI can help you create more relevant and meaningful experiences.
Use AI to meet your goals and spend less time on manual personalization tasks.
Lastly, test and iterate. After all, for your personalization strategy to be successful, it’s important you keep testing different ideas.
Don’t get stuck on one idea. Don’t try the same thing over and over again in hopes of getting a new result. Save time and resources. Stop doing what doesn’t work and continue with those driving your desired outcomes.
The final step is measuring success.
Success will be different for every website. Next, it’s important to define what success means before beginning the process.
Is your goal to increase conversion rates? Compare how many people bought something after viewing personalized product recommendations or ctas vs. those who didn’t.
Want to reduce bounce rates? Compare the total time spent on the site by the visitors who view personalized recommendations and call-to-actions vs. those who don’t. As a result, if someone views more when they’re getting personalized experiences, chances are what your doing is working.
The downside? Numbers only tell part of the story. Other factors may be impacting your results.To conclude, make sure you’re accurately tracking the effectiveness of your website personalization efforts to ensure they produce your desired outcomes. That way, if something doesn’t work as planned, you can make changes without investing too much time.
On a whole, customization and personalization are used interchangeably. So why not use them together?
In fact, together they provide a dynamic, personalized experience that maximizes engagement and conversion rates. Second, there is a fine line separating the two methods. Let’s explore them in greater detail.
All in all, personalization gives visitors a one-to-one experience. Personalization makes interactions faster and improves the odds of converting visitors into repeat customers.
In short, it’s most commonly achieved through automation. Because personalization customizes a visitor’s experience based on their previous behavior.
For instance, Spotify customizes its homepage for every user based on their previous searches. Consequently, it’s a continuous and adaptive process that changes the user experience to users’ changing needs and preferences.
Indeed, customization is more of a manual process. However, it provides users with greater control over the content they see.
To be sure considered more of an interactive process, as it relies heavily on the user. Because it doesn’t automatically adjust based on an individual’s previous behavior.
Thus, the main benefit of customization is giving users a sense of control over what they see.
Nike By You is a great example of customization in practice.
For instance, users can select every element of their shoes, from color and style to materials – even shoelace color.
Now that we know the difference between personalization and customization, let’s see how to implement them at scale.
It is true companies must constantly innovate and test their strategies. As a result of testing, they can keep improving their experience and stay ahead of competitors.
So in this section, we’ve created a list of 6 best practices for personalizing your website.
Firstly, have real-time decision-making. Doing so ensures the experience is relevant and up to date, which improves conversions.
Amazon uses a real-time recommendation engine for its homepage. Once visitors start typing, they’ll see recommendations based on their previous searches, popular items, or from customers viewing similar web pages.
Amazon stays ahead of the competition through convenience and by giving shoppers better results quicker.
Personalization promotes the idea of showing your customers what’s most relevant to them. However, don’t irritate customers by showing them the same product or service recommendations over and over again. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
Allow them to explore your site beyond your recommendations. Don’t solely rely on recommendations. Look to where users are dropping off and smooth out friction.
If all else fails, you can also try implementing popups on exit intent to divert their attention elsewhere or trade their email for a free template.
For example, not all of your website’s channels or pages work the same way in every situation.
Thus, understanding your target audience, where to deliver the right message or recommendation, and to what audience segment — is critical.
Send visitors to a landing page that closely matches what they’re looking for. This can be your homepage, category pages, or product details.
Having the right touch-points will increase the likelihood of converting someone who is just browsing. If a visitor has a specific product in mind, direct them to it for more revenue opportunities.
Every website personalization campaign is based on a hypothesis.
Due to this, adopt a systematic and thoughtful approach. Use A/B testing to gauge your website personalization efforts.
Furthermore, testing can help determine whether your personalization efforts are on track to accomplish your goals. Otherwise, you may need to make changes to your personalization strategy.
Additionally, you should track the performance of your website personalization efforts using qualitative and quantitative analytical personalization tools such as Google Analytics.
Consequently, by combining quantitative and qualitative analytics, you can make more accurate predictions and optimize future website personalization efforts.
Personalization isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution nor a “set it and forget it” strategy.
No matter how well website personalization is going, it’s important to adjust your efforts to meet your customers’ changing needs.
Regularly review your personalization strategies and make any necessary adjustments. The more innovative ideas you try, the better you’ll be able to serve your customers.
