Personalize Your Site At Scale: A Step By Step Guide

Website personalization is a growing trend. Ecommerce and social media giants like Amazon and Facebook use your location, your search and purchase history, and the kind of content you engage with to personalize your experience.


But personalization can be leveraged by any business with a digital presence. This helps build engagement, increase site visits and on-page time, lower bounce rates, and boost conversions.


Here are some personalization stats to consider:


● 74% of customers dislike websites that are not personalized

● 91% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that provide personalized offers and recommendations

● 80% of repeat buyers only shop for brands that personalize their experience

● 63% of consumers will stop purchasing from brands that have little or no personalization

● 64% of customers don’t object to websites saving their personal history and preferences in lieu of a personalized experience


Here’s how you can personalize your website at scale in 2021.




Step 1. Collect Data

It all starts with the data.


Stats from SmarterHQ show that 90% of consumers are okay with sharing behavioral data if it streamlines their online shopping experience. So before you start personalizing your site, collect data about your visitors. Here’s how to go about it:


Map Customer Journey


This includes gathering data from page views, time spent on each page, bounce rate, email click-through rates, clicks on push notifications, etc.


Cookies


Cookies and web beacons enable you to track visitor browsing history, even after they’ve left. So prompt your visitors to ‘Allow Cookies’ when they land on your site.


Ask them


You can also prompt visitors to fill in their basic information (age, gender, location, email address, etc.) when they land on your site or when they make a purchase.


Other ways to collect data include tracking emails and buying data from third-party aggregators.


Step 2. Create Customer Persona

There is no personalization without customer personas.


Once you’ve gathered the data, create profiles of customers according to their website activity and personal information you have collected from the aforementioned sources. You can even give a name to your customer persona.


For instance, the ideal customer for a fitness website would be “Amy, a professional in her 30s, looking for virtual training programs”.


Step 3. Identify Goals

Moving on, personalization only works when you have a specific aim in mind.


Common personalization goals include:


● Increasing traffic

● Boosting conversions

● Reducing bounce rate

● Streamlining the buyer experience

● Improving upsells

● Boost retention and repeat purchases


Identifying goal(s) will help customize your strategy.




Step 4. Create a Strategy

With the why taken care of, let’s proceed to the how of website personalization. Here are some common elements of personalized web pages you should incorporate on your site:


Hero image


You can show different banner images to different customer personas to create an instant connection.


Recommendations


Depending on what you’re selling, you should offer suggestions and recommendations as soon as they land on your website. This is especially effective for e-commerce websites.


Dropdown menu


You can also consider placing a dropdown navigation menu to offer personalized content or product recommendations.


Step 5. Implement and Test

The final step is to actually implement the personalization strategy. There are several ways to make the implementation manageable:


Identify Objectives


As mentioned above, you should be clear about your personalization objectives to decide on relevant strategies. For instance, if you want to upsell more, you can make product suggestions on the checkout page. And if you want to increase repeat buyers, you can enable ‘buy again’ options for similar orders.


Determine the Challenges


Once you have identified the objectives, you should also list down the anticipated impact of each campaign, and identify roadblocks for each. The general rule of thumb is to start with campaigns that are easier to implement and offer a high impact. The more difficult ones may require more research and brainstorming with the development teams.


Implement Algorithms


To personalize your site at scale, you need to leverage machine-learning algorithms. The best websites use a combination of targeting and recommendation algorithms, even on ‘no results’ search pages.


Test and Adapt


Like with any form of marketing, you need to test your website personalization strategy and iterate according to the data.


The best way is to run A/B tests against non-personalized pages so you can actually see if your efforts are bearing fruit. You may see an increase in visitors, for instance, but not an increase in conversions.


To sum up, personalization is key to stay relevant in today’s highly competitive online marketplace. And these steps will help you personalize your website in a way that’s scalable.