7 Steps to Website Personalization: Strategy, Best Practices, Examples
Each customer has unique needs, interests, behaviors, and pain points. The better you personalize their experience and journey, the more likely you are to outperform your competitors in the online space. Research by McKinsey & Company shows that companies that rely on personalized marketing have 40% more revenue than those that still adhere to the "one size fits all" strategy.
The website has become the primary means of customer interaction and one of the main sources of income after the massive transition to e-commerce. That's why website personalization is a top priority for 86% of companies. In this article, we will take you closer to its key benefits and main types, inspire you with its successful use case, and provide essential recommendations for its implementation.
What is Website Personalization
Onsite personalization is a strategy that focuses on a unique experience for each website visitor. Using it, you address not your entire target audience but each of its representatives separately based on their interests, needs, behaviors, etc.
When a waiter at your favorite cafe greets you with a "Want the usual?" question, they provide a personalized experience, knowing exactly which menu items you like the most. Personalization on websites works the same way. Brands anticipate the desires and needs of customers by collecting and exploring their data. After that, they provide recommendations, notifications, and solutions that hit the target. As a result, customers want to return to the special-for-them website just like you want to revisit a cafe where they always know what you want right now.
Website Personalization: Key Benefits
Many major market players use onsite personalization in their online strategy. For example, recall your last visit to the Netflix website. You didn't have to spend hours searching for a new series as the Netflix homepage had already contained relevant recommendations based on your viewing habits. In this way, you, as a customer, save your time, and Netflix raises its vital business outcomes.
Reduced Website Bounce Rate
Today, average website bounce rates fluctuate between 41% and 55%. One of the main reasons for immediate leaving is that your content does not appeal to the needs and interests of potential customers. Therefore, they do not see the point in wasting their time.
Onsite personalization, in turn, immediately shows visitors that they have come to the right place where they can get relevant information and find products or services that interest them. Not only does this increase your average session duration, but it also keeps visitors in your sales funnel, as the longer they stay on the site, the more likely you are to introduce them to your product and prove it to be the solution to their problems.
Improved Customer Relationships
Сustomers choose brands that care about them first, not just profits. McKinsey & Company research states that customers associate personalization with the ability to feel special. That's why 72% of customers want you to get to know their personality and explore their interests, and 76 % might get frustrated with you if you use the "one size fits all" instead of the individual approach.
Onsite personalization lets you give customers and prospects what they really need and show that you have gone the extra mile for them. It leads to their positive perception of your brand and enhances their interaction experience.
Noticeable Increase in Sales
Imagine that you visit two different offline stores. In one of them, the seller simply lists the entire assortment, hoping that at least one of the products will interest you. In another store, the seller observes which product line you are considering and asks about your current needs. You are more likely to purchase in a store where your interests and preferences matter, right?
The same goes for personalization on websites. Thanks to it, customers see that you understand their expectations and are ready to meet them immediately. Their positive experiences go hand in hand with your increased sales. 85% of shoppers admit personalized offers on a website's homepage have influenced their purchase intent. In addition, 80% of business owners surveyed confirm that a personalized experience motivates their customers to spend 34% more.
Increased Customer Lifetime Value
The benefits of personalization on websites go beyond attracting first-time buyers. 78% of shoppers are willing to repurchase from brands that personalize. So, by giving your customers what they want time after time, you motivate them to choose your brand repeatedly. It does an excellent job for long-term goals. In particular, personalizing customer experience on your website increases the customer lifetime value by 2.3 times.
Improved Word-of-Mouth Strategy
78% of customers willingly recommend brands that provide a personalized experience to their friends and family. Such word-of-mouth promotions can make a huge difference to your overall strategy. Today, 88% of shoppers trust recommendations given by people they know more than any marketing message. Therefore, through personalization, you can turn existing customers into brand advocates who bring you new prospects from their inner circle.
