Web Personalization: Its Benefits and Its Use Cases

Cristina Ferrandez
Cristina Ferrandez
Sep 15, 2017

Advertising is an expected component of daily life. Whether it is the strategically placed logo on someone's shirt, the social media ads we browse during the morning commute, or the digital ads that seem to follow us around while we browse the web, we are inundated with marketing messages on a daily basis. This inundation is not to say that we are typically annoyed by advertising. In fact, the truth of the matter is that advertisements are only a bothersome entity when they represent irrelevant ideas. However, when you make advertising, and the subsequent shopping it encourages, a personalized experience that is relevant to your customers, it can result in a 19% uplift in sales.

The Benefits Of Personalization

In an age where your competitor is no longer "the guy down the street", but rather "every other similar business across the globe", you must strategically build your customer base to promote brand loyalty. And personalization is the key. In fact, personalization not only has the unique benefit of increasing sales, but it can also help businesses create a loyal following of brand ambassadors. Additional benefits include:

  • Encouraging customers to complete the various stages of the sales funnel.
  • Delivering better, more relevant content and recommendations to potential customers.
  • Easily increasing sales to previous, current and prospective customers.
  • Building stronger relationships with prospects that result in an increased willingness to share your products or services with others.
  • Increasing the ease and efficiency with which you communicate with your customers and prospects.
  • Providing an improved customer experience that provides the personalized attention customers will appreciate.

Enjoy The Numerous Uses Of Personalization

The beauty of personalization is that it can be used in a multitude of fashions and across numerous digital channels. Explore the following tips for using personalization and discover a new way to personalize that goes far beyond the "Dear [Customer Name]" email headings. 

Tip #1: Offer Personalized Web Content

One of the best ways to implement personalization on your site is to include relevant recommended products on each page. You can set up these recommended products by assigning categories across your site content and then dynamically implementing them on each product page. This strategy will also help you to cross-sell to site visitors via tag-based personalization.

Tag-based personalization is a digital tool that automatically pulls up products with similar tags as recommended products for a particular site visitor. You can also use tag-based personalization to showcase similar products that other customers have viewed or purchased. Additionally, by closely tracking the sales conversion rates for products, you can strategically recommend products that have a proven sales history to new customers.

In addition to recommending products on each page, you should also spend some time creating smart Call-To-Actions (CTAs). Without the right CTA, you will see a higher rate of abandoned shopping carts. However, it is important to note that a CTA is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, you can use banners that automatically update content based on the visitor's demographics and online behavioral patterns. These personalized banner ads will help you to sell products that are relevant to the needs of that specific visitor. To further fine-tune your smart CTAs and banner ads, you can implement an A/B campaign to more accurately determine what type of content appeals to each of your established audience personas. 

Tip #2: Use Personalization To Upsell And Cross-Sell

Did you know that checkout pages offer the perfect opportunities for strategic upselling and cross-selling? All you need to do is offer customers the option to either upgrade to a more expensive version of your product, or purchase additional items. To achieve the desired purchase result, you will need to display the upgraded or recommended products as one of the steps in the checkout process. You can make these products more appealing by including positive reviews, discount offers, or "most popular" tags. Just like a grocery store strategically places items in a large visual display right next to the checkout lanes, so too must you catch your customer's eyes with relevant must-have products before they finish checking out.

Tip #3: Profiles Offer More Insights Into Your Customers

The more details that you have about your customers, the easier it will be for you to create personalized marketing messages that are specifically targeted for their wants, needs and likes. Give your customers a chance to tell you more about what they need during the buying journey by encouraging them to fill out a profile at their own convenience. This profile could include the following types of information: 

  • Preferred product types; 
  • Frequency of need for new products (or updated products); 
  • Frequency of purchases; 
  • Preferred type of communication format, as well as frequency; and 
  • Demographic information that will help you to create a more personalized buying experience. 

Next, you should use the information gathered from your customer profiles to create segmented audience personas. These personas should be comprised of like-minded customers who exhibit similar traits and buying preferences. Finally, you should create targeted and personalized offers that will appeal to your segmented audience personas. 

Tip #4: Increase Sales Through Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are an excellent way to use personalization to increase sales. In fact, 75% of consumers state that a loyalty program is an integral part of their relationship with a brand. Appealing to customers via a loyalty program is made easier when you leverage the customer profiles created in Tip #3. Whether you have a brick and mortar location or a digital store, you can and should sync customer profiles to the loyalty program that will appeal to their established buying preferences.

Don't forget that loyalty programs are about more than simply rewarding customer purchases with discounts and free merchandise. The loyalty programs should be used to encourage customers to remain engaged with your brand by offering an enhanced customer experience. Examples include sending alerts when a product is back in stock, allowing customers to create savable product wishlists or encouraging future purchases with advance new product notifications. No matter what type of loyalty program you create, if you want to increase sales, then you need to make each customer feel as if they are number one. 

Tip #5: Take It A Step Further With Machine Learning

Machine learning is another way to use personalization to earn extra revenue. In layman's terms, machine learning relies on user personas to deliver personalized content to readers. Each persona is associated with typical behaviors, so that site visitors who are exhibiting certain types of behaviors are automatically assigned to that persona. Using this information, a digital map of product recommendations is created that is relevant to each persona. When visitors (i.e. personas) are presented with relevant product recommendations they are more likely to complete the sale, which can result in a 19% increase in total sales

The Moral Of The Story: You Can't Afford To Wait

When 88% of marketers state that their customers expect a personalized experience across digital platforms, you can't afford to send out generic advertisements. Instead, you should use the above five tips to apply personalization to your entire digital presence. Through personalization you can not only enhance sales, but you can improve conversion rates by up to 63%, increase visitor engagement by up to 57%, and provide the optimal customer experience that leads to loyal brand ambassadors. The moral of the story is clear, if you want to achieve business success, then you need to leverage the power of web personalization. 

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