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What is website personalization?

Explore the importance of website personalization, why personalization campaigns should be considered integral to your overall digital marketing strategy, and examples of personalization that provide unique experiences for individual users.

What is website personalization?

Website personalization is a marketing strategy that aims to create relevant, tailored experiences for all visitors and customers.

Website personalization is rooted in providing website visitors (i.e., customers) with content that is hyper-personalized, and continuously delivers positive experiences that advance them forward on the customer journey.

There are game-changing advantages for brands that deliver personalized website experiences for their customers. It helps customers feel they matter to a brand by showing them relevant information and increases return engagements and customer loyalty. Let’s dive deeper into the core elements to understand the importance, purpose, and benefits.

Hyper-personalized content

At its foundation, website personalization is hyper-personalized content, or content that has been created or served up to a customer based on their unique data profile. In recent years, personalized user experiences are considered a fundamental necessity in brand marketing, as illustrated by these recent statistics.

90%

90% of Customers who view personalization as “appealing”.

72%

72% of Customers who only engage with customized marketing messages.

63%

63% Customers will boycott brands that use ineffective personalization.

 

Hyper-personalized website experiences are not limited to B2C engagements. Research has found that 90% of business buyers carry their B2C expectations into the B2B sphere, as well (a trend known as B2Me personalization).

Customer journeys tailored to boost outcomes

Website personalization — if done well — enables brands to deliver on the one of most important objectives: advancing customers forward on a journey that ushers them from interested prospect to delighted partner and enthusiastic brand ambassador. When your website personalization serves up the right content, you can help customers reach their product or service with less effort and time spent.

The customer journey map differs depending on industry, marketplace, product/product line, and of course, target audience, but when this momentum and velocity is sped up by website personalization it benefits the bottom line. For example, brands in the B2B landscape can take considerably longer and involve numerous stakeholders and hundreds (or even thousands) of total touchpoints and interactions. Gartner has found that the typical buying group for a complex B2B solution involves 6 to 10 decision makers.

Micro-conversions

Brands can also leverage website personalization to achieve micro-conversions and micro-interactions to advance their B2C or B2B customers forward on the customer journey,

Micro-conversions are essentially actions that signal a customer is likely to convert. For example, a brand offers premium content assets such as a white paper, on-demand webinar, feature article, or ebook. The customer ‘buys’ access to these assets by sharing their customer data — their name and email address (and in some cases depending on the asset and industry/marketplace norms, some additional information may be part of the exchange such as location, job title, and number of employees).

Micro-interactions do not require customers to actively supply user data. Instead, the data collection is carried out through tracking a customer’s behavior or browsing history on the website. For example, a site visitor may click a button to learn more about a product, add an item to their shopping cart, or expand an accordion to explore a specific product line.

When effectively designed and deployed, micro-conversions and micro-integrations generate data that reveal extremely useful clues to help brands create opportunities to upsell seamlessly and deliver advanced personalized experiences in-the-moment, known as real-time personalization.

What are the benefits of website personalization?

The impact of website personalization influences key metrics, conversion rates, and customer retention. Here are some of the most important benefits you should expect from implementing a website personalization strategy:

Better performing calls-to-action (CTAs)

A CTA essentially drives any micro-conversion or micro-interaction as discussed above (e.g., a customer watching a video, downloading a brochure, reading customer success stories, etc.). Research has found that personalized CTAs perform a staggering 202% better than generic one-size-fits-all CTAs.

More targeted and relevant product recommendations

Brands that use recommendation engines based on AI and machine learning algorithms to deliver targeted and relevant product recommendations often see a significant and sustained increase in engagement and conversions.

Increased time-on-site

While there are many website metrics that matter, time-on-site should be considered a key metric. Simply put, the longer that customers remain on a site, the more engaged they become — and the more likely they are to deepen the relationship.

Effective website personalization can lower bounce rates and give customers more reasons to stick around longer, and since they are doing something that aligns with their interests, needs, and goals.

Increased sales

When it comes to driving sales, competitive pricing is no longer the only important factor to consider — customers increasingly value brands that offer exceptional, personalized experiences. Research by McKinsey & Company has found that brands that excel at personalization generate 40% more revenue from those activities vs. brands that are average in this area. In addition, personalization alone (i.e., with no support from new product launches or special campaigns) typically drives 10%-15% revenue lift.

Increased customer loyalty and lifetime customer value

According to research, 62% of consumers say a brand would lose their loyalty if they delivered a non-personalized experience. This is significant when you consider up to 15% of a brand’s most loyal customers account for 55%-70% of its total sales.

Fewer, yet more effective follow-up emails

Studies show that 49% of customers believe they get too many marketing emails. To avoid triggering this pain point, your brand can use personalization technology to achieve two important goals: reduce the volume and frequency of emails that are sent to any given customer and boost the relevance of those emails to increase engagement and interaction (e.g., watching an embedded video, clicking a link to a landing page, scheduling a demo, etc.).

For example, when brands are tailoring customer relationship management (CRM) campaigns, they can leverage a marketing automation solution to better understand their customers and personalize every aspect of their email messages. Brands can carry out A/B testing and can also lean into the reporting functionality to identify the optimal content, design, and delivery days/times for each audience segment.

Improved SEO

Enhancing website personalization can have a positive impact on SEO rankings. This is because one of the most influential metrics that search engines evaluate is time-on-site, since this indicates high-quality content, good site architecture, appropriate internal linking, excellent user experience (UX) design, and high-quality traffic that is interested in a brand’s products and services.

Great website personalization plays a pivotal role in giving customers more reasons to stop by and explore more of your web pages.

How can I personalize content on my website?

Below, we highlight some of the most effective micro-conversion and micro-interaction tactics that unleash the benefits of website personalization:

For unknown customers

  • Analyze inbound traffic sources to discover the mindset and intentions of customers.
  • Score customers based on their browsing behavior and use this data to deliver personalized content and offers.
  • Integrate content and commerce, so customers can easily make a purchase.
  • Provide customers a shortcut to their previously abandoned cart when they return.

For known customers

  • Leverage a customer’s buying history to deliver information about their purchase(s). This can be used to facilitate additional sales, as well as improve customer experience.
  • Reach out to customers who paused a purchase (cart abandonment) through email or mobile and incentivize them to return and complete their transaction.

For both types of customers

  • Provide customers who have put item(s) in their cart with reviews from other customers who have purchased the same item.
  • Provide customers with targeted offers to ensure they purchase everything they will likely need in a single transaction.

What are examples of website personalization?

Ecommerce kingpins like Amazon and streaming giants like Netflix and Spotify all have one thing in common – they recognize that their customers are unique in terms of their demographics, preferences, and needs, and they deliver personalized content and impactful, omnichannel customer experiences, accordingly. Personalization examples you are likely to encounter in everyday life include:

  • Bespoke playlists created by streaming platforms based on your viewing/listening behavior.
  • Recommendations or pop-up notifications on retail sites suggesting useful additional products that will enhance your purchase, based on the buying behavior of customers in the same segment.
  • Retail companies leveraging geolocation information to notify customers that they ship to their country or region.
  • Loyalty apps rewarding customers with personalized coupons or offers based on their preferences or buying behavior.
  • Personalized social media feeds that become more tailored with each session, based on initial data volunteered by the user relating to their interests.

Bring personalized experiences to your customers

These days, customers want to be treated like unique human beings, and not generic commodities. By investing in personalization tools and making a commitment to improve their personalization efforts, brands can deliver on this expectation.

Find out more about how personalization solutions can transform the customer journey. Arrange a custom demo with Sitecore today.

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