Personalisation is much more than simply having a welcome back message.
Good web designers understand this and will tell you that it involves creating a user experience on your site to match the interests of your target market based on previous interactions. By creating a more personalised online experience, your business is able to increase engagement and drive more sales as a result.
It involves creating a user experience on your site to match the interests of your target market based on previous interactions. By creating a more personalised online experience, your business is able to increase engagement and drive more sales as a result.
Amazon offers an excellent example of personalisation, providing product recommendations right on the homepage based on items previously viewed or purchased. Here is an example:
Other companies including Facebook and Netflix are also implementing personalisation to great effect, and many more are beginning to offer personalised browsing experiences.
Taking this approach offers numerous competitive advantages which include:
- Increased engagement: According to a survey from Janrain, nearly three-fourths (74%) of consumers get frustrated with websites that have content not related to their interests. A more personalised experience greatly increases engagement with your target market.
- More sales: Increased engagement and retention ultimately translates to more sales. Showing products that are related to what a customer has previously purchased is only one example of online personalisation.
- Brand loyalty: An overall better browsing experience means that visitors are far more likely to continue shopping at your business and become loyal customers.
Personalisation offers clear benefits. Yet many businesses still have static websites that remain the same year after year without a single change to the interface. Here we look at several ways to design a more personalised browsing experience for your website.
- Allow User Profiles
User profiles are incredibly powerful.
Going back to the earlier example, Amazon allows users to create their own profiles and access it from any device. This not only makes it easier to make purchases and track orders, but also lets Amazon tailor products and other solutions that are specific to that user. Other services including Spotify and Netflix let users create profiles that display recommendations more suited to their interests.
As mentioned previously, personalisation can translate to more sales. A study from Monetate and eConsultancy found that marketers who personalised the user experience had an average of 19% lift in sales. Letting users create and even customise their own profiles is an effective way to increase the usability of your site.
- Consider Localisation
Localisation is another important aspect of personalisation.
It’s hard to forget that PayPal was once a small company that only operated in a small office. But now the company processes online transactions from countries around the world. Depending on where you are, you will likely see a landing page that is tailored to your location.
Here is an example from PayPal’s site in China:
As your brand grows, you need to consider customers in other regions to create a more personalised browsing experience. Some examples include displaying the local language (possible with simple scripts), using localised pricing, and even featuring products that might be unique to that location. But be sure to offer options to let users easily change their location.
- Enable Product or Service Recommendations
It seems like such an obvious feature but product recommendations were not always the norm. Even Amazon was slow to implement it as many believed that it would distract the visitor or reduce sales. Of course, product recommendations became one of Amazon’s best features, with many online retailers quickly following suit.
Here is an example when browsing a product page from Target:
The idea is straightforward: Display products that your visitors have expressed interest in.
If a visitor viewed outdoor gear, they would likely be interested in related products such as boots, jackets, and backpacks. Displaying these products increases their visibility which would in turn help to boost sales. Recommendation systems can also be suited to other industries as well.
- Plans For the Holidays
Even during the holidays, many businesses keep their websites the same and potentially miss out on sales as a result. Thinking seasonally is another great way to offer a more personal browsing experience. Christmas is perhaps the biggest shopping day of the year but there are other holidays you can plan for.
Here is an example of this in practice from Target:
You can easily take a similar approach with your own website.
Add a relevant image to your homepage with a link to seasonal deals or even to current events. New visitors feel like your site offers a personalised experience and you may even gain a few sales as a result.
- Send Personalised Emails
Email is another area that can benefit greatly from personalisation.
Most companies simply send out generic emails to their entire newsletter. This might help to generate a few sales here and there. But we have already seen just how much of an impact that a personalised experience can have in terms of sales. In fact, data shows a 25% increase in sales when transactional emails are personalised.
One way to take advantage of email personalisation is to segment your audience into separate lists according to their interests. Then you can create more personalised emails based on this information and see more sales as a result.
Personalisation offers tremendous value. Even something as simple as including allowing user profiles or displaying related products can have a dramatic impact on sales. As with anything that involves changes to your web design, be sure to test and track any changes you make to maximise your results.