What is website personalisation, and why is it important?

6 minutes to read • Published 16 September 2019 • Digital strategy, Responsive web design, UX design

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    With a high-street bricks-and-mortar retail store, a customer will walk in and expect a high level of personal attention from the shop-floor staff. They will expect to be shown or pointed in the right direction to find the products that match his or her interest.

    Is it wrong to expect the same kind of experience when a person shops online?

    The ways that people use digital technology has greatly shifted to the point where a personalised customer experience is now preferred and expected by the user.

    Business owners are now looking more closely at how website personalisation can improve their digital marketing strategies and help to boost their bottom line. 

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    Why is personalisation so important?

    Research has found that 74% of online customers feel frustrated if their website content is not personalised, and it is highly likely that the percentage is set to increase in the coming years.

    The rise in smartphone technology has enabled everyone to carry around the internet in their pocket.

    This has made the web feel more like a personal service that can deliver what they want, when they want it, right at their fingertips. 

    Customers wants to feel like their needs matter and should be catered for on a personal level. This is why the difference a personalised website makes to today’s web users matter. 

    By providing your web visitors with a personalised customer experience, you will be helping them to feel special and their interest appreciated. This can help make a smoother path towards a customer conversion. 

    How does website personalisation work?

    Structuring and engineering your web design to accommodate your customer needs is the main aim here. This is so that when a potential customer visits your site they are quickly delivered with a complete overview of the products or services that they have searched for. 

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    Tailoring what the search results display should include, where possible, individual customer or user ratings and similar products or services that may also be of interest based on their keyword search. 

    Alternative suggestions should be automatically generated based on their individual search data plus that of other consumers searching for similar or related products or services. 

    Offering personalised alternative products or services can be an effective way to encourage customer conversion when their preferred product is out of stock or the service they want is temporarily unavailable. 

    The personal customer experience should also be encouraged to extend far beyond your company website to cover aspects such as social media inclusivity and tailored contact via email newsletter subscription. 

    What are the main benefits of website personalisation?

    Website personalisation has been shown to have a direct positive impact on online sales. 

    We now understand that due to the average short attention span and impulse-buy desires of customers, sellers only have a very narrow window of time to deliver exactly what the customer wants before they lose interest and click away from your website. 

    Providing a personalised web experience can benefit you in the following ways:

    • Instant results: When a customer can see the products they are interested in or can get the information they need about a service they are looking for, without having to search around for them, this greatly increases your conversion rates. 
    • Increased sales per visit: When you can also provide suggested items that compliment the product or service they are interested in, you are also more likely to encourage them to buy a second product or service from your site too!
    • Repeat buying: Offering a personalised customer experience is one of the main reasons for gaining a loyal customer base. Regular customers are happy to repeat buy from a website where they will get a personalised service and can quickly find exactly what they need. 
    • Improved SEO: There is, of course, an added bonus to website personalisation for the provider. Personalisation is a valuable SEO tool where your website can achieve higher search engine rankings for the main keywords used on your site. 
    • Boost engagement: Presenting your web visitors with information that piques their interests will encourage them to remain on your site and increase engagement. Engagement can lead them to sign up to a newsletter or following you on social media.

    Preparing your website for personalisation

    Your business website must have a well-structured design system that enhances your visitor’s user experience (UX). Without getting the essential building blocks of your website right, it can be difficult to take the steps needed to tailor a personalised web experience for your visitors.

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    Many website owners will already have a lot of customer data at their fingertips that can be used to personalise their customer experience.

    It may be that you have users that have already identified themselves to you via a social media follow or email newsletter subscription. 

    To sign up to your email newsletter or your social media pages, they will have to provide valuable information about themselves and their interests or needs. You can use this information to target your communications with them through segmented email campaigns via MailChimp or Facebook ads.

    Your previous customers will have provided you with their purchase history so you can get an idea about what they like and which of your products or services will complement what they have already purchased from you in the past. 

    You can use Google Analytics to track your site visitors journeys to get an insight into what they are looking for and how they are engaging with you. 

    The importance of mobile-responsive web design

    According to Statista, “The number of smartphone users worldwide today surpasses three billion and is forecast to further grow by several hundred million in the next few years.”

    Business owners need to understand that we now live in a mobile-first world, and this is why they need to have a mobile-responsive web design that is going to capture the attention of smartphone users and engage them instantly with their content.

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    What you supply on your website is also of great importance. This means that your web content should offer great value and be relevant to your target audience. 

    You should ensure to keep an interesting mix of different content mediums on your website to suit different personal tastes and preferences, including:

    • Page content
    • Blog posts 
    • Articles and press releases
    • Videos
    • Infographics

    All of your web content should be mobile-friendly and readable across all digital platforms from desktop PCs to smartphones and tablets.

    Structuring a website design to deliver a personalised customer experience can make all the difference to your web visitors as well as to your business.

    It helps to reverse engineer your target audience journey to help meet their needs rather than simply build a website to brag about your brand. 

    Keep your end customer in mind at all times and provide them with a personalised experience to win both their hearts and their wallets. 

    At Creative.onl, we aim to ensure that you have all the tools available to deliver a superb user experience that counts. Contact us today or book a free consultation to find out how we can help you develop the digital strategies that work for your business. 

    See also →  Ecommerce website design: The ultimate guide for 2021

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