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Why personalisation can drive user experience

How website personalisation can drive business performance

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According to Salesforce, “80% of consumers prefer to shop with brands that provide personalised experiences.” This means that creating a customer-centric experience should be a priority for every business.  

Diagram on the positive effects of personalisation
Source: econsultancy

What is website personalisation?

Website personalisation (also known as dynamic website personalisation or web personalisation) is the process of building a tailored web experience for every visitor. Instead of displaying a single website for all visitors, a personalised website will display unique content based on the customer’s preferences, behaviour and intentions. 

The goal of website personalisation is to provide a tailored experience that is contextually relevant to the visitor which shows relevant content on a personalised basis. 

Amazon.com is the perfect example of website personalisation. Visitors who have visited the website before will see their previously browsed items on the homepage when they return to their site.

Source: Marketo

How does website personalisation work? 

Through personalisation, you can create tailored content for each user based on their behaviour from previous visits to your website. This behavioural data is captured via cookies which track the activity on your site which is stored in your content management system (CMS). 

Since personalisation means getting personal data from your customers, businesses need to make sure that they are GDPR compliant in this area. The key is to seek website visitors’ permission by informing them that the website aims to provide a personalised experience. It is also crucial to clearly display your privacy policy and cookies announcement for every new website visitor. 

There are different types of website personalisation, here are some of the most common:

  • User-Driven customisation – This type of personalisation is most common in e-commerce websites where user details like name, address, and purchase history can be stored. The stored data can be used to surface tailored content when the customer next logs in or revisits the site. A very familiar example is Amazon which automatically shows your previously viewed items when you return to the site. 
  • Community Based – A user’s community can also be used to tailor recommendations of products, services and activities that customers may be interested in.  There are a variety of social integration tools which will allow your website to surface recommendations based on a customer’s social graph from Facebook. A good example is how Spotify shows recommendations based on your Facebook friends’ listening habits. 
Spotify's unique user experience
  • Behavioural personalisation – This is a technique which analyses a visitor’s behaviour which includes browsing patterns, history, time/date of use, device type, and more. The data captured about the visitor will enable the website personalisation engine to tailor the website’s content to the visitor based on their interests, intent and behaviour. 

Through website personalisation, you’re able to show your customers exactly what they’re looking for without them having to go and find it. 

Top website personalisation tools

  • VWO VWO is an easy to use A/B testing tool. It allows businesses to personalise and optimise their websites and apps without the need for developers. 
VWO dashboard for personalisation customer experience tool
  • Fresh Relevance –Fresh Relevance allows businesses to increase online sales through data-driven web, app, email and social media personalisation. Features include A/B testing, Drip e-mail campaigns, analytics, segmentation and more.  
Fresh Relevance for customer experience personalisation testing
  • Google OptimiseGoogle Optimise is part of Google Analytics and Analytics 360 platform. The product allows websites to personalise web pages and run experiments on the websites to find the best performing experience for visitors.
Google optimise testing personalisation customer experience
  • Optimizely  – This is an experimentation platform that allows marketers to test different hypotheses. It helps businesses deliver personalisation on their websites and their mobile apps.
Optimizely dashboard testing for customer experience
  • Monetate This tool provides an advanced A/B/n testing, as well as a full-factorial ANOVA approach to help businesses in their customer experience testing, improvement, and personalisation.
Monetate dashboard testing customer experience

Benefits of web personalisation 

Website personalisation provides a variety of benefits that can help boost your online conversion rates. 

  1. Call-to-actions become more effective

Adding a call-to-action (CTA) is an amazing way to encourage your customers to buy or to stay on your website. CTAs can encourage a website visitor to take a survey, read a blog post, watch a demo or start a free trial. Whatever kind of call-to-action you use; personalising it will deliver a higher performance. According to Hubspot, a personalised CTA can convert at least 202% better than their non-personalised counterparts. 

A good example is when someone is already on your mailing list – ideally, they should not be given the same popup that asks them to sign up to the newsletter again.  As an alternative, a popup can be configured to encourage existing email newsletter subscribers to take a different action such as scheduling a product demo.

2. Provide relevant product recommendations

Showing relevant product recommendations is crucial if you want to maximise sales and lead captures on your website. Amazon leverages its huge marketplace to capture user data in order to deliver highly targeted product recommendations. 

3. Fewer follow up emails

According to HubSpot, “At least 78% of consumers will unsubscribe from an email list because they are receiving too many emails.” If you do not want your emails to be filtered as spam or moved straight to trash, a good solution is to send out fewer emails that are more relevant and personalised. By using customer data, the best brands segment their email database and reduce the volume of emails, focusing instead on tailored and relevant emails. Combining personalised emails with website personalisation is a really strong strategy to maximise conversion rates.  

4. Understand your customers better

By effectively segmenting your customers, brands can direct each customer into a tailored sales journey which will maximise sales conversions. One perfect example of this type of personalisation is the design website, Canva, which asks its customers how they intend to use the product. Through this simple sign-up process, Canva can successfully cross sell services like video and gif creation to those who are likely to buy. 

Canva segmentation to provide personalisation customer experience

5. Visitors will stick around longer

When you show customers content that is interesting to them, they will most likely stay longer. If you want to improve the time that your customer spends on your website, give them content that they are likely to enjoy to keep them on the site for longer. 

Website personalisation tips

1.      Personalise based on the visitor’s recent website activity

Use visitors’ recent browsing history to personalise the content on each individual page to that visitor.  For example, if a customer has already downloaded an ebook, show them a different piece of content so that you are not promoting the same asset over and over again. 

2.      Personalise content based on which country your visitor is from

By pinpointing your visitor’s geolocation, you will be able to tailor-fit your content to their geography and adapt the website’s look and feel for the different cultures around the world. You can do this with designs and images that more strongly resonate based on where the visitor lives. 

3.      Base your personalisation on the referral website source

Website traffic referral sources come in many guises such as email, organic search, social media and more. Brands can personalise their website based on this referral source. You can run tests on different audience types – for example, people coming in from Youtube may respond better with a video-based landing page. You can also tailor the site based on what you know about referral sources. For example, if your visitor is routed from a paid referral source, they are already likely to be aware of what you are offering and are and looking to buy an item.

4.      Personalise depending on the device type

Some content is better suited to certain types of devices. For example, if your customer is using a mobile phone to view your website, video content may not work well because mobile devices can often have an issue with buffering video footage.

Web personalisation – is it what you need?

Customers increasingly demand content that is relevant to their needs and website personalisation will help you achieve this. Website personalisation allows you to optimise the customer experience, maximise engagement and accelerate customers through the buyer journey. The bottom line is this: building a personalised customer experience increases conversions and customer profitability.  

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