It’s Time to get Personal With Your Website?

How would you like your website to tailor its content to your users based on what they do on your website? Sounds pretty futuristic or only available to big businesses with the big budgets!

I buy a lot on Amazon – have you ever noticed how after you’ve been on there having an online window shop – 3 days later you get an email with products recommended for you and they are based on what you were looking at 3 days ago.

Then when you actually go to amazon it shows you lines of recommendations based on what you looked at last time.

When you combine this tailored personalised experience  with the one click buy button, it’s no surprise they are the daddy of online shopping.

I don’t know about you but I think that’s pretty freaking cool – I also think how the hell do they do that? It’s not black magic – I can tell you that much – it’s some pretty sophisticated – expensive technology.

The good news…

This type of personalisation technology is coming down in price and is becoming more widely available to people like you and me. I’ve even been testing out some of these pieces of software recently and I’ve been pretty impressed with how feature rich they are and how they can help you to boost your conversion rates on your online store..

So is personalisation a good thing for your website or just a phase?

Personalisation allows you to tailor your communications so that they appear less generic and like your actually talking to that person directly – that’s a cool thing right?

A personalised website improves the customer experience and demonstrates to the shopper that you are proactively making an effort to understand their needs.

By tailoring your site content to their needs and actions you help to build customer loyalty. This leads to more repeat business, more recommendations and higher profits.

What type of personalisation is there?

Very simple personalisation has been around for a long time with email marketing tools.

The ability to say “Hi Name” has been around for years but some tools are getting more advanced and moving over to actually allowing your to swap out the content in the email based on who’s opening the email and change the content based on what actions they have taken before.

Active campaign actually does this really well using their ‘conditional content’ feature. A very simple example of this would be the ability to change the image

So if you were running a fitness class and wanted to show some success stories / before and after images – you could show SUE only images of ladies and BOB only male images.

You could even tailor the text for Sue and talk about losing inches and a slimmer waistline and smaller bum.

For Bob you could talk about 6 packs and bulging biceps.

Bob doesn’t care about his bum – that won’t inspire him and Sue is most likely not bothered about having bigger biceps.

This is very clever use of connecting with your users subconsciously and tailoring your content to their desires.

I do plan to release a ‘How to’ on how to use this feature in active campaign very soon so keep an eye out.

Websites

Website personalisation is growing and the tools are getting more advanced. At the minute this is taking off really well on e-commerce websites, giving shop owners the chance to increase conversions.

The ability to say someones name on a website when they return to your site is really cool – but it’s going to take more than that to get them to buy from you.

We need something more advanced than that here’s 13 ways to really get personal with your website:

1. Gender Specific Content

Very similar to what we discussed with email marketing campaigns.

If it’s a guy or gal you can pretty much rebuild your home page to suit their needs. The more they browse the site the more tailored your recommendations will be based on their viewing behaviors on your site.

2. Welcome Message

Try welcoming new visitors with a non-intrusive pop-up or call-out. Assure them that your customer support is available and that you are there if they need anything – let them know of any sales that you may have on.

3.  Loyalty Rewards

Why not reward your frequent buyers with a special offer, a sneaky peek at new product lines or a free gift? Letting users know that you run a loyalty scheme where they can build up points for purchases and other actions like recommendations or social shares can really help build your customer’s loyalty – Look at what happened to Tesco’s when they launched the club card!

4. Say Welcome Back

Why not welcome back returning visitors with a personalised message?

This is mimicking the friendly approach of a shop assistant at a store.

5. Reminders

Give visitors a gentle reminder of the products they’ve previously browsed. They may still be interested, and by helping them with reminders, you’re likely to benefit too.

6. Abandoned Cart Reminders

The average abandoned cart rate is a huge 68.53%! WOW

Why not send them a personalised email reminder with an offer and similar item recommendations – this may help the shopper to find what they want or help push them past the wall preventing them from buying.

7. Indecisive Shoppers

Support indecisive shoppers with a pop-up directing them to your FAQ or live chat. By helping users find answers to their questions, you’ll likely see more conversions.

8. Exit Offers

Help prevent exits by offering a time sensitive discount or free delivery when the user shows intent to leave the site using an exit pop up. This can work particularly well for visitors who have never purchased.

9. First Time Visitors

Increase first time visitor sales by offering a free gift with their first purchase – free shipping works well here and will normally be a lot cheaper for you than a 10% discount code.

10. International Visitors

Engage international visitors by displaying a reassuring welcome message showing that you support and deliver to their country. Bonus points if you can do this in their language.

11. Trending Products

Got something hot flying off the shelves – pop it on your homepage. Spark interest in products by showing what’s currently popular.

You can also show new products relevant to a visitor’s price and product preferences or favourite brands. This is a great way to re-engage returning visitors.

12. Emails

You can send users an email with a list of products they previously looked at or are very similar products. This will be unique and auto generated to that user – saving lots of time.

Or send a personalised ‘we miss you’ email to re-engage old customers, with a discount, free delivery coupon or other incentive to return.

13. Seasonal Offers

This is very clever – display product suggestions based on shopper’s season or weather conditions. If it’s snowing show thick coats and snow shovels – if it’s hot – suns out help the boys get the guns out and get the vests on the front page!

14. Keyword Relevancy

Engage your paid traffic visitors by displaying content relevant to the keyword term they searched for. Tailor your website’s banners and featured products to the keywords they found you for.

So if they see a Facebook ad with your beautiful new coat – and the user visits the site make sure they are greeted with the images they came for – if they have to go searching for the product – you will lose them.

Overdoing it

Armed with this new knowledge and the tools it’s very tempting to go crazy.

I visited an ecommerce site the over day and I had a pop up for a 10% first order, then  pop up for a free eBook and then a pop up for a survey on what I thought of their website.

All this before I even looked at the home page – I just clicked back on my mouse and moved to the next site.

Someone got a little excited using their new software and doesn’t understand usability. Look how annoying adverts are on tv because we have no choice but watch them or flick.

Be sure to only have one pop up and show it after a good amount of time, 15 – 20 seconds or based on how far they scroll – also if they turn it off – don’t have it pop up on every new page. ANNOYING!

If you force too many offers in peoples faces that they don’t want, you will piss them off and they will leave and never come back because you are hindering them, not helping them!

People have way more control of where they go online so please remember that!

Testing

It’s crucial to test your offers and your personalisation – a lot of the new tools come with split testing so you can test the offers and personalisation you use.

So a simple example of this –  you can have 50% of your first time visitors see a message for free shipping and the other 50% get 10% off their first order.

You can set a time limit on this and see how many users used the different codes – this will help you to see what your visitors respond to best.

Powerful stuff.

Final thoughts

I firmly believe that personalisation will play an increasingly important role in the e-commerce websites in the coming years.

As visitors navigate their favourite websites, as they browse different categories and products, their unique preferences become apparent and businesses can quickly learn what colours, products, price points and sizes their customers want.

This is powerful information for marketers and offers users a truly unique experience online – to their friends, they may be on the same website but they are all seeing different content!.

Just remember – Amazon have been doing this for years and they rule the e-commerce landscape.

Big rewards lie ahead for businesses – if they get it right.

Thanks for reading.

Matt,

The Personal Webby

P.S. If this is something you feel could benefit your business – please get in touch and we’ll see if your website is ready to get personal 🙂

P.P.S. I’d love to hear any stories you’ve had success with using personalisation

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