What is website personalization?
Personalization of a website is the process of providing personalized experiences for website users. Rather than giving a generic experience, website personalization enables businesses to provide users with customized experiences based on their own requirements and preferences.
Personalization is hardly a new idea. Example: wait staff often greet and address returning clients by name, despite knowing what their “normal order” is. Shopkeepers may customize experiences via visual cues—a weary couple with three children likely wants to acquire what they came for and be on their way, while a lone individual quietly strolling the aisles may be interested in some chit-chat. The argument is that personalization is so pervasive in the offline world that it often goes undetected.
Personalization of websites aims to replicate the same degree of one-on-one attention or P2P in the digital world:
- Online merchants may target customers based on their browsing activity.
- Travel websites may provide deals to visitors depending on the current weather or season.
- News organizations and other media providers may serve up targeted videos to viewers depending on their location.
Why website personalization is important
Consumer expectations have moved to the point that consumers anticipate a personalized digital experience on par with the amount of personalization they typically get offline. Many people have become used to tailored experiences via their news feeds, social media feeds and buying suggestions. Indeed, expectations have escalated to such a level that firms seeking to grow their business are altering their approach to target this requirement specifically. Personalization is a primary objective for many companies and technology executives when it comes to commerce technology investments.
The challenges of website personalization
Personalization is difficult to translate to the digital world for many sectors, particularly ones that have lasted much longer offline than online. It’s understandable that many retailers, travel businesses, and media organizations have struggled to bring the same degree of customization to their offline marketing as they do in-store. Typical difficulties include the following:
- An excess of non-actionable data. Businesses have a wealth of data but are unable to utilize it to customize digital experiences due to the data being siloed in several systems.
- Identifying someone to customize. Even when businesses understand which audiences are important, they often lack a scalable method for communicating with those groups. The material is locked away in a content management system and is only accessible to developers, while visitor data is not available for real-time targeting.
- Personalization’s influence is quantifiable. Even if firms are able to target valued audiences with tailored content, they often lack a straightforward mechanism to track the aggregated effect of that portfolio of personalized content throughout their site over time.
How is website personalization accomplished?
Many of the issues mentioned above may be resolved immediately as a result of technological advancements. To be genuinely successful, website customization involves the integration of multiple strategies:
- Identifying Audiences. This may be accomplished by dynamically targeting visitors in real-time depending on their behaviours on your site (browsing children’s apparel, looking for vacations, viewing films about a political campaign), as well as what you know about them (past behaviour, stated preferences).
- Experiences are planned. When you understand your visitors, you can design appealing on-site experiences that are personalized to their interests. To do so, you must handle the scope and complexity of those tailored experiences skillfully.
- Constant evaluation and improvement. You should regularly monitor the return on your investment. Not every tailored experience will resonate; therefore, it’s critical to monitor and adapt these experiences’ performance constantly.
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