Current research shows that 40 percent of consumers buy more from retailers who personalize their shopping experience across channels. Additionally, nearly three in four, or 74 percent, of online consumers get frustrated with websites when the content that’s displayed has nothing to do with their interests. It is clear that a personalized website is an advantage to every marketer or entrepreneur leading a successful business today.
Website personalization takes into account that users have different motivations, devices, locations and time constraints. With current technology, marketers can now gather specific information about what a website visitor is searching for and translate their visit into a higher conversion.
“Organizations spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, and sometimes even millions of dollars, to create robust dynamic web experiences,” explained Itai Sadan, CEO and co-founder of mobile website creation platform DudaMobile. The company recently rolled out inSite that adds dynamic web content based on customer behavior to create personalized viewing experiences.
“Expensive tools and this type of personalization traditionally requires substantial web development and design, which is why we’re excited about bringing affordability to this exploding industry,” Sadan said.
Website personalization on a mass scale is indeed possible with the increasing number of low-cost options available to business owners today. Here are five ways business owners can begin to increase conversion through basic website personalization:
1. Visitor frequency should determine different user experiences. A visitor to a website for the first time will almost always be looking for different information than someone visiting the site repeatedly.
David Reischer, marketing officer at LegalAdvice.com, suggests tracking each user differently to give different user experiences. “We utilize a cookie to track a returning visitor so that we can direct them to the most appropriate and relevant page. This makes site navigation easier for repeat users.”
To increase conversion of first-time visitors include a phone number or business address, a contact form to capture leads, or a video tutorial to explain a product or service to a first time visitor.
“For frequent visitors, add a spot to sign up for a mailing list or add information about new products or services,” suggests Sadan.
2. Geo-location helps bring together online and offline marketing. The ability to know where someone is at the time they visit a website is game-changing for marketers.
“Online we can follow our customer’s individual buying journey, optimizing it every step of the way,” explains Bart Heilbron, CEO and co-founder of BlueConic, the real-time system of online customer engagement. “However, we were never able to use these insights in our offline interaction. With geo-location, we are now able to.”
If someone is only blocks away from a business and searching on a mobile phone, chances are they can be easily converted as a customer if they see an address and even a coupon that says, “Come in today and get 20% off.” For restaurants, an OpenTable button to reserve a table, or a Google Map app that provides step-by-step directions to the store location are critical for conversion.
3. Adjust content based on certain times. Changing the content on a website based on the time of day, week or even season can increase conversions as well. Consider replacing a phone number available to website visitors during business hours with a contact form when the business is closed. This will avoid missing out on potential customers who want to get in contact outside of business hours.
“The ability to offer different products over the course of a day based on targeted trends, habits or culture will increase conversions,” said CEO of internet marketing company WebiMax, Ken Wisnefski. “For example, a restaurant offers a different menu throughout the day as they switch from lunch to dinner.”
4. Recognize holidays and other special events. This is a great way to personalize a website and better connect with a customer’s sentiment. Change the theme to hearts during Valentine’s Day or add an image of fireworks during the 4th of July.
“This could have a positive effect on customer engagement, and in turn conversion,” said Sadan.
5. Capture the visitor source to adapt content. Knowing the original destination source that a visitor has entered a website from should greatly impact the content on the landing page that they see first. This can provide a seamless and consistent experience to the visitor.
According to Sadan, “Visitors that come to your site from an email marketing campaign or as a referral from another site should receive dedicated messaging that is aligned with the messaging they saw in the email or the referring site. Offering a coupon at this point could also be a good idea.”