5 Simple Ways to Personalize Your Website
:: By Larry Alton, @LarryAlton3 ::
Customers and website visitors are absolutely delighted when you offer them a little personalization. Simple things like using their name or remembering their favorite products can make them feel more comfortable on your site. Thanks to technology, it’s easy to offer a little personalization, and your customers have come to expect such in every aspect of your business.
According to research from the Aberdeen Group, 75 percent of consumers prefer brands that offer personalized messages and offers. What’s more, 94 percent of companies agree that personalization is a vital component of both current and future success in commerce.
Unfortunately, many websites lack the personalized touch that web visitors have come to crave in this ultra-customized world. If you want to keep up with this trend and bring in the revenue your business deserves, here are some of the simplest, but most profound ways to personalize a website.
1. Remember Visitors
Asking customers to create an account on your site when making a purchase serves a dual purpose. First of all, it remembers information about the customer, which is useful for both data collection and customer convenience. Secondly, it makes the customer feel unique and special. When they log back into your site, they’ll receive a greeting by name and some recommendations for products they like.
This tactic is used by many major commerce sites, like Walmart and Amazon. It shouldn’t only be used for big box store websites, however. It’s an invaluable marketing and customer retention tool, and small businesses can benefit greatly from its use in their online platforms.
2. Offer Customization
Customization is taking over the product industry. Companies like this e-commerce site are focusing on the ability to create and send customized products anywhere in the world. Their platform is easy to use, and customers receive a customized product every time.
Obviously, every e-commerce platform can’t create a solely customizable product base, but they can work on customizing their website and some of their products. Through increased search capabilities, consumers can find customized content for themselves. Product pages can also offer the ability to add unique personalization to select items.
3. Rely on Geolocation
Geolocation is often used for advertising purposes, but the same technology can help your website design as well. With this handy tool, sites can personalize the images and information presented to customers. This tool doesn’t have a use in every ecommerce situation, but when you offer a valuable service to different parts of the country (or the world), the ability to customize your content can be very helpful.
For example, this insurance company shows a different background image based on your location. If you live in Northern California, for example, it will show a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge. This makes visitors feel more at home and like they can trust the company providing the service.
4. Use Recommendation Geniuses
A recommendation genius on your website will analyze search histories and other relevant data about a product and display recommendations for the customer based on that information. Customers love that they can shop a vast network of products they love without doing a lot of in-depth searching. It’s also very useful for driving impulse purchases from customers.
Major retailers always use recommendation geniuses on their websites, and some can even extend to examine search history beyond the company’s website. Target.com, for example, predicted a teen girl’s pregnancy before the girl knew she was pregnant based on her search history on their site and Google. It’s amazing what technology can offer if you just open the door.
5. Display Relevant Content
The ability of a site to display content that an audience deems relevant is more important than many online businesses realize. According to research from Janrain & Harris Interactive, 74 percent of online consumers are frustrated with websites when the ads, promotions, coupons, and blog content have nothing to do with their interests. The copy goes from useful to annoying.
Using recommendation geniuses and data from searches when developing content is essential for an excellent online experience for customers. It’s not a difficult change to make, but it will make all the difference in your ecommerce reputation and your incoming revenue.
Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer and researcher who contributes to a number of reputable online media outlets and news sources. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, he’s also active in his community and spends weekends volunteering with a local non-profit literacy organization and rock climbing. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.