Zoopla refines personalization strategy to enhance the homebuyer’s experience
At a glance
Delivering frictionless, tailored digital experiences to site visitors
Enabling quick and easy access to data insights for digital teams
Increasing efficiency and freeing up teams for more strategic activities
Bringing home ownership into reach
Founded in 2008, Zoopla Property Group is the owner of leading British property website Zoopla.co.uk.
The company's mission is to help people find their perfect home, and it offers a range of services to do just that: from finding properties for sale or rent to providing financial advice and property guides. On its website, Zoopla has a wide range of property listings, including newly built homes, commercial properties and overseas properties.
As a business focused on providing personalized services through digital media to assist in property searches, it's no surprise then that personalization is a key focus for Zoopla in its digital experience strategy.
Today’s consumers demand personalized brand experiences
When it comes to personalization, Zoopla knew that there was no one-size-fits-all solution. Every customer is different, and they need to be treated as such if they are going to stick around. “Consumers expect to be recognized across devices, whether that’s on the web or apps,” said Veronica Saha, Head of Analytics at Zoopla.
“They also expect to be able to interact 24/7, whenever it best suits them. Brands that are already doing this well have raised the level of expectation among consumers."
Personalization, according to Veronica, is all about enhancing user experiences and creating a better customer experience. This, then, has an immediate impact on retention and acquisition costs. “If you have a good retention rate, then you don’t have to work as hard to acquire customers over and over again,” she said.
“Positive brand interactions create a flywheel—when you give your customers a great experience, they’ll come back for more and you’ll get to understand them better. This customer data then allows you to build more relevant experiences.”
Unlocking customer insights with a smarter, integrated tech stack
Having been with Zoopla for over six years, Veronica has seen the company develop and is now focused on the next phase of its analytics evolution. After spending the last several years constructing Zoopla's analytics infrastructure, her team was now able to utilize data for personalization.
“To do this, we’ve implemented platforms like and Contentsquare,” shared Veronica. “Both platforms allow us to personalize our digital journey, making the experience intuitive, simple and clear so users can move through our portal seamlessly.”
With seamless integration between and Contentsquare, digital teams across Zoopla were able to easily uncover unique customer insights and then experiment with different personalization strategies to find the one that works best for its customers. “The integration gives everyone across our digital teams access to quick insights,” Veronica added.
Besides providing quick access to insights, the integration allowed analysts, product owners and designers at Zoopla to be more efficient. “Without a complicated data process, our people can focus on the job they need to get done, freeing up time for brainstorming and creating hypotheses,” explained Veronica.
A more refined approach to personalization
Zoopla built its personalization strategy based on four main pillars: data, journey mapping, experimentation and automation.
Technology was the foundation of each pillar, enabling her team to build a solid groundwork for personalization and smoothly implement its strategy. “Our analytics stack is really important because it helps us segment and personalize the entire journey across devices and platforms,” shared Veronica.
Pillar 1: Data
The first step for Zoopla was to provide clarity on how they gather and use consumer information. “In a cookieless world, first-party data is becoming more and more important,” explained Veronica. “So we’re focused on building trust and being transparent about how that data is used.”
Pillar 2: Journey Mapping
Veronica knew that it could be difficult to personalize every touchpoint in the customer journey. “As much as we want to, we can’t tailor every single interaction on the website,” she explained.
“So we try to be extremely deliberate when applying personalization—only using it where it makes sense for the customer, to enhance their experience and strengthen their relationship with Zoopla.”
Her team achieved this with journey mapping, which enabled them to understand where to focus its personalization efforts, what the best action for the customer is, and how to align its product roadmaps with what its customers truly want and need.
By leveraging segments within Contentsquare’s Customer Journey Analysis module to facilitate this process, the team was able to easily find out where buyers are in their journey—whether someone is just browsing or ready to apply for a mortgage—which gave them a comprehensive, single view of the customer.
Pillar 3: Experimentation
At Zoopla, testing is at the heart of personalization. Veronica and her team have established a culture of experimentation and use a test-and-learn method to continuously deliver the best possible digital experience for users.
All this was made possible with the repository of user data from its improved analytics stack, which helped the team gain a deeper understanding of its customers’ digital journeys and usage across devices. As a result, they could create more impactful hypotheses to guide its experimentation and optimization efforts on Optimizely.
“Experimentation helps us improve both our products and services,” said Veronica. “Hypothesis testing has been built into our product development and we’re able to test at a user level and audience level.”
Pillar 4: Automated interactions
The fourth and final step was automation. To bring its strategy to fruition, it was necessary to connect Zoopla's portal to its other platforms, such as email.
“The three other pillars wouldn’t deliver value without automated workflows, like APIs where you take all this customer intelligence and deploy it to your digital channels,” said Veronica.
Ambitious plans for future growth
For Veronica, while this digital initiative has been a huge success, upgrading Zoopla’s analytics capabilities was just the start of its personalization adventure. “It’s one thing to run a small experiment or introduce personalization, but we need to learn how to use data in better ways, like with machine learning,” she said.
“Now that we have our technical set-up in place, we’re focused on analyzing, iterating and testing—because like with anything, it’s unlikely you’ll get it right the first time around. For our personalization strategy to be truly successful, we need to go back and continuously test.”
The next stage for Zoopla also involves extending personalization and experimentation to all of its digital platforms. “We’re looking to scale personalization so that we could, for example, take proprietary information such as postcode data to make the user journey more intuitive.”
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