Why Web Personalization Is Key to e-Commerce Success in B2B

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: August 4, 2017
Photo credit: Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock

Online retailers use web personalization to tailor their marketing to customers individually. Here are eight benefits of this technique.

B2B companies have begun to recognize the importance of personalization and the benefits attached to it. A substantial part of the e-commerce market depends on successful web personalization, which is also a major optimizing technique in other industries. Online retailers use web personalization to collect customer data, make product recommendations, send personal messages, etc., and this provides a variety of benefits for business owners.

Personalization is making use of collected data about web visitors to create relevant content that is customized and unique to each of them. This is why business-to-business (B2B) buyers demand such experiences that are enabled by integrating first-class technology that can transform organizational processes and structures all at once.

Let's take a look at eight benefits of web personalization for business owners in e-commerce.

1. Increased conversions

Integrating web personalization in e-commerce helps to increase digital sales and conversion rates when leads are nurtured with targeted content. B2B companies that use this strategy have recorded a rise in sign-ups, lead generation, sales and general conversion. This happens when you manage to catch the attention of your buyers long enough despite the brief attention span of the average internet user nowadays. Any B2B company that incorporates web personalization will get qualified leads in addition to serving up what its buyers want.

2. Improved interaction or engagement

Web personalization means knowing about the interests or pain points of your buyers when it puts you in a position to serve them better. Customers who can relate to your site will end up spending more time on it and love to return in the future. Many customers prefer e-commerce websites that remember not only their details but their purchase information as well. This increase in the engagement with your site may spare you from spending extra on targeted ads.

HubSpot recently conducted research that revealed there were 42 percent higher view-to-submission rates for targeted calls to action than generalized ones. When B2B companies customize calls to action at different levels of the buying process, they can notice behavioral patterns and identify the most suitable value propositions, messages and emotional triggers.

3. Precise product recommendations

This is perhaps one of the greatest benefits of web personalization. Recommendation engines generate precise results based on the effective data gathering. They make better predictions when more data can be collected on the visitor's behavior, leading to a systemized arrangement of products that match this visitor's exact preference.

The recommendation system saves real-time data by going through the browsing history of visitors and also systematically takes note of their individual behaviors throughout the session. Thus, each visitor is associated with a set of products that matches their preferences, and this has the potential to prompt a sale.

4. Selective information 

Online users don't like being bombarded with hundreds of products that they do not want. This usually makes users leave a website. In this case, you may have lost them forever unless, by some luck, they return in the future. Web personalization reduces that information overload by presenting curated, personalized content that is easier to comprehend. Targeted display of relevant products enhances the conversion process, while curated content excites users rather than frustrates them.

5. Efficient communication

This is possible when your company delivers the most suitable personalized content to the right customers at the right time. Personalized messages increase your reputation, as they promote meaningful interactions with every buyer.

6. Improved customer loyalty

According to a study by Exact Target and Forrester Consulting, 96 percent of marketers are confident that personalization plays a big role in the retention and loyalty of customers. Users feel as if they are highly esteemed when they notice that a business goes out of its way to serve them better by listening to them. Loyal customers are more likely to do more business with a brand they trust, as well as more likely to turn into ardent brand advocates and recommend it to others.

7. Customers in control of their experiences

One of the reasons why personalization appears to be very successful has to do with people's innate desire to be in charge. Most individuals love to be in control of their own experiences, and this extends to the choices we make in every aspect of our lives.

With personalized e-commerce, visitors see only those products that appeal to their desires without unnecessary exposure to other products that do not pique their interests. When buyers aren't cajoled by annoying ads, e-commerce conversions become easier, smoother and faster.

8. Enhanced search capabilities

B2B companies need to adapt to the desires of customers who want to explore the products and services on offer. This is essential if they want to retain their competitive edge. It calls for the ability to provide online searches with such criteria as product details, price, availability and ratings. With such searches in place, it will be easy to render personalized results, as they will be based on the browsing as well as purchasing histories of the buyers.

On the personalization consortium

Web personalization in e-commerce is essential, since it helps to naturally shift the attention of customers to the products that pertain to them. However, since personalization relies on the collection and use of user information, privacy issues become a cause for concern. To guide and promote ethical marketing personalization, the Personalization Consortium, a global advocacy group, was created. The founding members of this consortium include American Airlines, PricewaterhouseCoopers and DoubleClick.

The Personalization Consortium has set up privacy management and ethical information objectives, which include informing users about the data being gathered and the reasons behind it. A survey of more than 4,500 online users that the consortium conducted several years ago revealed that 73 percent of participants had no problems with sites that retained their personal information; 63 percent of participants in the survey showed their irritation of having to re-enter information that they had previously supplied, while only 15 percent were opposed to sharing their personal data online.

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