Personalise to profit – creating a personal user experience is the key to success for SME websites

Every day, internet users are bombarded with choice. As a consumer, eCommerce sites can often be overwhelming, particularly when many have been generically designed, hoping to target everyone – but catching no-one! To attract relevant eyes to your website, small business owners must invest in personalisation.

Website personalisation will improve visitor experience, boost revenue, strengthen brand loyalty and help smash business goals. Smart online personalisation mimics the experience of in-person customer service, by anticipating users’ needs and offering suggestions and solutions.

Here are our top five strategic ways to personalise your website:

1: Welcome back!

Recommendations based on past behaviour/previous purchase is a common ecommerce personalisation technique. Recommendations often appear as pop-up messages that suggest personalised products by analysing user data, to present suggestions based on browsing behaviour or purchase history.

This means visitors don’t have to work to find what they’re interested in, leading to a more efficient and enjoyable experience. It’s effective at increasing sales and according to WP Engine, 13 per cent of Australians say that heightened personalisation of this kind would help improve their online shopping experience.

2: Suggest something similar

Consumers often shop online with a specific product in mind. To help visitors find this swiftly, businesses should provide the option to view similar items to the product page they are viewing. Similar to recommendations based on past behaviours, this tactic makes it simple for customers to find their purchase. Intuitive product suggestion also allows them to discover and compare similar products leading to increased page views and ultimately, boosted revenue.

3: Ads meant just for you 

As with personalised recommendations, personalised ads can be effective in driving sales as they provide visitors with a swift link to their desired product. Irrelevant ads can be perceived as annoying, so personalised ads need to rely on smart data collection to enable efficient targeting based on visitors’ past purchases, browsing histories, and even location.

4: Mimic in-person customer service

Location-based personalisation will change a visitor’s experience based on where they are, making a site more comfortable and familiar for guests. Sometimes this tool shows guests a certain landing page based on their location, time of day or current weather, making it a valuable tool for promoting seasonal events or region-specific products. For example, depending on the time zone, your home page might read ‘Good morning’ or ‘Good evening’.

This human-like interaction with customers online is on the rise. WP Engine states that 53 per cent of Australians believe the web will become increasingly human in experience, and even exhibit emotions, in the next five years.

5: Cater to your customer’s discovery journey

A referral source is the method by which a visitor arrives at your site. Use this to your advantage and create personalised landing pages for each different source. Customers who follow a product ad or happen upon your site organically will view a differently designed landing than that of someone who arrived via social media channels. Separate landing pages allow you to offer discounts and incentives to different demographics or direct visitors directly to products, saving time and prompting a quick sale.

Having multiple landing pages is essential for growing businesses as they improve site speed and loading time. Personalising your website can boost your visitor return rate, improve user engagement and encourage good word of mouth. Many small businesses need assistance when strategically using their customer data, so employing the expertise of a trusted WordPress host for support can really help provide a more individualised experience.