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Website Personalization in Action: Supporting the Customer Journey

by Eric Odell

Today more and more companies adopt website personalization techniques to help them reduce online abandonment rates, improve conversion rates and drive an uptick in sales.  An important factor in making personalization programs work is to understand the online customer journey. 

A Website Personalization Scenario
Online visitors will interact with your website in different ways at different stages in the decision-making process and as their relationship with your organization evolves.  If Steve conducts a Web search for a “two-seater sports car,” he is likely early in his buying journey and not yet ready to narrow his search and make a purchase.  If you are an auto dealer, you might want relevant messaging placed strategically on your website when Steve arrives there, including general information on sports car models and fun features that might entice him to learn more. 

If, though, the search is for a “BMW two-seater sports coupe with chrome finish,” it is clear Steve is further down the purchase path.  He now has identified a brand, style and trim.  As a result, you personalize the experience by displaying information on special deals, buying incentives and directions to a nearby local showroom to move him along the path towards a final purchase.   

You can take website personalization a step further by linking what happens online with the face-to-face experience.  You might offer Steve the opportunity to book a test drive online – capturing his name, his interests and letting the local staff know when to expect him.  When Steve arrives at your dealership, the sales team will know who he is and what he is looking for so they can tailor their interaction to his needs. 

After the test drive, your onsite team can log Steve’s feedback into your CRM database.  If he didn’t like the two-seater sports car and decided to explore BMW sedans instead, you can add him to a segment you’ve created for customers who prefer sedans.  Then sedan-related information will be displayed front and center the next time he visits your website.  Rather than losing momentum, you're website personalization efforts are now nurturing him along a different purchase journey and continuing to build the relationship.

Want more tips for breaking away from a static cookie-cutter approach and personalizing your website?

Download our white paper: "Website Personalization - Seven Tips to Avoid a Cookie-Cutter Online Presence."

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