Because of the advantages website personalization provides, more businesses are experimenting.
Let’s look at eCommerce brands — they are using website personalization to create better customer experiences and grow revenue.
Personalization has been a very important aspect of the B2C industry in recent years. More importantly, it’s not something that customers expect. Instead, it’s something they demand.
Let’s take a look at 2 great examples:
ASOS is a popular eCommerce platform. It sells a wide range of clothing, accessories, beauty products, and more for men and women.When you first visit the ASOS website, you’ll see the following homepage:
Meanwhile, if you go to the “Men” section, you’ll see a homepage focused on your most recent search. It looks something like this:
In summary, the brand ensures its visitors see what interests them the most by cookie retargeting.
Amazon is by far the best example of personalization. The eCommerce giant has integrated personalization into its core. See the image below:
Amazon uses a variety of personalization techniques to serve the needs of its customers including:
Amazon uses customer data to tailor the shopping experience. Thus, customers don’t have a cookie-cutter experience. They’re not shown anything and everything. In fact, they see recommendations aligned with their behavior.
Consequently, this personalization technique has resulted in higher conversion rates for Amazon.
Aesop is an online retailer of beauty and grooming products, skincare, haircare, makeup, fragrance, and bath & body care. The brand built a loyal following by providing personalized recommendations. These were based on what their customers purchased in the past or were browsing in real-time.
A customer who has dry or sensitive skin might be recommended products designed to help conditions. Others with oily skin might receive product suggestions with mattifying and oil control formulas.
Booking is an excellent example of a travel site that recognizes the importance of personalization.
The site displays a recommendation widget when you log in. The widget is personalized in real-time, and the site makes recommendations based on their IP addresses.
Naturally, suggestions are based on the most commonly searched travel locations by people in and around their area.
As an example, Expedia is one of the world’s largest travel companies. It provides booking services for airlines, hotels, motels, vacation packages, and car rentals.
Furthermore, the company has made it its mission to deliver excellence in customer service. It does this by catering to every individual visitor on the site, and streamlining their experience through personalization.
Geo-targeting can tell if you’re visiting from London or Tokyo and displays flights based on your IP geo-location address.
The result? Skyrocketing engagement because visitors receive relevant content without having to do anything.
Online users are used to seeing content matching their interests. And, customers are more likely to stick with brands that know them by:
It’s no secret that Spotify, the digital music service provider, has revolutionized the way media and entertainment companies think about and implement personalization.
Furthermore, Spotify personalizes playlists based on listener tastes and preferences. In particular, the music streaming giant introduces new and enhanced personalization tactics to entice clients and give them options. Previously they provided customized playlists:
Since these playlists allowed customers to enjoy their favorite music and new trending songs, Spotify grew in popularity.
Today we are in a race to find time for work and leisure. As a result, SaaS mogul, Netflix has made it their mission to provide users with an exceptional experience 24/7.
Titles on this platform are displayed based on your tastes. Visitors see a personalized homepage so they don’t waste time searching for content. In addition, Netflix offers recommendations based on your previous viewing habits. It’s perfect if you don’t know where to start or what type of show might suit your needs.
Netflix provides suggested programs similar in genre and tone to some of the shows you’ve already watched. Moreover, the streaming platform offers parental controls to keep children away from inappropriate content.
The key to a successful website is personalization.
We know your customers are different and have unique needs.
Why not give them an experience on your site tailored just for them?
So the benefits of personalizing your website are clear. Visitors find it more engaging, and conversion rates go up.
Today’s customers have an endless supply of choices for their purchases or service needs. So take advantage of these tips now and see what results they can produce for your business.
For instance, in web content management, personalization tailors the website content to suit the needs and preferences of individual users.
In order to successfully implement personalization, you need to identify your target audience. In short, profiling, setting goals, creating campaigns, and prioritizing them.
Lastly, measuring enables you to track the effectiveness of your website personalization efforts and ensure they’re producing your desired outcomes.
Therefore, if something doesn’t work out, you can make changes without investing too much time or resources.
In summary, a personalized experience is a journey a company offers to its customers based on their previous purchases, location, or behavior (customer profile). This increases the duration of a customer’s visit, improves conversions, and builds a brand’s reputation.
Nicolas is VP of Marketing EMEA at Insider. Passionate about new technologies and e-commerce, Nicolas has held various position at leading e-commerce and tech companies including Groupon, Microsoft and Bwin.