Benefits and Challenges of Website Personalisation
Have you walked into a restaurant or bar and ordered ‘the usual’, confident that the waitstaff know your preferences? Or visited your favourite store where the store clerks know your name, and recommend products they know you will love? Whether we realise it or not, personalization makes us feel special, and influences our purchase decisions.
Recognizing new and existing customers goes a long way in building brand recall and increasing sales — even in the online world. A study has found that there is 60% higher engagement on websites that offer personalized share buttons, and 40% higher conversion after using personalized audience targeting. In this article, we will discuss a few ways you can personalise your website to better serve your customers.
Leveraging Personas to Serve up Differentiated Content
Savvy marketers today realise that they do not cater to a single undivided mass of consumers, but individuals who can be grouped into ‘personas’ based on shared traits. For instance, if you run a real estate business, visitors to your website can include — brokers, property owners and individuals looking to rent or buy homes. Asking a simple question on your landing page, that helps you target your customer’s intentions can help you serve up a personalized browsing experience. This can dramatically improve their user experience and help them uncover more actionable information.
Using Location and Time Specific Data
You can mine user data intelligently to make simple, but very useful tweaks to your existing website using an open source CMS (Content Management System) like Umbraco. For instance, IP matching, can tell you the region and country of the visitor who is coming to your website. You can build on this information, to say, serve up local discount offers on your home page. You can create a dynamic page to greet them in the local language. Personalization tools also let you show them a page that looks different, during different times of the day or week. For instance, a travel website, could use this information, to show customers deals for an upcoming long weekend, or offer a customized recommendation to vacation spots close to their city.
Mine browsing history to make useful suggestions
Digital marketers can also learn a lot about their potential customers by analysing their past browsing/buying behaviour and seeing which pages they visited during their session. Umbraco offers a flexible package such as Personalization Groups so developers can create complex designs or advanced content personalisation, to suit your needs.
For instance, if your lead has read three blog posts — ‘Decor ideas for your child’s bedroom’, ‘Tips to childproof your home’, and ‘ Space saving ideas for Parents with Kids’ — you can safely assume that he/she is looking for child-friendly furniture and decor products. You can then use this insight to show them content that is in line with their requirements, and influence them to making a purchase on your site.
Using Browser and Device Specific Data
A 2014 research by an E-tailing group found that 66% of customers using multiple devices during the buying cycle. Mobile phones, laptops, tablets, desktops — it is very important to optimise your web experience to suit different devices, to avoid turning off potential customers.
It is important to keep your mobile page simple, clean, and clear of excessive information. Prioritize the information that users need the most, and make it easy to find it.
Kissmetrics has shared a sample of mobile optimization for a leading online florist in the US. They urge designers and developers to create mobile sites so it leads customers to the ‘heart of the information’ and include a very clear call to action — for instance, you can urge them to — buy now, download, submit, visit or RSVP and more.
While personalisation of the website experience can yield enormous benefits, the number of options available can be overwhelming. It can also be hard to decide what kind of personalisation is need, for whom, and how much to do. If you need a reliable guide in making these crucial decisions, reach out to the experts at Gaja Consulting. Contact us for any queries you have on designing a web presence or digital marketing.
Preeti Prakash | Journalist