Just like shopkeepers need to keep their window displays looking fresh and appealing, you need to do the same with your website. Good products and strong messages keep your customers and prospects coming back for more.
But your website has one crucial advantage over the traditional shop window – and you may not even be using it.
Unlike a high street shop window, you can personalise your website to everyone who visits. So you no longer need to argue over which product you want to lead on or what offer you’re going to promote.
You can now change your website for every visitor, based on what you know about them. So why aren’t you doing it?
After all, marketing is about segmentation and personalisation to satisfy different needs. You do it in person, you do it in emails and direct mail, so why not do it on your website?
How difficult is it to achieve?
Not difficult at all.
All it takes is a simple line of code added to your website and you’ll have the ability to tailor your website to every visitor. No black boxes, no new servers, no new hardware taking up space in the corner. Just a minute or two to create the rules and you’re good to go.
Now you can change what every visitor sees as soon as they start browsing.
Maybe your company already has some sort of personalisation but it is only happening within each session. In this case the customer experience will be very like repeating yourself to a different shop assistant every time you go back to the shop. The experience will be personalised, but it doesn’t build on what’s gone before.
Or perhaps your personalisation is limited to A/B testing, segment profiles or needs an individual to log-in.
By linking to your Single Customer View and accessing everything you know about that visitor, your website can seamlessly change to display content most relevant to them.
The core to most effective personalisation is doing it at an individual level, using all the data that is known about the individual past and present (from all online and offline touchpoints) and deploying it in real-time.
So what can you do with it?
How you choose to use website personalisation will depend on your business. But we’ve helped many companies put it in place, so here’s a few things you may want to consider.
Change the products you show each individual customer
Let’s imagine you’re the Marketing Director of a major department store. The typical retailer stocks thousands of products and it’s impossible to show everything on your home page, or even on the whole website.
So you need to make decisions about what products to feature. This would traditionally be done by looking at what’s new, what’s exciting, what has the highest profit margins and sometimes, what you have too much stock of and need to shift. As a result, you end up with a mix of cosmetics, womenswear, menswear, childrenswear and a few items for the home thrown in for good measure. You’d hedge your bets by having something for everyone.
But with personalisation, you don’t need to have something for everyone. You have only what’s right for a single customer.
So you don’t show the new range of women’s jeans to the visitor who’s only ever browsed or bought menswear. Get rid of the kidswear for those who aren’t interested. Make sure you showcase your new designer ranges to the customer who buys high end fashion.
Everything else is still available on the website through normal navigation and search, but you’re zooming in on what’s relevant for that one customer.
For new customers of course, you can still show a range of products, or lead with your best offer. After a short while, by looking at their website journey in real-time, you can start to tailor this for them quite quickly. Or if you know that they have clicked through on a particular keyword, creative or campaign you can already start to make intelligent decisions about what they will – and won’t – want to see.
Display your products based on the customer’s spend levels
If you’re a travel company, you might offer trips from a few hundred pounds to several thousand. You know that different customers have different budgets and you don’t want to put people off by showing either only high end luxury trips, or equally only budget destinations.
By using the data you have about that individual (online or offline), you can narrow down the range that you’re showing to increase the relevance of your site, as well as showing the most appropriate destinations and holiday types.
Does your visitor have a regular price point? Do they only look for holidays during school holidays? Are they all-inclusive fans? You should be using all of this to change what each visitor sees when they land on your website.
Tailor your pricing
You might want to use flexible pricing to appeal to different customers.
Price promotions can work, especially in terms of attracting new customers, but they can also be a drain on your bottom line. You’ll inevitably end up giving away margin to customers who would have paid full price.
By being smarter about who you offer discount and promotions to, you can protect your existing business, while still making new sales.
And unlike in a high street shop, the differential pricing won’t be obvious to other audiences.
Want to see it in action?
We’ve delivered website personalisation for many of our clients. Take Virgin Atlantic for example.
We changed the way that their upgrades and add-ons – seats, meals and so on – appeared to customers, based on their individual behaviour and profiles. The result was an 11% increase in sales.
Watch our case study here for more details.
Maybe this is your first step in personalisation or you want to enhance your personalisation or real-time capabilities. If you’d like to find out how individual-level website personalisation could benefit your business, then just get in touch and we’d be delighted to give you a live demonstration on your website.