Welcome back to our personalization blog series!
In our first article, we talked about the challenge of grabbing visitors' attention in just 15 seconds and why personalization is the key to making your website stand out. Personalized websites improve user satisfaction, keep users happy, and boost conversion rates. In addition, inspired by a famous quote and a bit of literature, we looked at the three ways to personalize sites: No Personalization, Hyper-Personalization, and Segment-Based Personalization. If you need a quick recap, check out the first article because now we’re ready to move forward and zoom in on the Adaptive Websites.
Adaptive Websites: A Lesson from Darwin
As we said, in our first article we talked about the three personalization approaches, or technically two since "no personalization" isn't effective (trust us, the data confirms it). While hyper-personalization is a great option but can get a bit pricey, many businesses find segment-based personalization a smart and budget-friendly choice for creating adaptive websites that work well for everyone.
An adaptive website is a website that automatically adjusts or “adapts" itself based on the specific needs and preferences of the visitor. In this way, different groups of people get content and experiences designed just for them.
And especially today, where things shift with just a click, adapting to quick changes is super important for businesses to stay competitive in the market. And speaking of adapting, doesn't that word remind you of someone? It sure does for me. Way back in 1859 in his "On the Origin of the Species", Charles Darwin, the English naturalist, demonstrated that species with the best ability to adapt to a changing environment are more likely to survive, while those unable to adapt may not make it.
""It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.""
- Charles Darwin
Darwin's theory finds a parallel in the business world. To thrive, companies must align with diverse user preferences, needs, and behaviors. In simpler terms, just as species adapt to their surroundings, online businesses need to do the same by adjusting to what users like in order to survive. The metaphorical connection between Darwin's theory of natural selection and the need for personalized websites with adaptive content becomes apparent when we draw parallels between his principles and the characteristics of adaptive websites.
Survival of the Fittest:
- Darwin's theory: Individuals with traits better suited to their environment are more likely to survive and reproduce.
- Adaptive websites: Websites that adapt to user needs and preferences are more likely to thrive and stand out in the competitive online environment.
- Darwin's theory: Changes in the environment drive natural selection.
- Adaptive websites: The online world changes and evolves and websites must adapt to stay relevant.
- Darwin's theory: Evolution is an ongoing process, with species continually adapting to changing conditions.
- Adaptive websites: Websites should keep improving, adjusting to new technologies and user trends.
- Darwin's theory: Adaptations lead to better survival and reproduction.
- Adaptive websites: Adapting to user needs leads to improved user satisfaction and engagement.
So we can say that the creation of an adaptive website isn’t just a good idea, but an indispensable criterion for business to survive.
Adaptive Websites and Segmentation - The Winning Combination
To create an adaptive website, grasping the fundamentals of segmentation is essential. Segmentation means breaking down a large audience into smaller groups based on specific characteristics. These characteristics involve demographics, clicking behavior, location, purchase history, and more. Once you get what each group likes and wants, an adaptive website allows you to customize the website content, offers, and messaging to best suit each segment. In essence, the core idea behind segmentation is to understand the varying needs and preferences of different groups, enabling the creation of a personalized experience for each. This way, you up the chances that visitors will engage with the website and ultimately make a purchase or convert into customers.
The Conversion Rate Optimization - Turning Red Gap into Green Conversions
“Ten years ago, we believed that eventually, all companies would realize that CRO is crucial. This is turning out to be true but not in the way we expected. It’s not that all companies eventually see the light; it’s that the ones who don’t get pushed out of existence, Darwin style.” - Ben Jesson, CEO of Conversion Rate Experts and author of Making Websites Win.
Darwin's lesson of adaptability holds true once again. As CEO Ben Jesson said, those not adapting risk fading away. CRO or Conversion Rate Optimization has been on the marketing radar since the early days of the ecommerce era. But what exactly is CRO?
Consider the success of your website's traffic, thanks to the hard work you've put into getting people to visit your website through SEO, paid searches, and social strategies. However, even with a lot of visitors, they might not be doing what you really want - they’re not converting. Now, a 'conversion' doesn't just mean a sale; it could be signing up for emails, making an account, or downloading a guide. No matter your website's goal, a conversion is achieving that specific action, and the Conversion Rate (CR) shows the percentage of your total traffic reaching those goals. So, the higher the conversion rate, the better.
Simply put, CRO ensures your website isn't just attracting visitors but turning them into action-takers.
In this illustration, we’re looking at a standard website lacking personalization. Two individuals arrive at a website via targeted campaigns only to find themselves on a generic platform that delivers the same content to all users, no matter their interests or what they click on. The result? A conversion gap.
A conversion gap is a missed connection between a website and its visitors – it's the gap between people checking out your site and those actually taking action, like making a purchase. You might have already noticed from the red color in the illustration that the conversion gap isn't a good sign. When content isn't adapted to individual preferences and behaviors, these websites may struggle to keep visitors interested, making the conversion gap bigger.
In contrast, adaptive websites excel by utilizing personalization. In this second scenario, you can observe two distinct audience segments arriving at a website through targeted campaigns and then continuing to an adaptive site. The adaptive website bridges this gap more successfully because people are more likely to find what they want and, as a result, take the desired actions, whether it's making a purchase, signing up, or whatever the website hopes for.
What happens next? Well, a shift in color, transitioning from red to green, and you see a boost in conversions, ranging from 10 to 30 percent.
So if there is a future, make sure it will be green.
Why do you need an Adaptive Website?
So, let’s go back to the starting point. Why do you need an Adaptive Website? I’m pretty sure we've covered this question in detail, but let's sum it up by spotlighting the main advantages you can enjoy with an adaptive website.
More engagement: Many businesses face challenges in meeting customer needs and expectations, resulting in a less-than-optimal customer experience. The creation of an adaptive website can improve user experience, leading to increased customer satisfaction and engagement. This is reflected in higher page views, more likes, and increased content sharing.
Higher conversion rates: Ever faced the issue of lots of website visitors but not enough turning into customers? It happens. Maybe the checkout is confusing, or there's not enough info about the products, or your brand is facing trust issues. Adaptive websites fix this by customizing messaging and content to specific groups of customers, boosting conversion rates and revenue. Remember? From red to green!
New opportunities for growth: In non-personalized websites, you miss out on understanding how different visitor groups engage. Adaptive websites change the game by analyzing customer characteristics. This insight helps you create new products or showcase existing ones that perfectly fit their needs. This can increase customer lifetime value, leading to sustainable business growth.
Optimized marketing spend: Adaptive websites make your marketing budget work smarter by targeting specific marketing groups. This not only boosts conversions, but also cuts down unnecessary marketing costs, giving your business a better return on investment (ROI). Smart spending, better returns.
Lower costs: Some businesses hold back from investing in personalization, particularly hyper-personalization, due to concerns about high costs. Hyper-personalization typically involves intricate data requirements, complex algorithms, and advanced AI, making it a substantial financial commitment.
Adaptive websites present a more economical alternative by focusing on key visitor segments rather than each individual. This streamlined approach is not only more cost-effective but also simpler to put into action.
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.
"Closing time, Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end”. If you read that line with a tune, you're on the same wavelength as me. And if not, grab The Office for a quick remedy – spoiler alert: it's not an ad!
Jokes aside, a huge thanks for sticking with us till the end. We trust you've gained some good insights into Adaptive Websites. Our next Personalization blog is all about "Which websites are most suitable for an adaptive approach?”.