Personalization is a powerful conversion-boosting tool that transcends industry and business size. It doesn’t matter if you are a small - e-commerce shop or a enterprise level B2B organization; personalization is necessary to get the competitive edge.

Econsultancy just released a digital trends report that asked what are the most exciting marketing opportunity in 2015 and the next five years? It’s no surprise that web personalization was one of the top choices.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 10.06.56 AM

When you have the power to personalize you have to find the best places to personalize and decide upon the personalization criteria. Today I want to show you the best places you can begin adding basic personalization to increase conversions.

1. Homepage

When it comes to personalization, the homepage is a great place to start. Normally I avoid making changes on homepages and running tests on homepages, but personalization is different.

Your homepage shouldn’t be a static banner that speaks to everyone; it should become your best asset that speaks as close to a 1 – 1 relationship as possible. For example:

If a woman walks into a store for the first time, you’d expect her experience to be different from a woman who buys from that store weekly.

Why should your website be any different?

Simply put: it shouldn’t

Your homepage is likely your site’s biggest entry point. You should start segmenting your visitors here and providing them with a personal experience. You can segment however you want, just try to find out what works. Here are a few segmentation suggestions:

  • Geolocation
  • New vs. Returning Visitor
  • Cart Abandonment
  • Buyer vs. Non Buyer
  • Device

The first two options are extremely easy to segment, but are extremely effective. Here is a simple example showing how you can treat new vs. returning visitors.

New vs. Returning Visitor Example

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 10.11.28 AM

Generally if you hit a site for the first time you are hit with an offer. Most lead gen sites try to get you on their mailing list with an overlay dressed as a welcome message. These types of welcome message don’t make sense if you are a returning customer.

In this example, Karmaloop wants to entice new visitors to purchase and become a marketable contact with a disruptive pop-up. Upon future visits, they don’t want to interrupt the experience and do not trigger the pop-up.

2. Product Page(s)

When you get down to the product page level, you really want to make sure you can move that customer to your cart. The problem with product pages is the customer may have clicked a product they don’t like and have no inspiration to shop further.

This is where you can use detailed data to make separate relevant offers.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 10.13.08 AM

Amazon has mastered this practice! They have a bundle offer as well as the effective ‘Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought section’.

We all aren’t Amazon, but we can easily show relevant items using personalization. You could go the data-crunching route and show relevant products based on standard purchase behavior in your database or you could have a section based on similar products and styles. You could even have a ‘Recently’ viewed section, but if that gets filled with all items the customer doesn’t want it becomes less effective.

Express shows related products below the fold. This is a great idea – it reduces distractions and keeps the customer focused on the initial product, but gives other offers for people who are still in ‘browse’ mode and scrolling on the page.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 10.14.26 AM

3. Cart

The cart is a place you should definitely target by geolocation (among other things).  There are certain cultural expectations that need to be met when selling internationally, if your cart does not meet these standards – consider it abandoned.

Simple things like the displayed currency, the currency layout, and included versus added VAT will dictate whether someone buys your product. Geolocation is a simple segmentation method, which will make or break your site. Start by personalizing around the checkout form and move up from there.

Your Geolocation Cart Page Checklist

1. Does the form make logical sense for that geo region?

2. Should I use a ‘,’ or a ‘.’ To separate dollars from cents?

3. Is the currency sign in the right place?

4. Should I include VAT or other additional fees in in the marketed price?

Here’s an example that’s great for an American

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 10.16.44 AM

Geolocation is just one way to personalize the cart. You can also personalize with different offers and express checkout to name a few.  For example if you have a customer that always makes it to the cart, but never purchases – you can trigger an offer that would make the whole deal more enticing!

The easier it is for your customer to complete the checkout process, the better.

4. Thank you page

I wrote extensively about the power of Thank You pages and why it makes sense to cross sell on them. In your case you can tailor new offers based on the purchase and other past experiences.

You could also use the Thank You page to try to get more information about this individual to run more detailed personalized campaigns on your site and via email. The Thank You page isn’t as much about running a personalized campaign, but t is more about gathering more data to turn this customer into a repeat buyer.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, there are more refined ways you can personalize the user experience and increase conversions. I’d love to hear about some of your personalization methods down in the comments!