More and more ecommerce companies are using real-time website personalization to provide a tailored customer experience. Not only does personalization 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 website personalization, your website can respond on the fly with triggered messages and personalized offers.
Examples of real-time personalization
Let’s look at a couple 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:
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:
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:
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 create segments 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.
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 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.
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 use website personalization for your ecommerce store, you’ll need marketing automation software that’s capable of both collecting data and delivering relevant, personalized messaging.
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.
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.