This comes as no surprise, but consumers want a more personalized web experience. Of course, you have to do it correctly.
A study by Accenture found that nearly 60% of consumers want real-time promotions and offers, but “only 20 percent want retailers to know their current location and only 14 percent want to share their browsing history.”
Additionally, a study from Mojn found the following:
75% of consumers like when brands personalize messaging and offers
74% of online consumers get frustrated with content that has nothing to do with their interests
61% of consumers prefer offers, even if it means less privacy
Marketers are finding it effective and increasingly important as a result. Personalization is moving beyond a marketing buzzword into being a true requirement of any online marketing plan. In fact, a study by Adobe and Econsultancy finds that 52% of digital marketers consider the ability to personalize web content to be fundamental to their online strategy.
It’s all about providing a personalized experience, serving relevant content to specific users to increase your return per visitor. BizReport summed it up well: “Creating a one-to-one customer experience contributes significantly to customers that are more highly engaged, which in turn has a direct impact on the merchant’s bottom line.”
There are a broad array of personalization tactics, making it a bit overwhelming when first enacting them. To get you started, here are 6 ways to create a personalized experience on your website:
1. Location Targeting
One of the easiest places to start is showing people things relevant to their location. That might be the easiest place to start. Something like Groupon does when you land on their homepage:
Yelp also offers a location personalized experience:
…and it’s effective too. In fact, a 2013 report said that location targeting more than doubles the performance of mobile ads.
So a good starting point to improve the customer experience is to serve up messages specific to international IPs. You can do this by IP Redirect or PPC. A message that says you ship to a certain country is a good option:
Another idea? Offer free shipping to those in close proximity to you:
Or it could be something like TopShop does, serving up the country currency with the shipping info and flag:
You can also experiment with messaging like changing taglines, or experiment with changing promotions to be more localized. The possibilities for geo-location targeted personalization is endless.
You can even take geo-personalization data and apply the insights to a physical store. Bryan Eisenberg outlined an example of this:
“One of the companies I know, a multi-channel retailer, provides regular reports to their physical store managers of the browsing history from visitors who are geographically located near the store. The reports are not so impressive; it’s the action they drive that impresses me. These store managers often rearrange in-store displays to promote the items visitors are viewing the most online.”
Though he also mentions that you can do the same thing if you’re an online-only retailer. You can change home page, product page, search results, and category promotions based on geo-location data. Here’s an example of serving personalized content from Paramore. Here’s what they show in the US:
And the UK:
2. Progressive Profiling
Progressive profiling is another way to provide a personalized experience. Instead of filling out 15 forms fields to register or make a purchase, your customers only have to fill out a few fields at that time.
It works by allowing marketers to ask for information incrementally, over time, rather than all at once. We know that longer forms tend to generate greater friction, yet certain information is pertinent to understand your customer base. The solution? Progressive profiling.
By initially only asking your customers the basic information that you need they will have a better experience with your brand. Upon returning to your site, ask them additional “want to know” questions so you can fill out their profile and gain a better understanding of who your customers are.
Once you have that understanding, you can use that information to improve their customer experience on every visit. You can pretty easily enact this with landing page software or personalization software.
3. Adapting Homepage Messaging Based on Purchasing Stage
Creating a personalized experience based on the shopper’s purchasing stage is highly effective. Of course, it’s important to utilize different types of content to move prospects down the funnel, but serving different messages based on how well prospects know you is a solid way to increase conversions.
Basically, personalization software can detect certain bits of information about users (did they click on an ad to get to your site? already a customer? how many visits? returning visitors? etc). There are a ton of different data points the software can use, like location, keywords, previous engagement, device, browser, social referral, etc. Then you can set it up so you serve the right content to the right segment at the right time. At Granify, we use artificial intelligence to take it to the next step and identify where the shopper would object, and then step in there.
This is something HubSpot lets you do pretty simply. Using their product, you can customize CTA buttons based on lifecycle phase. That way you can serve up different messages to customers, prospects, leads, etc:
4. Use Dynamic Content to Offer a Personalized Experience
Dynamic content (or smart content) is “content that adapts to the characteristics of the person consuming it.”
The goal, of course, is to provide a personalized experience, one that is much more relevant than what could be achieved with static content. Though the smart content movement started with email personalization, it’s quickly spreading throughout the rest of the marketing channels, and it’s getting more sophisticated. As a Clickz article recently said, “Our multi-device browsing habits and constantly shifting interests will break traditional segmentation models. Broad segments like “gadget enthusiasts” or “Millennial” will no longer work.”
Once you collect enough data points on specific users, you can deliver a highly personalized experience (and a much better one). HubSpot gives the example of including your name on the homepage. You can include other data points, too, like keywords:
Of course, Amazon is the master of greeting you with dynamic content (and a hyper-personalized experience):
Here’s another case study based on keyword searches. BedBathStore.com increased conversion rates by 10% by serving dynamic content based on what people searched. As founder Mike Reichman said, “”Now, if a person is searching for bedding, we can do a targeted banner for the bedding category.”
5. Personalize Suggested Products Using a Pre-Purchase Questionnaire
Not everything has to be based on a complicated technological algorithms. Sometimes a good old survey will do the trick.
Basically, you can serve up a short questionnaire on page and personalize in real time. As an article on Shopify said, “When it comes to something like personal preferences, being able to create a fluid shopping experience is an integral part of a shoppers purchasing decision.”
Here’s an example from CraftCoffee:
Here’s how the Shopify article described the experience above: “its effective because it makes the purchasing experience much more interactive and involved than simply adding a product to my cart. I want to finish the survey and add the product to my cart.”
6. Overcome Individual Shopper’s Objections
As mentioned above, Granify uses artificial intelligence to bring personalization to the next step. We identify where the shopper would naturally object, and step in there to increase conversion rates.
By monitoring a user’s every mouse movement, hesitation, and pathway, Granify’s platform can understand a shopper’s digital body language and predict their next move.
If a specific shopper’s objection is likely to prevent them from purchasing, a message or stimuli will be introduced to save the sale.
Here’s an example:
In this case, this message is triggering a scarcity effect that should encourage the customer to purchase before the product is unavailable.
Similarly, the example below triggers social proof in the form of a trustworthy testimonial. Something in the user’s behavior modeled hesitation possibly due to a lack of trust. This testimonial pops up to allay any doubts:
There are many other things that Granify can do to quell the objections of individual shoppers, such as increasing AOV by recommending other products, bundling packages or upselling. Point is, by using artificial intelligence to track dozens of data points, we can predict with high accuracy what an individual’s browsing behavior means and how to help them complete the purchase.
Personalization is certainly a hot topic in marketing, and for good reason: it’s effective. Though many think of a personalized experience being delivered solely through email, it’s also important to add on-page personalization as well.
Many people also believe that implementation is mired with technical complexity. Not true. Some of the above are simple options like easy-to-implement IP redirects, others using popular software like Hubspot and Granify.
Point is, there are small actions you can take now to personalize your site, and increase conversions in the process.