I am an avid netflix watcher with very specific interests. I love watching crime dramas, cop shows, detective shows, political and courtroom dramas. Likes of House of Cards, The Good Wife, Narcos, The Designated Survivor, Suits et al.
My wife also watches Netflix from the same account. We have created different profiles and her home page is different from mine as she is more into watching comedies, dramas and thrillers. The show recommendations she gets is aligned with her interests.
Now most of these shows except a few odd ones are also available on Amazon Prime and at lower costs.
But Netflix has hooked me over Prime for its good personalization. It knows my interests and keeps accurately me recommending me new shows. Prime is also catching up on personalization but for now Netflix has my loyalty.
Great UX is all about how your users feel when using your product. And personalization is at the heart of most digital experiences. And users love it. Having a little space of your own and control over it is not just convenient but also exciting.
What is personalization and why it matters?
Personalization is understanding user needs/ interests and catering to it without them having to ask for it. It learns and adapts to the user behavior. Netflix, Google, amazon and scores of other websites use personalization to deliver rich experiences to their users.
Personalization brings many benefits to a business like-
- Increased user retention and a loyal customer base
- Higher conversion rates and more sales
- Improved brand perception
Here’s how to deliver personalized experiences to your users?
Personalization is both art and science. The art is to identify opportunities and design it in such a way to make it pleasurable. The science is the technology behind it.
- Collect User Information: Website analytics gives you a lot of data like users location, type of device, browser, IP address etc. But to do advanced level personalization you would need to know his name, age, interests, past behavior etc. So ask your users to create profiles in your website. Once they have created profiles and keep using their website, you will get a lot of information about your users.
Personalize Content: Once you know your user and understand his needs or interests then personalize the homepage and other pages accordingly. Welcome her by her first name. Show her content that is relevant to her interests. If there are forms then make sure that it is populated with information already available to you.
Enable geolocation: Location is an important factor in personalization. Google is a popular example of using geolocation for personalization. If you are in UK and type www.google.com, it will automatically take you to www.google.co.uk. The search results will also be relevant to the location of users. Uber and ola also uses geolocation to personalize experiences of the users.
- Personalize recommendations: eCommerce stores use personalized recommendations to upsell/cross sell products. Other websites use it show other relevant content like related blogs, videos etc.
- Start from where user left: Netflix does it. If you have left watching a program midway then it continues from the same point next time. No need to remember which season or episode you were watching last time. Other websites like ecommerce stores or blogs can showcase what the user previously did on the website- added a product to cart, left the checkout process midway etc., to guide him ahead.
- Use push notifications: Most often considered as an annoyance to users, push notifications can be really engaging and an addition to personalization if done well. A notification is a server generated message delivered to an user’s mobile or desktop even when he is not using the app or website. You can use push notifications to inform users about new products or content update on your website.
- Identify other opportunities: Each website is unique. There may be hidden opportunities to personalize. So go through your user’s entire website journey, have a look at each of the user engagement and find opportunities to personalize.
- Connect Socially: Often used as an engagement tactics, but connecting your website with social media is also a good personalization tactics. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter tells you about people you may know from data collected like mutual friends, work or education information, networks, etc. But remember to seek user’s permission before activating it as some users would like to maintain their privacy.
- Test and perfect: Start small, test to perfect it and then grow big. Start with personalizing a few elements of your website, keep an eye on analytics to understand how the user is reacting to it. Let data be the guide. Iterate and improve it.
Over to you…
Personalization matters. Be it a website, app or a software. Users like personalizations. But needs to be done right so as not to look creepy. Empathy plays a big role in personalization. Knowing your user, understanding his needs and preferences go a long way in creating personalized digital experiences. Start from there and you are on the right course.
Sharing is Good! Share your thoughts, tips and best practices on personalization in our comments sections.