Most Common Ways of Website Personalization
Your website personalization is essentially an ongoing process with no finish line. In other words, you can start by personalizing one element, analyze the first results, and, based on them, understand how to move on. Still, several ways of personalization are most commonly found on websites.
Navigation or Menu
75% of customers want brands to make it easier for them to navigate their online stores. The best way to meet this need is to personalize your website's menu or search results and first show customers the products or pages that match their preferences.
With this onsite personalization, you can save a lot of time for customers to find the correct item or information. Given that 61% of them are willing to spend only 5 seconds searching before they leave, personalized navigation is a perfect solution. It also shortens their conversion path because the faster they find the desired product, the faster they can purchase.
Steve Jobs said: “People don't know what they want until you show it to them.” Recommendations prompt customers on what products they might like and thus save them time searching. Customers do appreciate this kind of website personalization.
91% of shoppers say they buy from a retailer that recommends relevant products based on their purchase history. Meanwhile, 67% are willing to buy from a new brand if it uses the “You might also like” approach.
To implement personalized recommendations on your website, you can track which products your customers have previously viewed. Alternatively, you can study the customer's purchase history and suggest related products. For example, you can recommend a laptop case if a customer recently purchased a laptop.
Calls to Action
Your calls to action show customers precisely what step (the target action) you expect from them. Some companies are still limited to "buy now," which seems logical. However, by tailoring your CTAs to a specific audience segment within website personalization, you can increase the conversion rate by more than 200%.
For example, show different CTAs at various stages of a customer journey. You can encourage your prospects to download a product demo or have your company's successful cases sent to their inboxes at the consideration stage. At this stage, the customer examines and compares several options to make the best choice. In this case, a generic buy-now call to action doesn't fit their current needs and, therefore, may not work as well as a call to learn more about your product or service.
On average, website visitors spend about 6 seconds perusing your written content. Personalizing it can help you keep them on your website longer and get them into your sales funnel. Besides, 66% of customers want your messages tailored to their needs.
Featured Blog Posts
Your blog website can include many valuable articles, and your task is to understand what topics are relevant for each customer right now by studying their reading behavior and geographic or demographic data. For example, if a customer is looking into the benefits of a Dyson styler, you can highlight articles where you compare Dyson to similar products.
For 89% of shoppers, reading reviews is mandatory before buying online. Therefore, onsite personalization can also include dynamic product reviews and customer testimonials. The logic is simple: if customers view a particular product, you can only display related reviews to help them make a buying decision faster.
65% of customers want you to offer them only targeted promotions. Therefore, ads on your website should highlight products based on their purchase history, views on your site, searches, or shopping carts.
A website pop-up is the easiest way to personalize for several reasons:
- Their creation, setting them up to display to a specific audience segment, and embedding them on any website page does not require advanced coding skills. Therefore, you do not even need the help of a developer to start your website personalization.
- Pop-ups can serve various purposes, from notifying customers to promoting your special offers. With their easy creation and embedding, you can deliver all your personalized messages on time. Meanwhile, timely communications tied to key moments are a priority for 59% of customers.
- Pop-ups are dynamic and can be used in different scenarios. So, you can insert this code block into your website on any stage of the customer journey instead of diving into website architecture whenever your strategy needs to change.
- Websites with pop-ups show 4 times higher conversion rates than websites without them. Therefore, you can achieve the first results of your onsite personalization without wasting extra time, effort, and investment.
7 Steps to Personalize Your Website: Strategy
Personalizing your website always requires a holistic approach. Otherwise, its results may differ significantly from those stated. We want to simplify your task and show you how to personalize your website in 7 key steps.
1. Set a Clear Goal
Building a website personalization strategy without a clear goal is like running a hamster in the wheel: you spend your time and effort but do not get closer to the desired result. Also, the absence of a goal makes measuring progress difficult because you do not know your key performance indicators. Therefore, understand why your site should be personalized. Purposes can be different, for example:
- Reduce bounce rate
- Motivate repeat purchases
- Attract new customers
- Increase the average purchase check
- Reduce the number of abandoned carts.
