This post is from guest blogger Jon MacDonald of The Good, an agency partner of Lytics.
Increasing the relevance of a website’s user experience is critical to the success of any company that relies on their online presence to capture revenue.
The problem is, if you are like most transactional websites, over 97% of your online audience is anonymous.
And you can’t afford to wait until all your visitors decide to share an email address to begin crafting a more relevant online user experience.
So how do you increase your site’s relevance for your anonymous visitors?
Make your website more helpful with personalization.
Personalizing a visitor’s user experience boils down to just one thing: treating your website visitors like the humans they are.
This is done by responding to what your visitors want and making it easier for them to accomplish the only two goals they came to do on your website: research your product or service to find out if it is going to solve their need, and make a purchase.
As a Hubspot article pointed out way back in 2014, far too many online companies still look like they’re being run by – and run for – robots, not humans.
While those online companies try to give a more personalized feel to their online user experience, it sometimes doesn’t feel right to the visitor because the company’s goal is misaligned. Instead of focusing on higher online sales, focus on being more helpful and the sales will follow.
By integrating truly personalized marketing into your strategy, your business is saying, “I’m listening. I know what you are here to do, I respect your goals, and I want to help you to accomplish them.” The more your business shows this to a visitor or prospect, the more likely they will be to convert from a shopper into a buyer.
And that’s not much different than the core goal of marketing: delivering the right content to the right person at the right time.
At this point you might ask, “How important could personalization really be?” The answer is very important.
In fact, this need for personalization is so important that 75% of online customers say irrelevant content negatively affects their online user experience. Displaying random ads, using non-targeted messaging or using off-the-shelf templates is now enough to drive prospects away from your company.
Add to this that 85% of retailers believe they must have a unified personalization strategy in place but only 23% actually have one now, and you can see how there is still some massive opportunity left to be had with personalization.
Personalization is becoming an essential component to your online marketing efforts, and in a lot of cases it is what holds all of your other online marketing efforts together. When ignored it has the potential to unravel all of the hard work you’ve poured into your website optimization. Yet when done well, it creates a relationship with your visitors that converts them into online sales.
Besides boosting conversion rates, personalization also has been proven to have an effect on bounce rates, return visits, page views, time on site and average order value – all of which are metrics marketers live or die by. And some companies, such as WildFang, are using personalization to double their year-over-year revenue.
With the massive amount of recent progress in personalization toolsets available to digital marketers, personalization will be standard practice within the next 12 months, even for the smallest of online companies.
It will be a requirement because brands who are not already looking at the tools available, and forming a plan, are already behind their competition.
According to MarketingProfs, 87% of companies who implement personalization see at least a 20% lift in their key marketing metrics. Wouldn’t you rather capture that opportunity instead of seeing your competition do so?
Getting started with personalization is actually quite easy, especially with the aforementioned advancements in supporting technology available today.
Where should you begin?
Start by collecting visitor data as soon as possible. To actually deliver personalization requires visitor and consumer context, and a company must know what their consumers are doing across all of their marketing and sales channels.
To do this requires having all of that consumer data in one place, where it can be easily segmented and then acted upon. This is the core of Lytics’ Customer Data Platform.
Once you have visitor data, combine visitor segmentation with these more well-known personalization tactics to avoid being left behind by your competition:
Research conducted in 2015 found that “Three quarters of retailers say they are developing a personalization strategy and it will be ready within two years.”
That means, as of right now in 2016, you’ve now got half the time of your competitors to get moving on personalization! Educate yourself right away, so you don’t fall behind.
Start researching options and toolsets, such as Lytics’ personalization offering.
Start collecting visitor information right away, even if you’re not doing personalization today, so you have a huge jump start when you are ready. Segmentation is key to personalization, but it requires a good amount of data to do accurately.
Lastly, just get in the game. Start small and try out the tools available to you today.
The sooner you start, the sooner you will reap the rewards of higher online sales.