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Could you do more with personalisation?

There’s an increasing amount of personalisation taking place on business websites. You don’t see it, of course, because if it’s personalised, you don’t know what others are seeing. But it is happening – and increasingly, it’s going to be filtering down to more conservative businesses.

What do I mean by personalisation? I’m not talking about being greeted by a message saying: “Hello Chris”. I’m talking about the site detecting certain things about me, and putting messages within the page which are relevant.

For example, plenty of companies detect where visitors are, and direct them to a local country site. Similar technology could be used on a single global site to insert the local contact details as default. Surprisingly few businesses do this.

Or what about repeat visitors? I’ve often suggested that one of the problems with first-time visitors arriving on a product page is that there’s no context. Who is this company? Where are they? Why should I do business with them? An introductory message explaining that would be a huge asset, but it would get in the way (and seem a bit odd) for regular visitors and existing customers. That’s why most companies relegate the information to the ‘About Us’ page. However, a script which can detect first-time visitors could insert the relevant information panel.

Other ideas include flagging up new content to previous visitors, or displaying offers to visitors who have previously taken a certain action such as buying something. The possibilities are endless, and perhaps only limited by your imagination and your website developer’s capabilities. They may be able to do more than you think – it’s just that you’ve never asked.