Personalization offered by organizations makes customers feel prioritized and in trustworthy hands. Once they place their trust in a brand, they tend to buy more and often. Personalization can thus improve engagement, acquisition, and loyalty.
Personalization engines are software solutions that accumulate customer data and formulate insights to personalize the experience of each and every customer. This helps optimise the relationship of a customer with the brand. Read more about them here.
Now from the plethora of available solutions, which personalization engine would suit an organization best, would certainly depend on what the organization is seeking. Some may be marketing focused, some may be customer satisfaction focused, and some technical oriented.
Listed below are the metrics based on which a comparative study about these solutions can be done.
Website Personalization: Instead of having broad and common content for all the visitors, the content of a website should be tailored for each customer. The solution should take into consideration customer data including search history, liked products, and interacted advertisements.
Recommendations: Customers appreciate it when a website remembers their likes/dislikes and show relevant products in recommendations. Product recommendations based on the previous searches of the customer would increase not just the click-through rates but also ensure customer retention.
Personalized Discounts: With the creation of buyer personas from customer data, customers can be targeted and given discounts based on their intent to buy a product. With discounts being displayed in pop-ups, there is an increased chance that the customer will buy the product.
Geofencing: A message or an alert can be triggered when a customer enters a set geographical boundary. This is known as geofencing. With this feature, the solution can trigger the customer at the right time, so as to ensure a higher clickthrough/instore buying rate.
Triggered Emails: Email marketing is one of the easiest and most effective ways of marketing. But they reap the maximum benefit when they’re personalized. Customers feel that they’re being taken care of. Automated personalized emails can thus drive a higher customer engagement rate, increased ROI, and enhanced customer experience.
Triggered Messages: Having the right content displayed at the right time to the right person makes all the difference. The solution should be capable of skimming through customer data, figuring out the active time of the customer, and finally sending the relevant text at that time.
Targeting & Segmentation
Contextual Targeting: Contextual targeting uses the data being consumed by the customers to share relevant ads with them, thus it does not require special permissions or third party cookies at all. Targeting customer segments can help organizations deal with a large segment of customers with similar interests all at once.
A/B Testing: A/B testing generally includes performing experimentations on the UI of the website. In personalization engines, A/B tests are performed on the algorithms that run behind the scenes to make the functionality of these engines better. Thus, making them an important feature to have.
Other factors for comparison:
Ease of Setup: There are instances when employees struggle with the new software and thus do not deliver results on time, therefore the ease of usage and setup for these solutions is of paramount importance. The UI of the solution should be dynamic, flexible, and should come with usage instructions.
Ease of Admin: IT department shouldn’t be an answer to all the software queries. Thus, apart from the effective interaction and visualization of data, the solution should be easy to customize as per the organization’s needs.
Ease of Doing Business with: With the overwhelming amount of data available, it already is a big task to manage and segregate customer profiles. Dealing with the vendor shouldn’t add to the list. The ease of doing business with the solution’s vendor is one integral checkbox. Thus, the quality of support, agility, and response time are some factors that organizations should check beforehand.
Product Direction (% positive): Like the stocks in the stock market, organizations should place their bet where there has been continuous and positive growth in the product. The product should run hand in hand with the advent of technology because, in the coming times, the customer size and personalization requirement are only going to go up.
Customer reviews: Testimonials and customer reviews tell more about the product than their advertisements themselves. Organizations should take a good look at the reviews, testimonials, and if other organizations are recommending it and then make a decision based on the aggregate of them.
Scalability: Personalization can surely bring a lot of traffic to the website, but with a lack of structure and planning, they can be driven away too. Thus, the solution should be able to categorize and respond to a number of personas and segments, while keeping intact the quality of service.
Desktop and mobile optimized: Mobile usage has tremendously increased these days. Thus, it is imperative that the solution be capable of supporting both desktop and mobile users. Such a solution can guarantee the consistency of the brand image across devices.
There can always be multiple vendors for the same product, but personalization can make organizations stand out in the crowd. Thus, it isn’t a surprise that most organizations today are utilizing personalization engines. For the best CX, the organization’s demands should fit in with the vendor’s product offering. To read about the Key Performance Indicators for a personalization engine, click here.