Effective Online Personalization

Written By Mark Weinstein, President

According to Gartner analyst Gene Alvarez, “By 2018 companies with effective personalization on their e-commerce sites will outsell by 30% competitors without the same level of personalization.”Our TWO Sense: Effective Online Personalization

The first feature of personalization to consider is user preferences and user history. While it makes the entire shopping process much easier if the marketer automatically knows my name, shopping history and mailing address, but the real key to ensuring customer loyalty is if the marketer knows my preferences and can make intelligent recommendations that will help improve my experience when I visit their website.

Just as important is if the company can proactively send me timely direct mail or email messages that are geared towards my interests and not just information about the latest sale. Road Runner Sports, for example, knows the running shoe brand and model I have purchased and alerts me when those shoes will soon be extinct (discontinued) so I can stock up on my favorites.

Here are three ideas to help improve the customer experience online personalization:

  1. Tailor messages: Being sent a generic email about an upcoming sale on a product line wouldn’t grab my attention if it were a product I don’t care about. If my history shows that I’m interested in running shoes, send me sale information about running events in my area. Just as important is making my experience enjoyable. If you send me information that asks me to visit the site for a product I am interested in, as we have discussed in previous blogs, make sure that the landing page is tailored to my needs. According to the Custom Content Council, 61% of consumers say they feel better about, and are more likely to buy from, a company that delivers custom content.
  2. Intelligent targeting: Visitors will come back to your website if they like what they see and if you make it worth their while. Make sure that you cater to their needs at the time of their visit by personalizing the content on your website according to their interests. Advanced website technologies allow you see where your customer visited last time and so you can make an educated guess on what they are interested in. It’s as simple as offering 10% off on the product they viewed last time instead of a generic 10% coupon.
  3. Simplify:  KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). Don’t overload your site with information that’s not on point.  If you told me my running shoes were being discontinued, make sure the link from the email takes me directly to the page, and not to the site’s home page.

Build Success through Personalization

The potential benefits of improved personalization are many.  Very importantly, happy customers become brand ambassadors: They are great references. They will talk about their experiences will share their opinions with other people.