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Website Personalization is the process of creating customized experiences for visitors to a website. Rather than providing a single, broad experience, website personalization allows companies to present visitors with unique experiences tailored to their needs and desires.
Personalization is by no means a new concept. Waiters will often greet repeat customers and refer to them by name, even knowing what their “usual order” is. Shopkeepers can use visual cues to provide personalized experiences—an exhausted looking couple with three children probably wants to get what they came for and be on their way, while a single person slowly browsing the aisles might be interested in some chit-chat. The point is, in the offline world, personalization is so common, it can go unnoticed.
Website personalization attempts to use data to take that same level of one-on-one attentiveness and translate it into the digital world:
Consumers expectations have shifted to the point that people expect a personal digital experience that mirrors the typical level of personalization they receive offline. Many have grown accustomed to personalized experiences from their news feed, social network, and shopping recommendations. In fact, expectations have risen so high that companies who want to improve their products are changing their strategy to address this need directly. Many business and technology leaders name personalization as a top commerce technology investment priority.
For many industries — especially those that have existed for far longer offline than online — translating personalization to the digital world is challenging. It’s understandable that many retail, travel and media companies have struggled to bring the same level of personalization present in their in-person experience to their offline marketing. Some of the typical challenges include:
Advances in technology can directly resolve many of the above challenges. To be truly effective, website personalization requires several strategies seamlessly working together: