Personalized marketing is a broad term used by marketers to encompass all aspects of individualized communications.  It covers a whole host of marketing elements — from customized greetings and bespoke website appearances, to tailored language and product recommendations.  All marketing communications — email marketing, your company webpage, social media marketing and more — can benefit from real-time personalization.  Accurate recommendations based on customer data are an important and desirable part of the wider web experience.  Personalization improves user experience, enhances CRO and sales, and advances customer relationships.  And yet, so many brands are behind the curve — especially when it comes to B2B organizations.  Let’s explore what product recommendation is, and how it fits with your wider personalization strategy.

Website personalization: way more than just recommendation engines

According to Invesp, 56% of online shoppers are more likely to return to a site that makes product recommendations.  And, 59% of online shoppers believe that it is easier to find more interesting products on personalized online retail stores.  The more accurate the better — Fresh Relevance found that personalized product recommendations can increase click-throughs by more than 100% compared to generic ones.  Recommendations have taken the world by marketing world by storm.  With market-leaders like Amazon showing us how it’s done, product recommendation technology has truly skyrocketed.  But it is just one aspect of personalization.  Product recommendation relies on high-quality data and machine learning to succeed and should be included within a wider marketing approach.

Total online personalization offers so much more than just product recommendation.  In most cases, accurate product recommendations predominantly benefit returning customers.  First-time buyers may not reap the rewards of product recommendations, which will be heavily based on audience segmentation and behavioral targeting.  They will, however, feel the benefits of website personalization as a whole — with relevant content, appropriate imagery and language, and customized calls to action at their fingertips, they will find their experience easy and enjoyable.

What is a recommendation engine

It’s no surprise that product recommendation is so powerful.  The simple truth is that while it’s only a small part of total personalization, it is pivotal to success.  Salesforce found that 58% of customers say tailored engagement based on previous experiences with a brand is important to them.  And, the best way to make accurate and successful recommendations is to embrace the technology available.  A product recommendation engine is a software solution that makes use of data to recommend products or services a website visitor might like.  It uses the visitor’s previous activity to suggest purchase options for them, as well as basing recommendations on other users that exhibit similar behaviors.

The software is commonly used by online shopping platforms; think Amazon, eBay and online clothing retailers like ASOS.  Every time you visit, the website acquires more and more data that can be used to create accurate experiences tailored to the individual.  Amazon has seen unmatched success from its own product recommendation technology — according to Mckinsey & Company, 35% of Amazon’s revenue comes from recommendations alone.  Personalized recommendation engine software can also be seen on streaming sites and applications like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and Pandora.  The most successful product recommendation software utilizes large quantities of accurate data to enhance user experience — for example, the Pandora recommendation engine uses a total of 70 different algorithms that all play a different role, according to The Server Side.

The impact of early personalization

Loyal customers are crucial, but acquiring new customers is also important for business growth.  A first-time site visitor could be your biggest and best customer.  Just because they haven’t discovered your business yet, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve an unforgettable experience.  Largely, data is acquired thanks to cookies.  And because of data protection regulations, users now have to accept cookies for them to work.  This means businesses could be losing out on valuable data about their site visitors.  Webeo personalizes website experiences based on the visitors IP address, so there is no need for cookies.  The user can be greeted by business name and all communications can be tailored to meet their industry or specific business.

Personalization early in the user journey helps position you as an expert, sets you apart from competitors, and helps nurture visitors from leads to loyal customers.  But, remember, premature personalization has its downsides, too.  Ensure your data is correct and valuable — incorrect or out-of-date information could cost you a customer!  Similarly, ensure there is a point to your personalization.  It should fit with your wider business and marketing goals — without purpose, it may come across creepy and make your visitors question how you are using their data.  Webeo utilizes the largest global IP address database — regularly updated, qualified and quality-controlled to ensure total accuracy.

The evolution of website personalization technology

Website personalization software has come a long way since its initial development.  We have access to more data, automation is readily available, and user experience is more crucial than ever.  You can find out more about the importance of technology for UX here.  What was once exclusive to ecommerce platforms is now branching out across the web — as B2B marketing communications become increasingly tailored, the need for website personalization grows.  The B2B industry regularly follows in the footsteps of consumer marketing.  While business to business organizations are behind the curve, it is only a matter of time before website personalization is the norm and one-size-fits-all sites become redundant.

Why adopt website personalization

It works!  Econsultancy found that 80% of the organizations using personalization have reported an uplift since implementing it.  There are so many reasons to for businesses to embrace website personalization.  A tailored website experience is expected and desired by your customers — it enhances user experience; it simplifies the user journey; it utilizes readily-available data to increase opportunities to upsell and cross-sell.  And, it makes your website visitors feel valued and understood.  According to Econsultancy, 71% of businesses have adopted personalization.  Not only are the possibilities improving, but the number of organizations embracing it is growing.  If you’re not already implementing tailored website experiences, then you’re a step behind almost three quarters of businesses — competitors included.

If you want your B2B customers to feel the benefits of a personalized website experience, discover Webeo today.  Our webiste personalization software creates bespoke experiences based on the IP address of your website visitor, tailoring content to meet their specific needs.  Learn the power of personalization and request your demonstration here.