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November 19, 2021

How to personalise your website for different users

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Customer satisfaction largely depends on how people perceive your brand and your website. Therefore, customer experience (CX) is one of the most critical factors of an effective marketing strategy. Every point of contact (touchpoint) between the brand and the customer is important, including the website. Website personalisation plays a significant role in delivering a positive experience to your target audience. But how can you personalise your website for different users and their needs? Let’s find out!

Different users often have different expectations of websites. Some people look for the cheapest deal, others are after specific information. This, of course, is a challenge for any marketing team. A lack of relevant content on your webpages, or a site that doesn't adapt to user needs, limits the number of potential customers placing an order. Website owners have many reasons to display personalised content to their visitors.

Some entrepreneurs run different websites on different subdomains to fulfil this need. That's an expensive and time-consuming approach. There are other, more effective ways to deliver a personalised experience on a single website. This article will introduce you to some practical methods to give your customers a personalised user experience (UX). But first, let's consider why website personalisation is so important.

What is website personalisation, and why is it so important?

In the digital age, consumers expect more relevant, contextual and hands-on experiences than ever before. Simply put, they are used to getting what they want and are attracted to brands that recognise them as individuals. According to the 2020 Customer Expectations Report published by Gladly.com[1], almost 80% of customers say personalised customer service is more important than personalised marketing:

personalized marketign

Furthermore, the benefits of website personalisation are more than interesting for every entrepreneur:

benefits of website personalisation

The juice is definitely worth the squeeze! Meeting these expectations is not always easy, though. Modern marketers use intelligent personalisation tactics to engage website visitors and keep them coming back.

In addition to improving your conversion rate, a decent website personalisation strategy can help you increase your customer engagement, brand loyalty and much more.

The most significant benefits of website personalisation

Today, we cannot speak of non-individualised relationships: They no longer exist! Increased competition and customer instability have made personalisation a sine qua non condition for building successful customer relationships. Imagine a hypothetical scenario where you visit an online store to buy new headphones. Wouldn't it be nice if the e-commerce site anticipated your needs and recommend different types of headphones right from the start?

But how would you feel if you found coffee maker recommendations while searching for your headphones on the homepage? Annoyed? Impatient? Website personalisation can help to prevent poor customer experiences and instead treat website visitors like individuals, not… ticket numbers:

% of how costumer service makes you feel

There are numerous other benefits of website personalisation. Here are a few.

Benefits of website personalisation

#1 Increase your conversion rate and AOV (average order value)

To face the competition while achieving good margins, e-merchants must:

  • increase their conversion rates
  • optimise the value of each conversion

Website personalisation makes it possible to target audiences precisely where and when it will have the best effect. Here, customer segmentation is indispensable. You will need specific customer segments, defined manually or identified through real-time AI features, based on the behaviour of each website visitor. For example: Offering free shipping to ready-to-buy visitors will affect your margins and not give you much. Usually, it's best to analyse behaviour and provide offers like free shipping only for customers who are reluctant to place an order.

You can also target and customise urgency-triggering messages such as "only three articles left" or "67 people are currently viewing this article, buy now!". These are just two examples of various personalisation strategies that help convert more visitors into buyers, thus boosting your conversion rates. Likewise, you can use personalisation to increase the value of the average cart (the so-called AOV index). For instance, by delivering targeted offers comprising discounts and freebies when a given customer exceeds a minimum purchase amount. These measures help increase sales and margins while reducing cost per sale.

#2 Effective calls to action (CTAs)

Research indicates that personalised CTAs can be over 200% more effective than generic calls to action[2]. Through strategic A/B testing and website personalisation, you can find the most effective calls to action. You can then use this information to fuel marketing content with specifically designed CTAs to gather leads and drive greater engagement throughout your customer’s journey.

#3 More high-quality leads

According to Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate is at a whopping 69.23%[3]. This means that the vast majority of people find their way into your store, start the purchasing process and… disappear without a trace. So what can you do to convince them to share their data or finish the buying process? First of all, personalise the site. Website content personalisation increases the relevance and thus the value of leads.

In the case of building leads, the statement "content is king" works very well. Before you start creating content, remember to analyse the needs of your audience. See what they are looking for, and then prepare valuable content that answers the needs of web users and solves their problems. By providing your target group with helpful content, you can:

  • Make them interested in your blog
  • Educate them
  • Build your image as an expert in a given industry
  • Direct them to a specific landing page with an offer

#4 Agility in reacting to the actions of the competition

It is essential to respond (quickly) to competitors and market trends. This is especially true during events such as Black Friday and Christmas, where it takes a lot of flexibility to keep up with the competition.

With dynamic website personalisation, you can automatically schedule and trigger special offers for specific customer segments in response to campaigns run by your competitors or simply to increase sales. In addition, you can set your personalisation campaigns to stop when your conversion goals are met in order to optimise your budget and margins.

#5 Increased customer loyalty

Customer loyalty is built by delivering positive experiences with the brand consistently. In turn, user experience is essential if you want to retain your customers and turn them into recurring buyers and brand ambassadors. Your goal is to establish lasting relationships with them.

