Your website is the face of your brand. It’s one of the first places customers visit to know more about you and establish an impression about your brand. They want engaging, personalized experiences across every touchpoint. And they expect you to be very good at it.

When the economy starts to get sluggish, more often than not, the marketing budgets are first to bear the brunt of collateral damage. However, while marketing budgets across channels are being revisited and trimmed, website personalization will help you inspite of the sluggish economic landscape.

There are several factors for businesses to focus on for website personalization. In today’s digital first context, when most customers engage digitally with brands, they expect personalized experiences across every touchpoint with every brand they engage with. Over the last decade, companies like Amazon, Google and Netflix have led the way to set an example of how technology can create seamless and exceptional customer experiences.

It’s not just that Netflix has a huge content library to choose from. But it’s the intelligence that goes behind the scenes to curate personalised and ever evolving content and surface it on the home page, tailored for every individual customer. Amazon does something similar by showing you products that you might be interested in. That’s website personalization at its very best.

Salesforce’s State of the Connected Consumer report indicates that close to 85% of customers want brands to understand them better in order to win their loyalty.  And because of the plethora of options available across products and services, data and information being available at their fingertips, they are far less forgiving about a disconnected experience or if they have to make a significant effort to find what they are looking for. Brand websites have become the default destination for digital experiences across industries. That’s the first place customers go to for engaging with you. And because everyone is on social media these days, that’s where they will share their experiences.

Customers have high expectations from brands and use their experience to decide whether to do business with you or not. Personalizing the customer experience would appear to be a no-brainer for most businesses.

Here are three reasons why website personalization becomes vitally important during an economic downturn. 

1. Website personalization can make up for reduced marketing budgets

For most businesses, a substantial proportion of the marketing budget is earmarked for top-of-the-funnel activities These activities are mostly focussed on brand building or spreading product awareness amongst new customers. This includes advertising campaigns and online event sponsorships.  During times of sluggish economic activity, budgets assigned to these activities are often the first casualties.

There is a general belief amongst businesses that if customers are cutting down their spending, it’s a good idea to cut down on marketing spend typically used to acquire them, until the economic climate starts to improve. No doubt this is an effective measure to save costs during tough economic times, but it’s a double-edged sword. These cuts also reduce the chances of reaching out to prospects to seek out your brand and going to your website.

With fewer website visitors, each one needs to increase in value to make up for the drop in website visitors and subsequent revenues that you are experiencing from overall website traffic. Here is where personalization comes in. Personalization improves customer engagement which translates to better conversion rates. With personalization you can overcome the drop in traffic by giving those customers more reasons to come back.

2. Website personalization automates conversion

Tough times means downsizing marketing teams. Companies expect their marketing staff to do more with less. In such situations it becomes imperative that your processes across departments are streamlined to maximize productivity and marketing RoI.

And the best way for marketing teams to address this new approach is by automating the customer engagement journey. An automated personalization experience across your website clearly shows your commitment to efficiency. With automation, you need lesser time and resources to make frequent updates to your website content.

Automation is a far more efficient way of conversion compared to repetitive manual intervention. And it provides you opportunities to upsell and cross sell within the same interaction. You don’t have to wait for conversions across multiple website visits. For example, Amazon uses technology to deliver a personalized experience for every customer. Visitors are shown content based on their purchase history, browsing behaviour and interests. The experience is tailored for every user, making it relevant and appropriate to meet their expectations every time they come back.

3. Website personalization fosters deeper relationships

During tough times when marketing budgets for new customer acquisition are slashed, it becomes even more important to deepen relationships with existing customers.

As a brand, it’s likely that you a good relationship with many of your customers. And because your budgets don’t allow you to spend any further, you need to do all you can to extend these relationships further. One of the time-tested effective ways to demonstrate to your customers that are you invested in the relationship is showing that you understand them.

Companies like Amazon and Netflix have mastered the art of personalisation by doing something as simple as showing relevant content and offers whenever customers arrive on their website. And with every interaction customers have with them, they develop a deeper understanding of who they are and what they want. A personalized experience makes customers feel welcome and lets them know that the business they are about to engage with understands them very well.  Personalised engagement goes a long way in driving the lifetime value of every customer.

To further deepen relationships with customers, make sure that personalization extends across all customer touchpoints such as sales, commerce, service and support. And make sure you share this vital customer experience information with teams across your organization to help them build long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships. 

Girikon has been a Gold Salesforce Consulting Partner for over a decade. We believe personalization is a key element of the customer experience.  To know more about how website personalization can drive your business forward during tough economic times, contact us today.

Author's Bio: 

Emily Smith is an MBA with more than 5 years of experience in content writing and development. Her expertise lies in writing content around the Salesforce Consulting domain such as Salesforce Support, consulting and Salesforce implementation services. Apart from Salesforce, she has also created content around various new and disruptive technologies. Apart from writing, she has also mastered the skills of editing and proofreading.