Why Website Personalization Matters
We all know what personalization is, but what exactly does it mean when it comes to the online world? And why does website personalization matter so much?
What is website personalization?
According to Optimizely, an online experience optimization platform, website personalization is “the process of creating customized experiences for visitors to a website.”
They go on to say, “Rather than providing a single, broad experience, website personalization allows companies to present visitors with unique experiences tailored to their needs and desires.”
Website personalization is a simple way to make your site’s visitors feel special and welcome.
The data don’t lie
First of all, we realize that grammatically that header seems off, but the word “data” is actually plural, so we’re all good.
Second of all, the data don’t lie.
Global marketing firm Epsilon surveyed 1000 consumers on their thoughts about personalization in general. What you are about to see might shock you, but please don’t look away.
- 80% are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences
- 90% of consumers find personalization appealing
- And these consumers are 10x more likely to be a brand’s most valuable customer, ie. make more than 15 transactions a year
Invesp conducted a similar study, and found similar things:
- 45% of online shoppers are more likely to shop on a site that offers personalized recommendations
- 56% are more likely to return to a site that recommends personalized products
Now you might be saying, “Sure, this is all well and good, but how am I supposed to gather the info I need to personalize someone’s experience on my site?” Fear not.
Salesforce spoke to over 6,700 consumers and found, among other things, that people will share their personal data in exchange for better service. The survey found that “61% of millennials are happy to share personal data if it leads to a more personalized in-store or online shopping experience.”
That number slips to 41% when it comes to baby boomers, but in both cases, resistance appears to be softening, which is a good thing for you.
So what’s so great about website personalization?
Remember the old in-store experience?
You’d walk in and be greeted by a smiling salesperson. They’d ask how they might help you, then continue with a few friendly questions to help you narrow down your search and eventually find the perfect product.
Those days are gone. But the memories linger.
In this new abnormal, the in-store experience has become one of limited interactions and hurried transactions.
You, as someone in the ecommerce biz, would do well to recreate the experience that consumers are missing right now. Listen to your customers, recommend the right products, and personalize their on-site experience.
Make them feel special and welcome.
Shopping online is an inherently cold experience, full of endless scrolling and searching. If you can talk to your customers, listen to their problems, and prioritize their needs—that is, learn what they are looking for and put it directly in front of them—you’ll be bridging the gap between the old world and the new.
And you’ll be rewarded for it.
Website personalization is a win-win
The real world right now is full of shuttered shops and masked salespeople. Shoppers are missing the old days of warm greetings and human conversations.
With website personalization, you can take advantage of that longing for a more friendly and customized shopping experience.
Website personalization leads to more conversions, improved customer loyalty, and a better understanding of your customers—data that can then be shared across your omnichannel marketing efforts, thereby further increasing conversions and purchases.
See how that works? When you give people what they want, they’ll thank you with their wallets.
Website personalization isn’t about tricking people into buying from you; it’s quite literally a win-win for both you and your customers.
How to personalize your ecommerce site
Before you dive in, you should know that website personalization is not a manual process.
There’s a lot more to it than sitting on your site, waiting for visitors, engaging them as you would a real-life customer, and recommending something that might work.
For one, you couldn’t possibly engage each and every visitor, and even if you decided to shell out the cash to have hundreds of online sales reps in an attempt to, there’s no way they could all know your product catalogue to the extent that true website personalization demands.
True website personalization demands automation, it demands an AI solution.
Kathy is looking for a new hand cream. She visits an online beauty supplier her best friend told her about and starts browsing. Problem is, there’s just way too many options.
She tries the search function but finds it frustrating; it doesn’t seem to understand the words she’s using and keeps showing her the same creams over and over.
Kathy finally loses her patience and gets up to go for a walk. She’ll try again some other time.
If that site had AI, the experience would have gone something like this.
Kathy gets to the site and is greeted by a message: “Hi there, anything I can help you with?”
She starts chatting with the bot, and it asks her things like what kind of skin she has, does she want something that she can use on her face too, and what’s the climate like where she lives.
In the background, the AI uses Kathy’s answers to automatically identify and rank all its creams based on how they match her specific needs. Once it has enough information, Kathy gets a super-personalized recommendation… and makes the purchase.
This is personalization reminiscent of the real world experience. The visitor is no longer scrolling endlessly, doing all of the work to get familiar with every single one of your company’s SKUs and choose the one they think is best for them.
And when an AI solution like Automat takes care of your website personalization, you’ll never have to worry about visitors slipping through the cracks; smart chatbots can engage (and charm) every single visitor.
Website personalization in action
To see an example of how website personalization works, and the benefits it can have on your most important KPIs, you need to look no further than our amika case study.
In it, we lay out how we worked with amika, a Brooklyn-based haircare company, to build a customized AI chatbot for their site, and how that bot was able to provide personalized advice and recommendations—just like they would have gotten with a haircare specialist in a store or a salon—that resulted in 3x more conversions and a 400% increase in their average revenue per user.