Exclusively from WHD.global 2016
Amir Glatt, CTO and Co-founder of Duda, was at WHD.global 2016 speaking about the exciting prospects for SMBs to personalize the website experience for their audience
It should be common knowledge that the more relevant a website experience is to a consumer, the more likely they are to engage with a business. Over the past few years, large corporations have taken this idea and run with it by displaying site content that is specifically based on a user’s unique behavior online. However, this kind of approach to presenting content has largely remained outside the realm of what was possible for SMBs to implement — until now, and Glatt’s talk centered around this.
“When you search Google for a restaurant, you get a whole load of information like location, timings, reviews, etc. businessses prefer posting on social media like Facebook rather than update their own website” Glatt said, noting that website personalization is the key to making websites relevant. Website personalization is basically the application of technology and web design to create one-to-one visitor experience that maximises customer engagement and conversion.
He then touched upon 3 types of personalization:
Using examples, he ran through several types of contextual personalization a business can do. For e.g. one can use the visitor’s physical location or time of the day. A restaurant business can show the menu for breakfast or dinner based on the time it is requested. If Valentine’s Day is coming up, one can show users special offers that may be running. This type of personalization, he pointed, generally leads to the highest type of conversions.
He went on to talk about popular methods of behavioral personalization, where a website changes based on past browsing history or on-site action. For e.g. if a user has browsed a website for more than 15 minutes, they are already highly-engaged so that is the time to pitch subscriptions to Facebook and email updates. If a user has added certain products to their cart but not purchased them, show them related products to increase conversion, or if a user is about to close the tab, incentivize them to stay by offering a discount.
Glatt warns that websites that are personalized by gender, age, profession, etc. should be used with a lot of care to avoid wrongly targeting users.
According to exacttarget, only 29% of ALL businesses implement website personalization. This is generally due to cost and lack of technical expertise. However it is now expected by users because they are growing accustomed to having personalized experiences. For e.g. Netflix shows relevant recommendations to users based on past viewings.
“If you’re an SMB, you usually have 3 options for building personalizations.”, he said, referring to,
Add-on 3rd party SaaS products: The products that tie into your website and personalize user content. A key example of this would be Optimizely. The drawback is that 3rd party tools sometimes cause a bit of friction when integrating with your own website. Images and code need to be uploaded and it is not always possible to be agile.
Incorporated tools in a CMS or website builder: Duda provides a service called inSite to incorporate personalization straight into our builder.
Custom Coding: Hiring a developer to build it. This can be cost-prohibitive and also reduce flexibility by locking the user into the solution.
Ultimately, it is key to ensure usability, along with flexibility and effective tracking to gauge success. The user’s privacy must also be respected. It is important to provide value without going too far and being invasive.“This is a really exciting opportunity for SMBs” says Glatt. “Hosting companies, telecom providers, digital marketing agencies and web solution providers can greatly benefit from the ability to provide their customers with easy-to-use website personalization tools.”