Personalisation and Conversion Rate Optimisation

Personalisation is what makes visitors to your website tick. It shows you’re paying attention and creates a unique experience for the user. So, how does this tie in to conversion rate optimisation (CRO)?

Well, we have a few ideas…

Personalisation and CRO go hand in hand

CRO is about persuading as many visitors as possible to take the action you want them to. This could be anything from signing up to a newsletter to purchasing your product.

You do this by meeting their specific needs and supporting them through their journey. However, you should be aiming to do this for all your visitors by creating a well-designed site and changing certain features that improve conversion rates.

Personalisation cranks this up a notch. It allows you to tailor your website to a specific audience segment or individual, and gives them a site that always addresses their needs.

It’s all about matching customers with content they'll find appealing. If done correctly, they shouldn’t even notice it – but you certainly will!

By giving visitors exactly what they want, they become much more likely to convert. So, once you start using personalisation techniques, you’re sure to see conversion rates soar.

If you still need convincing, a whopping 73% of customers prefer doing business with brands that use personal information to make their user experience relevant and unique. Plus, as the Conversion Optimisation Report discovered, 32% of businesses reported a boost in conversions when using personalisation techniques.

So, it’s a no-brainer. Start using personalisation as part of your CRO strategy today!

How to use personalisation as part of your CRO strategy

Here are two examples of website personalisation that you probably come across every day, but might not realise.

  1. Your name on a page – Usually as part of the shopping cart, this subconsciously reminds visitors that this part of the site is tailored to them and their interests, engaging them in the experience.
  2. Product recommendations – That wheel of products is quite a complex algorithm for personalisation, suggesting products on previous buyer behaviour – making it relevant to you, the customer.

These are great examples as they prove that personalisation can be as simple or as complex as you like. However, its success depends on the tools and data available to you. You’ll need to have a strong strategy in place for a truly effective CRO/personalisation combo. But don’t worry – we can help you out.

Take a look at our step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Calculate current conversion rates

To make sure that personalisation is having an effect on CRO, you need something to compare it to.

Take a month or two to collate conversion rate data from your site as it stands – Google Analytics is a great tool for this. You can then get going with the personalisation process.

Step 2: Capture useful and relevant data

49% of visitors are comfortable having trusted brands track their data for a personalised shopping experience. So, providing you’re honest about how you’re using the data (i.e. purely to improve user experience), you don’t need to worry too much about capturing it.

First, start by collecting profile data. This includes:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Age
  • Location
  • Interests

You can get most of these details through a simple form for an email signup, or contact us page. This information will allow you to recognise customers as individuals moving through your site (if they’re logged in) and will provide a bank of demographical data for you to examine. This will really help you understand the clients you’re targeting.

Next up, study their patterns of behaviour, and any influencing factors on their journey. Look at past purchase data and observe their route through your site using advanced tracking or user analytics software.

Platforms like Mixpanel, Kissmetrics and Amplitude are great for this as they use heat maps, conversion funnel analysis and other tools to map the customer journey and highlight areas for improvement.

Step 3: Segment your audience

Personalisation is about meeting the needs of specific groups or individuals. So, based on the data you’ve collected, segment your audience into different groups.

This could be based on demographics, interests, where they are in the customer cycle or even intent (determined by real-time data such as search queries and click-throughs).

Segmentation is not as intimate as individual personalisation, but is a great way to build up to it and is much more manageable.

Step 4: Deliver relevant content to your segments

Whether this is through a section of your website (e.g. Recommended content), via email or some other wacky method, you can now start sending relevant content to your visitors.

By providing the information they need, when they need it, you’ll establish your brand as a helpful authority in their area of interest. This will help when it comes to purchase later.

Step 5: Test modifications on different segments

Groups within your audience may respond differently to certain things; one group may love giant pink buttons, others might prefer a more ‘soft-sell’ approach.

It’s your job to work out these preferences for your specific segments, so employ A/B testing techniques to find out which elements affect conversion rates. Don’t be afraid to go big and change the whole layout of the page, but also remember little things like changing one word can make a huge difference.

Step 6: Set up individual personalisation strategies

We've talked a bit about segments, so now it’s time to look at individuals.

It’s almost impossible to make high-level changes (like format, tone or image type) in real time, but there are stacks of things you can do to personalise your online experience on an individual level. Here are some ideas:

  • Name inclusion – we’ve said it before, we’ll say it again. Names are worth including on your site and in your email campaigns.
  • Personalised recommendations35% of Amazon’s revenue comes from their recommendation engine; you could also see a huge boost from a similar feature
  • Personalised advertisements – these can be based on search history, so you can target customers when they’re not on your site
  • Bespoke images and banners – edited according to preference, to help create an interactive experience
  • Pop-ups offering advice – these are a great way to interact directly with the customer and talk about their solutions
  • Screen responsiveness – Tailor your website for each device it might appear on. This may not seem like a big deal, but if you fail to do so it can lead to many visitors switching off.

Remember, there are plenty of tools, plugins and platforms to help personalise your site. Look at what they’re offering and decide if they're worth pursuing. (Hint: unless something is uber-expensive or you don’t understand it, it's probably worth a go!)

Step 7: Keep privacy in mind throughout

You’re probably raring to go right now, but let's rein it in a bit. When using people’s personal information or data collected about them, you need to be careful about how you use it.

An approach that's too much can feel invasive, creepy, and out of the visitor’s hands. 88% of consumers think they should be allowed to control how their personal information is being used by companies, so we suggest giving users several options to choose from.

When adding in personalisation features, put yourself in the visitor’s shoes. If something seems a little too much, rethink your personalisation strategy.

Step 8: Measure your success

Remember that conversion rate data you collected at the beginning? Use the same methods to collect your current conversion rate data and see the effect that personalisation has had on your CRO strategy.

AI will improve personalisation in the future

Right now, most aspects of personalisation are done manually, or through automated software.

However, in the not-too-distant future, AI platforms will use machine learning to make changes to your website in real time.

Each website will be specifically tailored to individuals based on their interactions, and the whole site will update constantly according to general insights on user behaviour.

This will require some monitoring, as AIs won’t understand the concept of privacy or ‘too much personalisation’, but it will rapidly improve and will accelerate the personalisation process.

These highly-personalised websites will create higher conversion rates and increase revenue for companies using AI platforms.

We're still a little way off this, but start filling your CRO strategy with personalisation techniques and you’ll be ready when AI takes things to the next level.