Why Website Personalisation is Your Best Friend in a Tough Economy
Your website is one of the first places where customers form impressions about your brand. They expect personalised experiences, and they want it done well.
When the economy shows signs of slowing down, marketing budgets are often the earliest casualties. However, not all marketing investments are created equal, and website personalisation will help you, regardless of the economic climate.
There are several reasons why your business should focus on website personalisation. The first is customers now expect personalised experiences from nearly every brand they engage with. Over the last decade, companies like Amazon, Google, and Netflix have shown how technology and data can create seamless and often delightful customer experiences.
It’s not just that Netflix has thousands of shows and movies to watch. It’s that the streaming service’s homepage is curated and ever-evolving to suit each user’s tastes. That’s website personalisation at its best and something that keeps loyal customers coming back.
According to Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report, 84% of customers say that being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business. In today’s digital-first climate, customers are less forgiving about a disjointed experience or having to make a big effort to find what they want. And since websites have become the de facto digital experience for many businesses, they are among the first places where customers will form impressions about your brand.
Customers are using their high standards for experience to judge whether to do business with you. So personalising that experience should seem like a no-brainer for most organisations, right? Not always.
Here are three more reasons why website personalisation is important in a softer economic climate.
1. Website personalisation can make up for stagnant advertising budgets
For most brands, the biggest percentage of marketing spend is allocated to top-of-the-funnel activities, which centre on boosting brand or product awareness to new customers. This includes advertising or sponsorship campaigns.
These often are the first marketing cuts during slow economic periods.
Many executives believe that if customers aren’t currently in the mindset to spend, it’s better to reduce the outbound marketing used to acquire them until the storm passes. This is an effective cost-saving measure during a downturn, but the cuts reduce the number of prospects seeking out your brand and going to your website.
Since there are fewer visitors to your site, each one increases in value. Simple maths says you need to convert more of these customers to make up for the drop you’re experiencing in overall site visits. Personalisation will help you improve your site’s overall conversion rate and overcome the traffic drop by giving those users more reason to come back.
2. Website personalisation automates a shorter path to conversion
Leaner times result in leaner marketing teams. Companies will ask their marketers to do more with less. Efficiency and streamlining processes are the name of the game.
There’s no better way for marketers to address this new directive than by automating how we engage with every customer. Automating the personalisation of your website is a highly visible way to show your commitment to efficiency. And it’s way better than making frequent updates to pages and design templates.
Automation is a more efficient path to conversion and upsell in a single site visit versus waiting for conversion across several visits or never experiencing it at all.
For example, website personalisation has enabled the retail beauty icon MECCA to extend its signature high-touch experience from store to digital.
The company uses MuleSoft to integrate data from inventory, pricing and product details to provide almost instantaneous updates to the website and app — updates that previously took up to 24 hours. Customers can now have the most current information at their fingertips. MECCA leverages Commerce Cloud to automatically feature personalised product recommendations, while Marketing Cloud uncovers insights into customer behaviour that can make these personalised experiences even more meaningful.
3. Website personalisation helps you build better relationships
When budgets for new customer acquisition are trimmed, there’s more value in deepening relationships with your current customers.
You probably already have good relationships with many of these people. Now you should be doing all you can to extend them. The best way to show your current customers that you’re invested in the relationship is demonstrating your understanding of them. Trust plays a critical role in demonstrating that understanding, with 88% of customers believing that trust becomes more important in times of change. The best way to nurture trust? Treat your customers thoughtfully.
This can be as simple as showing relevant content and offers whenever they arrive on your site. Providing a personalised experience to returning customers is the modern equivalent of saying “welcome back” in a bricks-and-mortar store. This goes a long way in driving up each customer’s total lifetime value.
To go even deeper, ensure that this personalised experience stretches across all customer touchpoints, including service and sales. Sharing this critical customer experience data across your organisation is a bridge to building long-lasting relationships.
Here’s an example: let’s say you’re running a business with 60,000 members who range in age from 18 to 102 — personalisation and relationship-building might seem like an impossible task. But hospitality group Norths Collective has achieved exactly that by using Customer 360 to harness the power of customer data and offer relevant and timely content across every digital touchpoint. Email open rates alone have grown from 18% to 34%. Even better, Interaction Studio has enabled website personalisation that serves up the right content to the right user at the right moment — the events, deals, menus and experiences that matter to each customer.
Keep these website personalisation points as you drive forward in stiff economic headwinds. Your organisation will see fiscal and relationship benefits in the short term and in the years ahead.
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