Personalization, when executed the right way, provides a highly relevant and meaningful experience not only to a general target audience, but to individual users.
To ensure success and scalability with website personalization, companies must take the time to identify how, and even how much, to personalize the user’s experience.
1. DETERMINE WHETHER YOUR USERS WOULD BENEFIT FROM A PERSONALIZED EXPERIENCE
It might seem obvious, but before anything else, determine if personalization is worth pursuing. Due to the effort and financial investment required to implement and maintain a personalization strategy successfully, it is important to identify whether your users will benefit from a personalized experience.
Because let’s face it—personalization for personalization’s sake is expensive.
Here are some scenarios when personalization could pay off:
2. TAKE THE TIME TO CREATE A PERSONALIZATION STRATEGY
Personalization is all about targeting your audience—sometimes down to the specific user—so it’s important to understand who they are and how you should target them with personalized content. This is why having a personalization strategy is valuable; it takes your personas and outlines unique paths and content needs at various stages of the user’s journey. A personalization strategy serves as the blueprint on how to implement and execute personalized content throughout the website.
3. DESIGN FOR PERSONALIZED CONTENT
Design your website in a way that creates opportunities for personalization and is flexible enough to adapt for varying content. Some content may change in length or size (e.g. copy, form fields, calls to action, etc.) or possibly not show at all. The good news is that with responsive design as the standard, designers are already familiar with designing in a modular and flexible format to accommodate different browser sizes and devices. This way you can focus less on designing pixel perfect pages and layouts, and instead on designing flexible systems.
4. BUILD ON A ROBUST TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM THAT ALLOWS FOR EASY SCALABILITY
During the build phase, keep flexibility, scalability, and tracking in mind. Setting up your framework correctly in the beginning will facilitate future tweaks and enhancements. The beauty of Web Content Management (WCM) platforms like Adobe and Sitecore lies in allowing marketers and content owners to easily make changes based on performance and analytics.
5. TAKE IT SLOW AND TEST CONTINUALLY TO AVOID OVER-PERSONALIZATION
When implementing personalization, make sure to start small and refer to the strategy to identify the best initial opportunities. Then allow enough time to gain valuable insights from data before making any significant changes or additions.
There’s an optimal balance to achieve; personalization done right will be perceived as subtle and helpful rather than pushy and assumptive. Devoting adequate time and resources will help ensure an improved user experience and return on investment.