Customer personalisation header

Customer Personalisation - customised website experiences using content platforms

  • 7 mins read
Rich Sage
by Rich Sage
Technical Lead

Published on Wednesday 7th August 2019

Customers are more technically-advanced than ever before, and have increasingly high expectations around personalised customer experiences & service delivery. This is partly due to the leading technology and design-led brands that have been disrupting several sectors - Amazon, Netflix, Uber, Tesla and Airbnb to name a few. Today’s consumers expect brands to know who they are and how they have interacted with them. Customer experience is a key competitive differentiator.

Thankfully, advances in technology can help you build intelligent personalised experiences for your customers and enhance their online journey. Digital experience platforms can help companies create compelling experiences. Companies that can take the lead to deliver high-quality contextualised interactions are poised to gain a big advantage. Personalisation is key to delivering exceptional digital customer experiences. In this article, we’ll be exploring how both enterprise brands and SMB’s can deliver personalisation. 

How can you recognise anonymous customers and make them feel welcome and unique when they visit your site?

Personalisation delivered correctly will help every customer have an easier and more delightful experience on their journey through your website and in other channels. In turn, this will help to drive engagement, conversion and loyalty. Making customers feel welcome and unique can lead to an improved digital experience, but what if the customer is anonymous? 

Most organisations may not hold website visitors name or email address, but many technology platforms allow you to personalise digital experiences for anonymous visitors. You can create a profile for visitors and begin to collect information such as referral site, geographic location, contextual and content preferences which can begin to give you an insight into your customers’ interests and intent. Even without a name and email address you can start to customise the content delivered. You can segment your audiences using real-time data to deliver preferred content and experiences at the right time and place. 

Customer personalisation- Spotify & Uber
Spotify suggests content to users based off of their previous listening activity. Uber welcomes the user directly when they open the app e.g "Hello, Lauren" and lists all of the users recent destinations to make for an easy customer experience.

How to get to know your customers online?

To personalise in a relevant way, you do need to understand the context of how customers are buying your products and how this fits with both your customers and their stage in their journey. It’s useful to consider a customer journey mapping exercise. Personalisation doesn’t have to be visible to the customer - it can feel like a natural, effortless and seamless experience for them. 

You can start to build valuable data to help you personalise content to your customers interests.  That can include information like who they are, what they want, their interests/likes, location, past behaviour and purchase history, preferred content, alongside context. If you have your customers name and email address you can join this data together in a single customer profile. Ideally, personalisation will be an automated process that provides users with an experience that really resonates with them, so you can create experiences that are more relevant and engaging over time. Data is only useful if you can interpret it well and spend time understanding the customer need behind it.

In today’s always-connected omnichannel environment - ‘real-time’ context is key. Understanding the ‘in-the-moment’ context for customers is vital to help you take the appropriate relevant action. 

Which brands are delivering excellent personalised experiences?

Brands across the globe are delivering excellent personalised experiences. Brands like Nike, Spotify, Sephora, Walmart, eBay, Net-a-Porter, Urban Outfitters, easyjet are all making personalisation work for them. A steady delivery of personalised experiences can generate immediate business results. Segment’s State of Personalisation report found that 44% of consumers say they will likely become repeat buyers after a personalised shopping experience.

One brand that is really demonstrating how to personalise customer journeys is The Body Shop. They have recently made several improvements to the customer experience by enhancing personalisation. They offer recommendations for a customers specific skin type and tone, and they make product recommendations based on preferences. They have also started to provide localised editorial content and attribute-based product recommendations. The Body Shop rewards programme includes personalised offers birthday offers, discounts and member only events in addition to points for purchases that work across channels. 

The team at famous fast-food chain Wendy’s had been delivering some excellent social media campaigns. They are famous for their ‘twitter roasts” where they call out other fast food chains e.g.

Wendy's twitter roast

They felt their website experience didn’t match their social and restaurant experiences and wanted to change this. They delivered a new customised experience with Drupal and Acquia Lift in just 88 days and within 30 days they had delivered personalised content to millions of visitors. Wendy’s build their segments based on actual user behaviour using menu preferences and the products their customers would like. They also changed offering based on the weather. Within the first 18 months they saw a $35million improvement in system sales. 

Why invest in personalisation?

It’s clear that personalisation can help enhance relationships with customers and improve the relevancy of the content offers to visitors. A well executed personalisation plan can improve customer satisfaction levels, conversion rates, average order value and extend customer lifetime value. A study conducted by Forrester Research and commissioned by Adobe found that experience-led businesses have 1.6 x higher brand awareness, 1.5 x higher employee satisfaction, 1.9 x higher average order value, 1.7x higher customer retention and 1.6x higher customer satisfaction rates and 1.9 x higher return on spend.

Customer personalisation - Netflix
Netflix recommends content to the user based off of their previous watching activity.

How do you connect different legacy systems?

According to Gartner - a digital experience platform (DXP) “is an integrated set of core technologies that support the management, delivery and optimisation of contextualised digital experiences.” DXP platforms often fit into a complex and interconnected technology landscape. There are several large players in the market that are offering digital experience platforms including Oracle, Sitecore, Adobe, Acquia, Microsoft, Salesforce, and more. Gartner produce a Magic Quadrant report quarterly which evaluates each of the leading platforms. Many can integrate with existing solutions and legacy systems.

What’s next?

It’s clear that brands that deliver personalisation well, are keeping their customers engaged and are driving loyalty to their brand. In turn, this is driving them to meet or exceed their business goals. In today’s environment, customers are learning to expect a personalised level of service and it’s important for brands to deliver this to remain competitive.

However, personalisation is not easy and can be challenging to implement. It requires sophisticated segmentation strategies, the right content platforms, a true understanding of customer context and what might be relevant to customers at the right point in time. If you’re thinking of implementing a new personalisation programme, our team at Graphite would love to help. Our technology team can work alongside your team to streamline the technology solutions that deliver your customer experiences and advise on technical solutions to help you to deliver content platforms at scale to deliver personalisation. Working alongside our design team, we can help you to create exceptional customer experiences. We can help with CX Design, user research, customer journey mapping, and more. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch.

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