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Value-Added Personalization & Your Professional Website

A 2006 article in The Economist titled “Post-Modernism is the New Black” discusses the philosophical ramifications of post-modernism in the retail environment. While Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault might not have seen this coming, their post-modern (and often anti-capitalist) philosophies are being applied to the reconstruction rather than deconstruction of the capitalist system.

One of the main reasons the post-modernists (pomos to their friends) were against capitalism wasn’t really about money. It was about not wanting to create a bland, homogenous system where people bought the same things and were discouraged from individuality. Post-modern retail encourages an ever more personalized consumer experience. Today, the internet is all about personalized experiences, from Amazon’s personalized shopping and Netflix’s personalized entertainment to the advanced capabilities of Google and other search engines delivering personalized resources of all kinds. You’d be surprised how easy it is to offer personalized experiences for your customers through a professional custom designed and developed website.

What is Personalization in Marketing & Web Design?

This concept of post-modern, personalized retail experiences started with brick and mortar establishments trying to compete with online retailers, but today, “personalization” is a buzzword in online marketing that is all about creating individual shopping, buying, and selling experiences in an online environment. That includes making a website that speaks to each potential customer in a personal way while still appealing to everyone. It’s actually not as impossible as it sounds. In the next section, we dive into how a custom website can incorporate personalization that speaks directly to individual consumers and turns more clicks into clients.

How Does Personalization Work?

It’s really important that you choose website personalization techniques that are effective – rather than just innovative. It can be tempting to jump right onto the bandwagon of every new personalization tool or technology that comes around, but you may find yourself wasting time and money without adding value. Instead, you should find ways to personalize web experiences that make sense for your clients. Some easy and valuable ways to personalize your web experience for customers include:

  • Frequently Asked Questions – from something as simple as a traditional page that lists answers to these questions to search able databases to chatbots, an FAQ page is great for your customers, and as an added bonus, since many people use questions as search terms – you may see a boost in your search rankings too.
  • Emails/Texts/Social Media Messaging – there is a fine line between reaching out to consumers when they want to hear from you and being a pest. This is where website analytics come in. You should know how your consumers buy in general as well as when specific clients are likely to buy. Then, you should reach out before they would typically come back to your website on their own. This reminds them of and encourages their past behaviors. Don’t forget to take advantage of FOMO (fear of missing out) and offer them a special deal when they visit your website right away.
  • Product Recommendations – it’s easy to see a full range of products when you’re walking through a store or flipping through a catalogue, but when it comes to looking at business website, many consumers aren’t even sure where to look (even if they’ve purchased items from that site before). Instead of hoping your customers will find the next perfect product, tell them about it first. Recommend products via direct communication, throughout the site, by suggesting similar products to previous purchases, and don’t forget those items to consider before checking out.
  • Video Messages – in November, we talked about the value of live streaming for business, and this is another great way to add some personalization to your website. Remember, relationships go two ways. Your customers want to get to know you too, so tell them about yourself, your company, your best employees, and your new products with videos.

Why is Personalization Beneficial?

Fast forward nearly four years after Mobilegeddon in April of 2015, and we’re living in the post-apocalyptic future. Can you even remember the last time you had to pinch and swipe to expand an old fashioned website from your cellphone? I can’t. Use your phone to search for anything right now. Do any of the top links take you to a website that isn’t mobile friendly? Apart from the rare exceptions that make the rule, it’s unlikely that you will find a non-responsive site in your search results. It seems like Google has really delivered on its promise to give higher search rankings to mobile ready sites. With more than 60% of online searches conducted using a smartphone, some researchers debate whether or not Mobilegeddon is an example of the proverbial “chicken” or “egg” conundrum. Did Google’s change to the algorithm make using smartphones for search easier, leading to increased smartphone searches, or did Google accurately predict this trend? We may never know, but in the post-Mobilegeddon world, it may not matter anymore. It’s clear, responsive web design is now an essential part of search optimization strategies.

What Happens to Non-Responsive Designs?

There are many benefits to creating personalized websites, but two of them, brand recognition and old-fashioned service experiences, stand out above the rest.

Brand Recognition

Despite the philosophical encouragement to create personalized retail experiences for the post-modern consumer, many businesses have websites that are developed from a handful of drag and drop templates. The result is these business websites look a lot alike. Not only do potential customers who visit these sites experience an odd sense of déjà vu, but they get you confused with your competition. Custom, personalized websites will distinguish your brand.

Old-Fashioned Service Experiences

Nearly half of consumers expect businesses to know and address them personally. Is this a resurgence of the old fashioned customer-centric sales where you sit with each customer and get to know them one-on-one over years of working together? Kind of. Only, instead of sitting down with each person, you’re using analytics. A well designed and developed website allows you to track customer habits, so you know things they’ll like, when they’ll shop, and how you can help them. Good website analytics allow you to seamlessly create personalized communications, incorporate suggestions into your website, and offer a personalized online experience for a customer that will feel a little like those old fashioned one-on-one sales relationships.

Create Quality, Customer-Focused Personalized Websites with iKonix Studios

At iKonix Studios, our web designers have experience creating visually beautiful websites that make users want to spend time browsing and getting to know you and your business better. Our web development team can help you understand and develop websites that encourage customer interactions. Ready to get started working with our team on your business website? Give us a call, and we’ll be happy to help.