What is Real-Time Website Personalization and How Does it Work

What is Real-Time Website Personalization and How Does it Work

More and more ecommerce websites are using real-time personalization to provide a tailored customer experience. Not only does personalized content lead to higher revenue, but it also leads to happier customers by creating a convenient user experience.

Instead of your customers needing to search through your entire site to find the content or products they’re interested in, you can deliver personalized experiences right to them.

In this article, we’ll go over what real-time personalization is and cover the best practices you can use to engage users with unique experiences.

Let’s get started!

What is real-time personalization?

Real-time personalization is a method of adapting your content to each specific customer instantly and delivering customized messages to each user based on their interactions with your brand.

Instead of creating one-size-fits-all content for anonymous visitors, you can leverage customer data, behavioral data, and demographic data to provide personalized experiences. 

You can use real-time personalization for your website, emails, social media channels, and in-app messages.

By using real-time personalization on your website, your onsite content can respond on the fly with triggered messages and personalized offers.

Benefits of real-time personalization

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of real-time personalization:

  • More enjoyable experience for users which increases the likelihood of prolonged customer engagement.
  • Users receive content optimized for their specific context, leading to more seamless and relevant interactions and increased customer satisfaction.
  • Helps to minimize bounce rates by presenting visitors with content that aligns with their interests.
  • By presenting users with customized content, the likelihood of converting leads into customers significantly increases, which leads to higher revenues.

Examples of real-time personalization

Let’s look at a couple of examples of real-time personalization to help illustrate the concept.

Imagine that you’re running a health-focused ecommerce store and a new visitor lands on one of your blog articles by searching “how to lose weight.” 

Once they’ve read the article, you can trigger a message that offers them an ebook on the same topic:

Offer your blog readers personalized recommendations real time

However, another visitor might not be interested in a free guide about weight loss. Maybe they’re further along the sales pipeline and already know what product will solve their problem.

When would that be the case? 

Well, imagine the visitor searches for “best weight loss pills for women,” for example, and then reads an article comparing the best options. Since this visitor likely has buying intent, it makes sense to offer them a discount for weight loss pills:

Personalized content example

You can also use real-time personalization to adapt the customer experience on your product pages. 

If a potential customer has added something to their cart but doesn’t complete their purchase, you could trigger an exit-intent popup.

These are just a few examples. 

Ideally, all of a user’s interactions should trigger real-time responses. Dynamic content can support the buyer’s journey wherever they are in the customer lifecycle and engage them with relevant content that’s geared toward their interests.

Real-time personalization best practices

Want to use dynamic content to deliver personalized experiences in real time? Follow these best practices to do it right!

1. Segment your visitors based on demographic data, psychographic data, and intent

Real-time personalization works by leveraging all the data you have to create unique experiences for your customers. 

You need to find visitor attributes that reveal the types of content that will be most relevant for each person.

Marketers create groups of visitors who share common attributes, called audience (or customer) segments, based on:

Demographic-based segmentation

Segmentation using demographic data involves grouping your visitors based on factors like location, age, or income. 

For example, if you run an international business, you can target customers based on location and then send local or regional content to your customers. This is an excellent way of providing a personalized experience to audiences in major countries and language groups.

Psychographic-based segmentation

In psychographic segmentation, you target users based on their interests, attitudes, values, and other lifestyle factors. 

In the example above, we sent personalized content to individual users about weight loss because they arrived at our page after searching for related terms. We could safely assume it was the right targeting because it was based on what the customer wanted to see.

Intent-based segmentation

Intent-based segmentation is about creating content that’s relevant to users based on where they are in the customer journey. 

It’s also known as awareness-based segmentation, since all users proceed through the five awareness stages (from unaware to solution aware). 

2. Choose the right moment to display your messages

There’s always a risk of overwhelming your website users if you display too many messages at once. 

As marketers know, users only have limited attention. Even if yours are the greatest marketing messages in the history of the internet, your visitors will ignore most of them if there are too many.

Practicing self-restraint when it comes to your messaging strategy is a good start. You should prioritize your most important and high-converting messages.

However, you can successfully show more messages if you delay some of them rather than displaying them all at once.

This approach is called layering, and relies on the ability to trigger some of your messages later than others. The trigger could be based on time spent on page or a specific user activity (like exit intent or 50% scroll down).

Many companies and marketers use overlay messages like popups and side messages when layering. These overlays give you the opportunity to get visitors to focus on your most important messages first (in your base content) and then use a secondary message (in a popup) as a backup plan.

3. Make sure that website visitors see relevant content at each stage of the customer lifecycle

As we’ve seen, intent-based segmentation is an incredibly important factor when personalizing content for individual users. People at different stages of the customer journey have different needs.

For example, customers who are just becoming aware of a problem they have aren’t ready to make a purchase—they want to learn more about potential solutions. So your website personalization should direct these users toward informational content, like a blog post, content upgrade, or email newsletter.

Then, once they’re aware of the possible solutions and ready to make a purchase, you can offer them a discount to incentivize acting immediately or show personalized product recommendations. Offering discounts at the right time can raise your conversion rates and lead to higher revenue.

Once people are loyal customers, you can use their purchase history to show a relevant experience.

If you can personalize the experience of each customer segment, you’ll be able to maximize customer lifetime value as more users move through your sales pipeline.

4. Use the right website personalization tool

If you want to implement real-time personalization for your ecommerce store, you’ll need marketing automation software that’s capable of both collecting data and delivering relevant, personalized experience.

You should also choose a website personalization tool that offers real-time analytics so you can track the performance of your personalized campaigns.

For the most streamlined personalization experience, look for a tool that allows you to easily create and optimize your customer profiles.

Wrapping up

As we’ve seen, website personalization is an essential marketing tactic in 2023. There’s no better way to drive engagement and simultaneously increase sales and customer satisfaction.

OptiMonk is among the most powerful website personalization tools available today, capable of helping marketers gather data, create segments and tailored messaging, and evaluate their campaigns to keep optimizing. 

Best of all, it’s free to create an account and you can build unlimited campaigns.

Create your free account today!

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