May 28 2020

Personalization Really Works: Letting the Numbers Talk

website personalization dataWebsite personalization is a powerful tool that allows you to customize content and promotions based on user behavior, interests and even geographic location. The goal is to give users a more relevant experience based on their needs, while ultimately enticing conversions. For marketers, is it worth the investment of additional time and resources? Does personalization really work? Here are some numbers and best practices to help guide your approach as you consider personalization for your own site. 

Spoiler Alert: Website Personalization Increases Conversions

ZAG analyzed data for clients who have leveraged website personalization using the Kentico content management system, along with custom analytics tracking through conversions on third-party platforms. The numbers showed an across-the-board spike in conversion rate when comparing personalized to non-personalized content.
 
For one financial institution, online account openings increased from an average of 0.65% to 4.77% after personalization was implemented. For another, homepage banner clicks jumped from 0.38% to 14.78% when content was personalized. A third client saw even greater success when the homepage banner was personalized—clicks soared from 0.73% to 16.44%, representing a 2,000% increase. As evidenced by the data we collected here at ZAG, this tactic really works, especially on the homepage. For this reason, personalizing your homepage is often a good place to start.
 
Personalization gives your business a competitive edge and can benefit your bottom line. Not only do ZAG’s own client statistics demonstrate that it’s a smart tactic, but marketers and companies agree too:

  • 98% of marketers said personalization has benefited their consumer relationships (Evergage)

  • 80% of companies reported an increase in key performance indicators (KPIs) after implementing personalization (Econsultancy)

  • 88% of U.S. marketers saw clear performance improvements due to personalization, with more than half reporting a lift greater than 10% (Instapage)

The bottom line: as expected, website visitors are more likely to interact with content that’s meaningful to them, and this increased relevancy leads to increased action. 

Personalization Can Help You Understand Your Audience

While data shows that personalization can increase conversion rate and engagement, it can also help you understand your audience and their preferences. A smart strategy can determine the success of your personalization plan. Consider the following when developing personas:

  • Identify key audience groups based on pageviews, website traffic and business priorities.

  • Think holistically about the consumer lifecycle, from the top of the funnel to the bottom.

  • Identify key upper-funnel pages that a particular audience segment might visit while researching. You can use these pageviews to help qualify personas.

  • Consider visitors who are ready to convert. Users who have viewed a particular product page, for example, might see a personalized offer the next time they visit your site. This promotion can feature extra perks or a lower rate to entice users to convert. 

Personalization can also help you understand the user journey and how best to support your visitors throughout the consumer lifecycle. The “next best action” approach uses machine learning to identify patterns from consumer data, taking personalization to the next level. You can then customize your user interactions with these patterns in mind. Based on a visitor’s stage in the consumer journey—and what you’ve learned about similar users—you can either promote a product, provide a service or do nothing. This is a strategic decision meant to create the best possible outcome. 

Personalization Matters to Your Website Visitors

Personalization is not only important to your bottom line, it’s also very well received. According to a recent study by Accenture, 91% of customers surveyed said they were more likely to do business with a company that makes personalized recommendations. Seventy-two percent of consumers told SmarterHQ they would only engage with personalized content, while 74% told Instapage they feel frustrated when website content is not personalized. This makes it clear that personalization is important to your audience.
 
Retail giants like Amazon figured this out a long time ago by personalizing their homepages with product suggestions based on each user’s browsing and purchase history. This increases the likelihood that visitors will see something relevant right away. Institutions and other businesses can follow suit by personalizing their homepage banners and promotional spaces. If a user has expressed interest in a particular product, you might personalize your homepage banner to show that user a related offer, rather than the default promotion other visitors may see. Similarly, a visitor who has been researching a different product or service might see that promotion in the banner instead. 

Measuring the Success of Your Personalization Plan

There’s plenty of data to support the positive impact of website personalization, but no data is more powerful than your own. To measure the success of your personalization plan, it’s important to identify KPIs, such as conversion rate and click-through rate, and implement a website analytics strategy to compare the before-and-after numbers. Establish a baseline prior to implementing your personalization plan so you can perform an apples-to-apples comparison once your personalized content is live. This may involve setting up custom events and goals within Google Analytics, as well as cross-domain tracking if conversions take place off your domain. You can also leverage heatmapping tools like Hotjar to see how users are interacting with your page, or perform an A/B test to compare the performance of a personalized page to one with standard content.
 
When planned strategically, personalization can be a powerful tactic to increase your marketing relevance and conversion success. To explore how personalization can benefit your business, contact ZAG Interactive today.

  • Analytics
  • Personalization
  • Website

posted by
Ari Mason
Ari Mason

ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide. See current job openings.
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