Suppose a specific goal doesn’t immediately come to your mind. In that case, you can study the current problems on your website and analyze how personalization can help you solve them.
2. Gather Your Audience Data
You can create a truly effective personalized strategy by understanding your target audience with their behaviors, needs, interests, and other characteristics. The most common sources of these valuable insights are:
- Website analytics. With it, you can see the customer journey on your website: What pages do they visit? What products do they view? What products do they buy? How often do they abandon the shopping cart? What buttons are clicked the most?
- Service and sales data. Your customer service and sales teams are insiders to the customer experience. With their help, you can access positive and negative customer reviews, understand what difficulties customers face when interacting with your brand, find out what stops them from first or repeat purchases, and so on.
- Email and ads analytics. The purpose of advertising and emails is to drive visitors to your website to discover your brand and make a purchase. After analyzing your recent campaigns, you can determine which people are interested in your product, what triggers work best for different audience segments, and what messages motivate them to take targeted action.
3. Collect First-Party Data
Amid news of a cookies-free future, 37% of businesses already said they rely only on first-party data for personalization strategy. And you should join them. Communicate with your customers and let them share their data openly and voluntarily through newsletter subscriptions and surveys.
With Claspo, transparent data collection is made easy. Your sign-up pop-ups may contain custom input fields so that you can learn more about the prospects than their email addresses. Besides, you can turn any pop-up into a survey by adding checkboxes, a drop-down list, or radio buttons to your layout in our editor.
4. Use the Omnichannel Platform
In a perfect scenario, you need to use data from all your interaction channels to build a competent website personalization strategy. But switching between these channels can be a tedious task. Also, if your critical data is scattered across different platforms, you run the risk of information inconsistency. In other words, you will get confused about many different metrics.
Choose one omnichannel platform to be the hub for all your data. It can provide real-time data integration and synchronization. Thus, you will have complete control over customers' behavior on the website, in social media, email campaigns, etc. Understanding the full picture makes it easier to drive effective decisions.
5. Segment Your Customers
Once you have data on your entire audience, you can divide it into two or more segments: groups with similar interests, needs, behaviors, etc. The more detailed your segments are, the more accurate your personalized strategy will be. In the future, you can assign a unique tag to each group and show them the best content that appeals to them.
For example, knowing that some of your customers are interested in travel, regularly google "hot tours to Spain," but have not booked a single trip in the last year, you can show them a personalized website pop-up inviting them to finally realize the dream and buy a tour to Spain at a discount.
6. Start Personalizing
When you implement personalization on your website, remember its original purpose. For example, if you aim to reduce your bounce rate, you might start by personalizing the navigation or menu on the homepage. The main rule is to give your campaign time to prove itself and get the first results before scaling your website personalization strategy.
Another good practice is to run A/B testing. You can show your personalized menu to only half of the audience while the other half still sees the generic one. It lets you understand whether this particular campaign resonates with your audience. If not, revise your personalization method and try again. Thus, you will get closer to your ideal personalization formula step by step.
7. Keep Moving Forward
Implementing a strategy is a marathon, not a sprint. Therefore, monitor its progress regularly. Even if your first website personalization ideas do not bring the desired results, they will still provide valuable insights into your target audience's behavior and preferences. At least you will understand what does NOT work.
In the future, each subsequent personalization attempt will accumulate customer data like a snowball. Your task is to collect and analyze all the information received to improve your strategy.
Personalization on Websites: Examples from Claspo
The use of Claspo pop-ups by DeepStateMap is one of the website personalization examples that brings impressive results and serves a noble purpose.
With the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Russia, DeepStateMap aimed to create a full-screen pop-up calling on the inhabitants of the Russian Federation to surrender. They made one, but it was displayed to website visitors regardless of their location and, therefore, did not bring the desired results.
