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Personalisation, what is it really?

by Sinéad Hammond
Shoppers crave brands which offer the bespoke touch, and will happily shop elsewhere if they’re not getting the experience they desire. You’ll have heard the buzzword thrown around the arena, but when you dig into the true possibilities of personalisation, there is a lot more to it than using just someone’s first name. We're exploring exactly what personalisation really means in 2022, and how you can make the most out of this increasingly crucial tactic.
Remember the first mass email you ever received with your name in the subject line?

For the first time in a while, you felt like you mattered in the brand more than a number on some online spreadsheet, and in fact were actually valued by the brand (and got you thinking, how did they even do that?!)

Personalisation has moved on a lot from there, with the ability to use an immense array of data to determine the type of experience your customers want. It’s justifiably been a hot topic in digital marketing for the better part of a decade, and the ROI tells only part of the story.

Shoppers crave brands which offer the bespoke touch, and will happily shop elsewhere if they’re not getting the experience they desire. According to Segment 71% of consumers feel frustrated when a shopping experience is impersonal. Where brand loyalty is concerned, there is a direct correlation with customer satisfaction and the increased, correct use of personalisation.

But what is personalisation, really?

You’ll have heard the buzzword thrown around the arena, but when you dig into the true possibilities of personalisation, there is a lot more to it than using just someone’s first name.

Personsaliation spans across the full buyer journey, and each visit or email open, for example, is only a small part of a long digital experience with your brand. The aim is to strengthen the relationship between each individual customer and your brand on scale. The challenge is for your customers to avoid feeling “watched”, so approaching it correctly is key.

Types of personalisation

There are three different types of Personalisation that you should consider for your website:

Explicit: Explicit Personalisation is when you personalise an experience based on an explicit action that a visitor has made to identify themselves. This could be, for example, if they have filled out a contact form explicitly stating their location, you can personalise results based on this location.

Implicit: Implicit personalisation is when you personalise an experience based on what you can imply from the customer. These are assumptions based on their behaviour, for example, if they look at a blog article about ‘Careers in Engineering’, you can assume that they are a job seeker looking for a career in Engineering, and promote related jobs to them.

Zero Click: Zero Click personalisation is when you personalise the experience as soon as a visitor enters your website, without any clicks, based on information you know about them from their traffic channel, landing page, GeoIP, etc. This could be, for example, that if a visitor lands on your page after clicking through a Google Adwords campaign on the search keyword ‘jobs in Hamburg’, you can immediately begin showing them job vacancies currently available in Hamburg.

Machines that humanise your brand

Amidst the fears of 5G and machines taking over the world, it’s somewhat ironic that the more data you gather about your clients, the easier it is to create a more human, tailored experience on scale. Rather than treating them as just another visitor, you’re able to serve your customers with content which they actually care about and which speaks to them directly.

Even some of the most subtle changes can boost their trust. You may tweak your language to a more localised dialect to speak to specific regions, or perhaps change your imagery to represent a particular age demographic.

But we’re just getting started, and contemporary personalisation goes even further than that. Digging into product preferences, buying habits and search behaviour can give you a much deeper understanding of what your customers really need, so that you can give them the relevant product and experience they expect.

After implementing personalisation into their digital platforms, we’ve actively seen our client’s enjoy increased order values alongside more repeat custom. According to Invesp, 56% of online shoppers are more likely to return to a site that recommends products.

Providing a truly omni-channel experience

Shopping with a brand doesn’t just mean visiting their website. Your customer may spend 30 minutes browsing on their mobile, visit the store on their way home from work, and then receive an ad on their desktop a week later.

Across all of these touchpoints, you should be consistently nurturing this relationship and representing your brand regardless of the context.

But it’s not simply about making a good impression. The data collected is all relevant to your client’s journey and allows you to recognise the customer wherever they interact with your brand, giving them the customised experience they deserve whilst giving them incentive to purchase - particularly as you can ensure everything they’re presented is exactly what they’re looking for.

Ready to implement?

We’re running a workshop on How to use personalisation in commerce to skyrocket conversions on Jan 26th to help you dive further into personalisation.

This online webinar will be run by James Derry, CFO at Nemetos, with guests from Uniform and Coveo.

They’ll be exploring solutions, ideas and ways in which you can apply personalisation to your digital experience.

Places are limited, so make sure you save your spot here.