Over the past couple of years, familiar consumer websites such as Amazon have led the way in terms of personalising user journeys, delivering products tailored to users buying trends.

This is evident from the images below when landing onto Amazon within an incognito window, presented with a range of products which aren’t tailored:

Amazon Screenshot

However, when signed into Amazon, there are a whole range of products specific to the user’s previous buyer behaviour:

Amazon personalization

More about how Amazon deliver their personalised shopping experience can be viewed here. Other e-commerce organisations have now started to follow Amazon’s example, by tracking the buyer behaviour of users across their sites to deliver related products, and (offpage) retargeting customers back to their site through display ads.

Transferring principles of personalisation to service led organisations

With an abundance of new tools continually flowing through into digital, personalisation can now be achieved more easily. Personalisation links nicely into the conversion rate optimisation (CRO) process, by identifying areas of the website not performing through traditional analytics, then using customer experience analytics tools to identify what is and isn’t working for users when navigating through sites.

Where e-commerce stores may look at rotating tangible products based on popularity that lead to busier baskets and more checkouts, service led organisations often need to think harder about less tangible elements and the psychology behind whether the content being delivered matches user intent.

How does personalization sit within CRO?

Maybe a navigation menu needs improving or maybe the content isn’t succeeding to define an organisations proposition. Theories or hypothesis need to be formulated then justified through the process of gathering insight. Most CRO campaigns start with a discovery phase, identifying who is using the website and how they are behaving. User characteristics can typically be identified through looking at personas, usually found from a range of techniques; from conducting competitor research, user interviews, testing or focus groups. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools may also support with the identification of customers, however it is always advisable to look at appropriate tools to establish how users are engaging with content across websites. Our agency uses Decibel Insight to identify customer experiences, utilising heatmaps, visitor replays and funnels to support this process.

Below is a snapshot of a completed visitor replay. This replay showed us where the user entered the site and the content that influenced them to convert. Collecting data such as this over a lengthy period of time helps us to identify how users behave and the most popular pathways that typically lead to conversions.

visitor-replay1

The value of journey maps and building funnels

Journey maps can help to identify how various personas flow through websites. If there have been issues observed across websites through traditional analytics, journey maps can help to show various pathways users have taken to access and engage with content or to convert through forms.

Funnels are generally created when insight is gained into how users are acting and which journeys they take. When pathways are identified, funnels can be established to help organisations understand if there are any areas of the site which obstruct a user converting.

Much more is required beyond building journey maps and funnels. A/B or user testing is often required after digging for insights, trialling the findings to try and establish a winning formula before being launched across a live website.

Conclusion

Website personalisation should be something all organisations should strive for. The process makes perfect sense from a user experience (UX) and CRO perspective, allowing for user experiences to be simplified and conversions to be improved through streamlining website content for users’ requirements.

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