4 compelling reasons to personalise your website (even if you’re not in e-commerce)

A cheerful woman wearing a scarf and coat is sitting outside. In front of her is an open laptop. She is looking surprised because of how good the personalised website experience is.

We recently took a look at website personalisation and importantly, what it takes to operationalise it. But you may still be wondering “how do we forearm ourselves and maximise our digital impact in an uncertain fiscal era?”

The simple answer is through website personalisation. After all, your competitors are already personalising their websites. You don’t want to risk being left behind. But you’ll likely need to be specific if you’re going to sell this to your stakeholders.

Efficient delivery of information/services with audience segmentation

Let’s start with the no-brainer. Personalisation of information based on user location, device type, or even on-page search history can be a powerful tool. The faster you can get the right information or service into your users’ hands, the better your rapport with them will be. Cognitive bias research shows that ‘Reciprocity’ (i.e., When people feel as though kindness and positivity are mutual) builds trust and confidence. With small but useful details about your user, you can put in place thoughtful personalisations that not only instil confidence but also reinforce you as the authority in your field. So the next time they need something, they’ll come straight to you because they trust you and in that interaction, they’re reciprocating rapport.

Use cases for using location-based website personalisation

Government: Elisa has tested positive on a RAT for COVID-19. She needs to confirm with a PCR test, so she searches ‘covid testing’ on the Department of Health and Aged Care’s website. A banner is automatically displayed with a list of testing centres near her current location.

Online service: Sarah wakes up in the morning and habitually checks her phone to find out the weather forecast for the day. Based on her location, a weather warning is displayed prominently at the top of her screen.

B2B: A local business is looking to engage someone to build a Drupal website. They’ve clicked on the Google ad at the top of the search results and are directed to a company landing page. Based on the ad click and the location of the user, a chatbot pops up with an appropriate message “Hi, are you looking for a Drupal team in Sydney?”

Better user experience through website personalisation

You may have competitors who have teams of marketers, user journey and experience designers, and visual artists. If you want to make an impact – even on a budget – anticipating a user’s needs and serving them an appropriate experience will cement you as their go-to the next time they’re looking for a service or product you offer.

We delved into some website personalisation statistics in our recent webinar (which you can watch on demand if you missed it). We found that 71% of customers say they expect companies to deliver personalised experiences. This means that for the most part, people see the value in time saved with a targeted user experience. And the best part is, your everyday user doesn’t even realise when they’re enjoying a good website experience – it happens seamlessly. But they certainly do take note when they can’t get what they need quickly and easily.

Use cases for anticipating customer needs through content personalisation

Government: Henry fills in a form to register his new startup company on the government’s business information website. Since the website knows that he’s involved in a startup, various pages on the website change to highlight the grants, programs, events, and advice related to startups. His online experience is a memorable one, meaning he is more likely to find information via the official government website.

B2B: An airline booking website understands from previous logged-in transactions that your company has offices in Sydney and Melbourne. When someone browses the site from the company’s IP address, discounted flights between Sydney and Melbourne automatically display as the first options.   

Reduced call centre enquiries

Profitability for any business relies heavily on how we use our resources. Staffed call centres certainly have their place. But reducing the call load of these services goes a long way in savings, not to mention staff burnout and consequently, staff churn.

Done thoughtfully, website personalisation can take the burden away from staff by anticipating what a user needs when they click the ‘Contact us’ tab on your website. Based on their location or what they’ve been browsing, pop-up chatbots, and targeted content including banners, can answer a question before they pick up the phone. This means that your call centres will be able to focus on the curlier questions

Use cases for reducing contact centre enquiries

Utilities: Joel has received a winter power bill for which he needs to enter into a payment plan. He hits the energy website and based on his location, the proximity to the date of his bill, and the increase in power costs, the provider has anticipated that many people will be looking for a way to ease the pain of the costly bill. They have already set up a banner displaying the text “need help with your bill? Apply for a payment plan or an extension online”.

Increased conversion rates

We all need a little nudge every now and then. And nudging is the real essence of personalisation. Positively reinforcing a user’s preferences by reminding them of an abandoned cart, or prompting them to click on ‘show me more like this’, pushes them a little closer to that conversion goal.

For non-e-commerce sites, a conversion looks a little different. It could be the prompt that asks a user to subscribe to your newsletter. Or share on social what they see if they like it. Or download that webinar you toiled over. Whatever the case, a conversion shows that your user trusts you, and wants to engage with you further.

Use cases for increasing conversions through website personalisation

Government: Jeremy uses a government website calculator to estimate his benefit and learns that he is not entitled to one. However, based on the information input, the website prompts Jeremy to find out if another of the agency’s calculators could help him receive a payment or refund.

B2B: Irene, the office admin, always orders stationery supplies on the 1st of the month. This month, she was partway through the online order with her regular supply website, when she becomes distracted with another urgent task. That afternoon, she receives an email to notify her that she has items in her cart that have not been finalised, as well as a list of “Did you forget?” items, based on her purchase history.

Start small, learn fast

Think you don’t have competitors using personalisation because you’re not e-commerce? Think again.

E-commerce certainly leads the way with personalisation. From email nurture streams to sophisticated recommendation algorithms, the advanced online shopping experience sets the benchmark for personalisation high. Because of this, many government organisations or B2B companies believe that website and content personalisation only works when there is a dollar-value transaction to be made. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

While e-commerce sites create an enviable experience, don’t be blindsided into thinking that the non-financial transactions people have with your website can’t make, or lose you money, albeit indirectly.

SitBack’s Start small, learn fast’ method of personalisation encourages you not to overthink personalisations. It’s overwhelming and can be counterproductive. A scattering of well-thought-through interactions that are easily monitored, managed, and even changed can make an enormous difference to the user experience you dish up to your customers. The results? Repeat business, loyalty and valuable word-of-mouth recommendations.

For more information on website personalisation, check out the other articles in our series: