What is personalization and why does it matter?

Understanding why modern B2B customers demand a personalized online experience
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Personalization in practice

Personalization is the process of providing customers with content that is tailored to their behavior, preferences, needs, desires, and search-related history. In a business context, the most common application is product recommendations. However, it's also regularly utilized to improve email marketing and online advertising, as well as to customize web content. 

While personalization on an individual level is possible, it's not the most profitable and effective means of targeting customers. Often, businesses break up their customer base into groups that share specific characteristics or behaviors. For instance, customers could be connected by a shared geographic location or an interest in a particular product group. They could also be linked because they both follow the same profile on Instagram or because they're both engineers. 

Targeting groups in this manner allows you to reach many people with impactful content that’s more likely to influence their purchasing decisions and generate greater revenue for your business. 

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Why does personalization matter? 

In increasingly digitalized marketplaces, personalization matters for several reasons. They include: 

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Personalization works 

First and foremost, personalization matters because personalization works. Human beings are largely predictable - they fall into regular habits, react in the same way to certain stimuli, and share a significant number of common behaviors.  

It takes only a small amount of data to learn a lot about a customer and their needs and desires. By adapting your service to meet these needs and desires, you’re more likely to make a sale, encourage further interaction or begin developing a commercial relationship. 

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It streamlines the customer experience 

Personalization makes it easier for customers to navigate your digital resources and find the information they're looking for. Customers typically visit your site with a particular purpose in mind. Whether they complete their intended task depends on how quickly and efficiently they find the relevant resources.  

Personalization makes relevant content more visible and de-emphasizes content that is unlikely to interest the customer. In doing so, it makes it easier to navigate your digital channels and streamlines the customer experience. 

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Customers demand personalization 

In the past, personalization was a pleasant bonus - an aspect of a business’s service that you appreciated but didn’t necessarily expect. Today, that’s no longer the case.  

Customers demand a personalized customer experience and will quickly reject those companies that don't offer it. Why? Because there are now plenty of companies that do provide personalized service. Analyst research suggests that 89% of businesses with a digital presence are investing in personalization.1 In other words, personalization is no longer exceptional service; it's expected. 

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It mitigates risk by making decisions more evidence-based 

Making good decisions means basing your choices on the best available data. The days of the hunch are long gone, and analytics now rule. Personalization is concerned with treating customers differently based upon the information you have concerning their personal preferences and behaviors. 

In this sense, personalization minimizes risk by using in-depth data to influence key decision-making processes within your business. 

What are the benefits of personalization? 

Having looked at why personalization matters, it’s now time to analyze the concrete benefits associated with more personalized customer journeys. 

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Increases revenue 

Customized product recommendations, relevant upselling links, and personalized content lead to increased sales and revenue growth. Studies show that 80% of companies report an uplift in sales after implementing personalization technologies and techniques.

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Drives greater engagement 

Personalization drives traffic and encourages users to return and use your website again. The opposite is also true. In the B2C market, 63% of consumers would stop buying from brands that offer a poorly personalized experience.

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Generates valuable customer insights 

Understanding your clients is key to providing them with a seamless customer experience. It enables you to refine your products and services, hone future content for maximum impact and identify issues with the customer journey. 

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Enhances your customer service provision 

Personalization can play a significant role in providing effective customer service. Self-serve technologies often rely on CRM data to provide answers to customer inquiries. By analyzing recent purchases and behavior, these tools can accurately guide users towards relevant resources or provide them with an answer to their inquiry. 

How can I implement greater personalization in my business? 

If you’re looking for greater personalization in your digital services, begin with the following three steps: 

Focus on your information architecture 

One of the most popular and easy-to-achieve forms of personalization is ‘More Like This’ recommendations. However, linking similar or related products depends on you having well-defined products and an intelligent information architecture.  

Accurate product categories and subcategories ensure you can order your products in a meaningful and structured way, so your product recommendations are more likely to result in successful sales. This means focusing on your information architecture is a great place to start when first implementing personalization tools and techniques. 

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Understand what personalization can do for you 

As your business' digital transformation gathers pace, there are many personalization techniques to explore and apply to your operations. Historically, two main techniques have dominated - implicit and explicit personalization. 

Implicit personalization involves customizing content based on a customer’s previous behavior. You present them with product x because of behavior y. This technique typically involves tracking specific user behaviors, such as the websites visited, products viewed, links clicked, and terms searched. As you develop a more complete picture of your customer, your ability to suggest appropriate product recommendations improves. 

Explicit personalization is a technique in which the user informs a business of their preferences. This often happens with email newsletters, when users are presented with a checklist of subject areas to choose from. Their choices will optimize the content they receive in subsequent newsletters. 

However, there’s now considerable crossover between implicit and explicit techniques. This growing grey area can make comprehending personalization a complicated task. Rather than focusing on techniques, it may be more useful to consider the specific ways your business can benefit from personalization. 

Use dedicated personalization technology 

If you're genuinely interested in greater personalization, look no further than Ibexa Personalization which is a module of Ibexa Digital Experience Platform (DXP) and is an add-on to Ibexa Content, Ibexa Experience and Ibexa Commerce.  

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Why Ibexa is your ideal choice

Ibexa is ideal if you want to begin transforming your business but don't want to commit to a large initial expenditure. Based on a modular design, Ibexa DXP ensures that you can add new capabilities when you need to. This also implies that you can integrate Ibexa ContentIbexa Experience and Ibexa Commerce with your existing systems and harness the advantages of having an interconnected digital ecosystem. 

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