By Mark Simpson, Special to the eTail Blog
As a speaker and attendee at many marketing and ecommerce conferences, one thing I learned is that many companies are still searching for the “secret sauce” for providing optimized and tailored customer experiences online, and off, to maintain a competitive edge. And, according to feedback we’ve received from many CMOs and ecommerce VP’s, some brands are beginning to achieve this through personalization.
What does “personalization” really mean? As trendy catchwords go, “personalization” has become a go-to term for websites and online marketers, laden with all the possibilities of connecting with individual consumers and a departure from the limitations of one-size-fits-all.
But dig deeper, and you’ll find that “personalization” is, at the moment, surrounded by confusion. If I asked 10 marketers what personalization represents to them, I would most likely get at least five different responses. Even the experts don’t give us a whole lot of direction on personalization. According to Forrester, web personalization is, “creating experiences on websites or through interactive media that are unique to individuals or segments of consumers.”
Just about as vague as every other definition.
So let’s set the record straight: personalization is not just product recommendations (bought this, viewed that). It’s providing each individual that crosses your website with a uniquely tailored experience – built for them, by them, and presented at the exact right time. Because in reality, every specific piece of information you can gain about your customer – search information, purchases, click behavior, bounce rates, point of bounce, shopping cart activities, the list goes on – can be used to create a personalized experience. And essentially, your approach to personalization can be as simple (using one or two collected insights) or complex (a detailed formula based on multiple insights) as you want it to be.
Regardless, any way you choose to attack personalization, the solutions available today are much more sophisticated than ever before. Not only are they automated to provide insight at the individual visitor level for marketing departments, but it can also integrate online with POS and CRM systems to truly boost the multichannel experience. If you’re looking to not only increase cross-sell, up-sell and average order revenues, but be a true ecommerce pioneer, there is no better place to start than predictive personalization.
With all this said, we present the following eBook: This Time It’s Personal: An Introduction to Creating a Personalized Website Experience for Every Visitor, to help marketers understand its power, and how to get started applying this power to their business. We hope you enjoy.
Mark Simpson is the Founder and President of Maxymiser Inc., a global, multivariate testing and behavioral targeting solution known for its Customer Experience Optimization platform, among other solutions.