Claspo brought DeepStateMap's idea to life. Especially for this project, we developed and configured a geotargeting feature, thanks to which the pop-up could be displayed only to residents of the Russian Federation. When the target audience segment visited the site, the pop-up completely blocked the content, focusing all attention on the DeepStateMap's message. As a result of this website personalization, the conversion rate increased by 32 times, from 1.44% to 46.9%.
Onsite Personalization: How Claspo Can Help You
Despite all the proven benefits, personalization is just on the agenda for many websites. 64% of marketers cite a lack of budget as the main obstacle to its implementation. But with Claspo, budget-friendly personalization becomes possible.
In fact, you can start personalizing your website with Claspo pop-ups for free and choose a convenient subscription plan once you're ready to scale your strategy. Thanks to its exclusive features, the Claspo pop-up builder can become a game changer for your business from day one.
Geographic audience segmentation is a common website personalization solution. And Claspo gets it covered. The geotargeting feature allows you to display your widget only in the selected countries. It works great if:
- You're hosting some local customer events,
- You need to notify customers of local store opening hours changes,
- Your special offer is only valid in certain countries.
Choose the countries where you want (or don't want) to display your pop-up, and be sure that only the selected audience segments will see your message.
Dynamic Language Settings
Adapting the language of your messages to a multilingual audience is one of the best website personalization examples. With Claspo, you can easily implement this solution. Create one pop-up with your message in different languages. When displayed, your customers will see the text that matches the language of their browser or the language they choose on your website. Improved customer experience and conversions are guaranteed!
Placing the same pop-up on all pages has nothing to do with website personalization best practices. With Claspo, you can put each pop-up on a specific page of your choice. For example:
- Product pages with high views but low conversion rates. Such indicators suggest that website visitors are interested in a product but do not buy it for some reason. In this case, free shipping or discount pop-ups can work. Thanks to them, you can not only dispel the doubts of customers but also increase their loyalty by adding value to the purchase.
- Frequently visited website pages. With the help of Google Analytics, you can determine which pages customers visit most often during their sessions. Placing pop-ups on these pages increases the chances that most visitors will see your message. But with the website personalization in mind, this message should meet the needs of each target segment. Therefore, study visitors' interests and search queries and, based on this, create pop-ups with a personalized message for each page.
Any of your messages work better in the proper context. With that in mind, Claspo allows you to show the personalized pop-up to customers who have scrolled to a certain point on your website page.
For example, a subscription form pop-up might only appear when customers scroll down to your great deals section and propose to receive even more special offers in their inboxes. Alternatively, a contact button pop-up inviting customers to get help from your support team may be displayed if they have reached the "How to checkout" section.
With this simple website personalization, you deliver the most relevant messages to customers at the right time, enhancing their onsite journey.
You can only display your pop-up to visitors who intend to leave your website. It doesn't even require prior segmentation of your audience. Instead, choose the appropriate condition when setting up your pop-up. This hook can help you increase your conversion rate by 5% - 10% if you think through your personalized message.
Your pop-up may offer a promo code or discount to leaving visitors. It could change their mind, as 74% of shoppers consider a special offer the deciding factor when choosing an online store.
In another scenario, an exit-intent pop-up might invite customers to share their reasons for leaving the website via a survey. Yes, a survey is unlikely to lead to an immediate purchase. But you can get valuable first-party data to understand the customer experience and elevate your website personalization in the future.
UTM targeting takes your onsite personalization to the next level. With it, you can show your pop-ups only to narrow audience segments that have navigated to your website from specific marketing campaigns.
For example, you advertised your new collection on Instagram. Specify the appropriate audience UTM parameters in the pop-up settings, and prospects visiting your website from Instagram will see your personalized message redirecting them to the new collection page.
Successful implementation of the website personalization strategy is possible only when data from all channels is synchronized in one data storage repository. With 5000+ Claspo integrations, you can transfer data to Google Analytics, CRM, and ESP systems. It ensures data consistency, prevents data loss, saves time, gives you complete control over customer behavior, and helps you make data-driven decisions.