Deborah Astarita
Content Creator @ Prepr CMS
Read time: 7 min

Which websites are most suitable for an adaptive approach?


Personalizing your website to match what users like and adapt to their needs can increase conversion a lot. However, not all websites benefit the same way from this. Two kinds of products get the most help from personalization and an adaptive approach. Eager to find out which ones? Well, keep reading!

Time really does zip by, doesn't it? We’ve already hit Article 3 of our personalization blog series.

In our second article, we turned to the English naturalist Charles Darwin by borrowing a page from his book “On the Origin of the Species” - quite literally - to help us explain why adaptive websites are so important.

If you missed this second act, no stress – our content doesn't expire like a Netflix show. You can always catch up on the article about why having an adaptive website is crucial in our blog section.

Why does an Adaptive Website work well for users?

Allow me to answer this question with another: What exactly makes a website work well for its users?

This question takes me back to a book I recently read, "The Design of Everyday Things" by Donald A. Norman. Norman’s book starts with an anecdote about Kenneth Olsen, the engineer behind Digital Equipment Corp., who admitted he couldn't figure out how to use his company's microwave to heat a cup of coffee.

Norman continues by sharing that someone else was puzzled by a digital watch, saying, "You'd need an engineering degree from MIT to work this.” Well, here's the twist: Norman has an engineering degree from MIT, and Kenneth Olsen has two, but he can't figure out a microwave oven.

If our minds are designed to understand the world, why do we struggle with simple tasks? The same struggle applies to websites. If you've ever spent ages searching for something online and ended up more frustrated, know that it's not your fault—it's the website's failure to align with users. Norman’s book emphasizes the importance of user-centered design and websites, just like products, should prioritize the user. Adaptive websites work well for users because, like a well-designed door handle that knows whether to push or pull, they adjust to users' needs and preferences. They simply put the user first.

Which websites are most suitable for an adaptive approach?

Adaptive websites aren't just a trend; they're a necessity. However, just like we users are all different with diverse needs, websites also vary.

Adaptive websites, which tweak and personalize content based on user behavior, shine in scenarios where user engagement and retention matter most. These are the websites where users spend a lot of time or frequently return. The adaptability ensures each user gets content tailored to their preferences, creating an enjoyable experience that encourages them to stick around.

On the flip side, for websites with low user involvement or those not focused on keeping users around, implementing an adaptive approach might not be the perfect choice. The reason lies in the fact that the improvement in user experiences and conversions doesn't justify the additional effort and complexity required to make these types of websites adaptive. In fact, the minimal impact on user engagement and conversion rates may not outweigh the resources and time invested in adapting the site to user preferences. That’s why the adaptive approach is a perfect fit for high-involvement and high-retention websites.

What are high-involvement products?

When we talk about involvement, we're referring to how much thought and consideration an individual puts into the decision-making process. This involvement can range from routine decisions where consumers aren't very engaged to complex decisions requiring extensive thought. Based on involvement level, we can distinguish two types of products: high-involvement and low-involvement.

For instance, when you run out of everyday items like milk, you may buy the product as soon as you recognize the need without searching for information. These products are relatively inexpensive and don't pose a big risk if the buyer makes a mistake. In this case, we talk about low-involvement products.

By contrast, would you make significant decisions like buying a house, a car, or planning a vacation without careful consideration and an extended decision-making process? I doubt it. Personally, I've been in the process of buying a house for a year now, and here I am, still enjoying my lovely rented apartment.

High-involvement decisions are complex, carry a higher risk to buyers if they fail, and often come with a hefty price tag. While these items aren't bought frequently, they hold great significance for the buyer. That's why buyers spend a lot of time comparing features, prices, and warranties before making a decision.

Why Adaptive Websites are ideal for high-involvement products?

For consumers, high-involvement products and services require a significant investment and/or involve a high degree of risk. In the B2C world, examples of high-involvement products are mortgages, vacations, or laptops while in the B2B industry, almost all purchases are highly involved especially for things like SaaS solutions, because more people are involved in the buying process.

Adaptive websites prove highly effective for high-involvement products especially because the decision-making process is longer, usually taking days to weeks to even months. Such scenarios require the gathering of substantial information and involve diverse stakeholders, each with different information needs. The combination of these factors—time, information, and various stakeholders—makes adapting the website to visitors' preferences work well in meeting the specific demands of this complex decision-making process.

This strategy not only keeps users interested and improves user experience through data-driven insights, but also helps websites get better over time by learning from user feedback and testing methodologies.

What are High-retention products?

Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.”

Guess who said that? Nope, it was not a marketing strategist, but the guy who made our childhood dreams come true. Walter Elias Disney.

This sentence perfectly captures the essence of high-retention products. When products or services exceed customer expectations, they create experiences that customers not only want to repeat but also eagerly share with others.

Examples of high-retention websites include content-based sites such as blogs, magazines, news websites, and TV and video websites. High-retention products, characterized by quality, value, and customer satisfaction, encourage customers to return for more and foster customer loyalty and a strong connection to the brand.

Checking product retention is like checking how healthy the business is. While being successful at bringing in new customers is important, it only truly matters if you can also keep existing customers happy, prevent them from leaving, and maintain long-term relationships.

Why Adaptive Websites are ideal for high-retention products?

Think about someone who loves sports visiting a news website eager to catch up on the latest scores, player updates, and game highlights, only to find news about everything but sports - maybe politics or entertainment. Without an adaptive approach, users like our sports enthusiast might quickly feel lost in a sea of irrelevant information, leading to frustration and a potential exit from the site.

This highlights the importance of adaptive websites for high-retention products and services. Although the involvement with these offerings may be lower, users are likely to return if the content aligns with their interests. Adaptive websites excel at personalizing content, adjusting interfaces, and responding to user interactions in real time, ensuring a positive and customized experience.

By tailoring the experience to their preferences, you can significantly improve customer satisfaction and increase engagement. For instance, suggesting sports videos to one visitor and financial reads to another based on their past views is an effective way to adapt a content website to individual user behavior.

Getting started with Personalization

Now, are you ready to dive into Personalization? Starting your journey to personalize your website is easier than you think. If you're keen on the benefits of segment-based personalization, check out The Complete Guide to Getting Started with Personalization. You will learn how to create a personalized website with adaptive content that meets your visitors’ needs while boosting conversion by 30% or more.

And just like our pal Porky Pig puts it, "That's all folks!” See you once more on Tuesday, December 19th, for our last rendezvous of 2023 before the Christmas break. After diving deep into theory, our next article will show you a real example of how an adaptive website can truly stand out. Brace yourself for the Acme Lease showcase! Ciao, Ciao!

Continue the personalization series

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