Types of website personalisation

As you may have already guessed, personalisation is far more than just using someone's first name. One of the better website personalisation examples is Netflix[4], which uses four different types of personalisation to maximise the user experience and meet the needs of internet users. It is worth focusing on a holistic approach to the subject and combining many techniques to maximise success.

  • User preferences: Let your website users tell who they are and what their interests are. Based on that, you can, for example, present several users with different sliders on the home page so that after clicking on the website address, they can go to the products they find most interesting.

  • Profiled personalisation: In this case, you need something more than just data from the users. If you know the personality of your clients and their interests, you can conclude what content will be engaging for them or how your website should look to make it more engaging.

  • Behavioural personalisation: This type of personalisation doesn't wait for the user to suggest something about themselves. It analyses their behaviour on the site and acts on this basis. The upselling technique fits perfectly into the concept of behavioural personalisation. It consists of the fact that the store automatically suggests products of interest to a given user based on the products added to the cart.

  • Triggered personalisation: This is the most straightforward technique to implement, and you can apply it yourself even today. The whole idea behind triggered personalisation is to facilitate navigating through the website. For example, if a user has subscribed to your newsletter, there is no need to show them the subscription window again. In the case of personalisation of the e-commerce websites, you can also use the "recently viewed" section to help users go back to the products they were interested in.

Before you start the process – define your audience

There is no doubt that the key to success in applying any type of website personalisation lies in knowing your target audience. Therefore, before you start implementing your personalisation activities, take the time to define your audience.

A target group is a group of people who have the same or similar needs, generally described in terms of socio-demographic characteristics. An example would be "single women, aged 30-45, with a high income". In addition to gender, age, income, and place of residence, information on marital status, education and occupation play an essential role. By carefully analysing a product and the people who buy it, targeting enables a more accurate approach and, thus – a far more effective marketing strategy. You can get all this information by using analytics tools such as Google Analytics. Facebook also provides fanpage owners with analytics features.

The next step is to analyse the purchasing behaviour of the target group.

Know the purchasing power of your target group

To understand your customers better, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are their unmet needs?
  • What is the target's purchasing motivation?
  • Who makes or influences the purchasing decision?
  • When and where do they shop?
  • How often do they buy our products?

In addition to these questions, it is necessary to consider your respondents' behaviours, attitudes and values. You have to dig deeper into their psychographic traits. These can be such elements as environmental awareness, resource use, personality traits, brand preferences and consumption habits. For example, part of your target audience may be more conservative, while others will be more open to novelties. This versatility of user types can be optimally used by segmenting them into specific subgroups.

Geo-location – adapting your offer according to the users' location

Personalisation in an online store may also be based on the user's location. In this case, you can switch language version automatically, adapt products to a given country/region or choose the optimal form of shipment.

Elements of personalisation

Now that we have a basic idea of personalising your website, let's take a look at a few ways to use it.

  • Calls to action: Different calls to action are needed at various stages of the purchasing process. First-time visitors may be discouraged by the "buy it now!" messages. With customised CTAs, you can interact with users based on their knowledge of your site, actions they’ve already taken, and their behaviour in real time. These targeted messages are far more compelling than general statements meant to appeal to all visitors.

  • Special offers: Most people like incentives. By offering coupons, discounts and personalised gifts, you increase the chances of creating a promotion that catches your customers’ attention.

  • Headlines: By giving visitors a personalised experience from the moment they enter your site, you can help them find the information they need immediately. Greet visitors for the first time with a header describing your products in general, and inform returning visitors about current promotions and discounts.

  • Personalise your menu: You can customise the menu according to seasonality or website visitors. For example, women visiting an online store need to click "clothes" and "for women" on the menu. With custom rules, the same website can display a personalised menu dedicated to women who visit the store. This way, visitors don't have to navigate the site's menu to find what they are looking for.

  • Search personalisation: You can't expect a single user to browse through your entire site to find what they're looking for. It's up to you to simplify the navigation process and make it easier for users to find relevant information. For example, you can determine which page each visitor should visit next by analysing their previous interactions with your site. This may prevent them from leaving your online store before making a purchase.

Plan, implement, test, measure and optimise

Personalising your website is an effective way to put yourself in the spotlight and interact with potential customers. A personalised website leads to higher conversion rates and gives you a better return on investment. It also helps you to understand your customers and align your messages with them. It relies heavily on data collected from website visitors. You can use that data to control how users navigate your site and influence the outcome of their visits.

If you wonder what type of website personalisation is the most beneficial, or you need the support of specialists in this area, arrange a free consultation with one of our experts. Tell us more about your goals and challenges, and we'll help you grow your brand digitally!

[1]https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/2771217/2020%20Customer%20Expectations%20Report/Gladly%202020%20Customer%20Expectations%20Report.pdf

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Author

Greg Kalucki

Greg is a Client Director and Advisor with 15+ years experience in digital platforms and services. He has supported variety of mid-large global organisations in business growth through digitalization.

Contact Greg: grzegorz.kalucki@noaignite.com

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