Back in June my colleague Chris Bainbridge and I ran a webinar on website personalisation through CMS where we had a great response and some really interesting questions. eConsultancy has also recently released a report on Customer Experience Optimisation so it seems like a good time for a blog post on the topic.
The eConsultancy report draws attention to the increase in importance of customer experience online and how a poor experience not only effects conversion rates (and revenue!) but also impacts the perception of your brand as a whole. Unsurprisingly, a poor experience online reflects badly on your brand and can lead visitors to view you as old fashioned, frustrating and unprofessional. Customers expect websites to act intelligently, just like good shop assistants.
The good news is that 96% of companies surveyed place at least some importance on optimising their customer’s experience online. Those who do optimise customer experience report a range of benefits including:
• Higher engagement and conversion rates (96%)
• Better brand perception and loyalty (66%)
• Improved renewal, cross sell and upsell (50%)
• Improved ROI on marketing spend (19%)
The eConsultancy report highlights that most companies surveyed are at least doing the bare minimum; monitoring website performance, ensuring privacy and executing website testing and optimisation but it appears few have managed to move past the basics to create fully personalised experiences in real time across all channels and platforms. Personalisation essentially means “delivering a customer experience that is personal, relevant and convenient.”
A very simple example of personalisation from Amazon’s homepage: from my previous purchases they know the theme of books I have looked at and bought, that I have a Prime account and that I have a child so they show me relevant messages and products as soon as I land on the site.
The major barriers to optimising customer experience that companies reported were; insufficient resources, data issues and the complexity of the customer journey.
In the webinar mentioned at the beginning of this post we talked specifically about the personalisation tools available within content management systems (CMS) such as Kentico, Sitefinity and Sitecore. There are, of course, third party tools that can be easily integrated with your existing system but all leading CMS now include personalisation tools – an indication of how important this has become.
So, if you are thinking about personalising your visitor’s website experience, it’s important to understand how it works. The most simple type of personalisation, is rule-based and triggered by interactions with a user This includes a user’s recent and historical activity, current clicking behaviour, keyword context, time of day, and so on.
Personalisation doesn’t have to be daunting. You can start pretty small, have a look in your web analytics software and try and understand what your customers are doing, run a survey, ask them! Try personalising elements on your homepage, like the banner. A new visitor might need to know more about your brand – so tell them! A returning visitor might be more interested in seeing products that they viewed last time they were on your site. Try displaying geo specific messages. All of this can be easily tracked to see what is working and what isn’t. This can be invaluable in building a business case for investing more in personalisation.
When you are ready to get a bit more complex you can develop more detailed personas and user journeys which will help you to define a road map of the type of content different visitors want to see and when.
For more information about building personas and a roadmap watch our webinar or feel free to drop us a line here at Quba where we would be happy to discuss your requirements.