Website Personalization- Is It Right For Your Business?
In the world of Netonomics, getting to know your customers can be critical to survival or failure. Building relationships online can be derived from traditional retail marketing strategies.
Your site can build a profile of each customer via questionnaires or tracking their clickstreams. The information is stored in a database and is used to identify patterns of behavior that are transformed into assumptions or rules, used to predict the shopper’s future likes and dislikes. This information can allow e-tailors to customize content, sales, and advertising efforts accordingly.
This personalization of e-marketing means you are getting to know your customers, which in the end, is designed to make the browsing and ultimately the purchasing experience friendly and simple for your customer. But you have to be aware of their needs to facilitate this dynamic and robust contact with your brand.
There are no set standards for personalization but if you think about customer relationship principles for a brick and mortar store you can deduce what principles can come into play on your e-store.
Let me give you an example. When I managed a man’s clothing store, many years ago, the owner would always look at the weather forecast the night before. If rain was in the forecast he would move the raincoats and umbrellas up to the front door. He might even have a sale on raincoats. He would manually go back through his records and the salesmen would call anyone who bought a raincoat 2-3 years ago and tell them about the sale. Like I said it was a long time ago. There was no email. This is a simple example of personalization. You make it easy for the customer to buy based on their needs or an external simulation.
Here are some simple business items that your website should have in order to personalize the buying experience.
• Greet guests by name when they enter your site.
• Start people off with a generic version of your site and allow users to customize it gradually as they see fit.
• Watch what users are doing and actively recommend personalized ideas.
• Combine personalized services with a generalized segment where readers can keep in touch with the rest of the community, read about new ideas or products, and get recommendations based on past purchases.
• Offer “wish lists” which are registries that allow others to make pre-selected purchases for your viewers.
There are a lot of companies that can offer to help you personalize your e-commerce website or you can do it yourself. As you think of your personalization strategy, answer these questions to help you decide what is best suited for your web marketing plan:
• How much do I know about the visitors coming to my website?
• How much information am I comfortable asking those customers for?
• What do I plan to do with the information after I receive it?
• How much money can I spend to track visitors?
• Will I be able to implement a database system?
• Do I want to keep the process simple, or can I afford to be more elaborate?
• Am I going to program it myself or can I hire someone to do it for me?
Users are increasingly expecting company websites, products, and services to be tailored to their individual preferences, past experiences, and what they happen to be doing at this very moment. This puts the demand on business and IT leaders to create a personalized and engaging experience for end-users across all channels, both online and offline.
Business owners are focusing on making their communications more timely and relevant to e-store customers. To do that, the need to build communications around the interests and preferences of each individual customer is paramount to website purchase conversion success.