Personalization with websites stands for tailoring the content as per an individual’s need in B2C space and as per the customer’s choices in B2B space. In fact, personalization depends on a multitude of factors like user’s profile, clicking behavior, and the technologies organizations leverage to implement personalization. This blog basically talks about the types of customization that can be categorized into two broad divisions - prescriptive personalization and adaptive personalization.
Prescriptive personalization is primarily based on the user’s past behavior and factors related to it. It is one of the oldest ways to implement personalization. As a word, ‘prescriptive’ means segmentation of users based on certain insights which are triggered by the direct interaction of the user, these insights usually comprise of preferences, browsing history, context, domain, time of day, etc.
It is more about delivering customer predictions – showing products that are not only relevant to his interests but within their frequent spending range, are well received by shoppers and have very high chances of conversion.
To execute this, a set of rules are created, that are primarily based upon segmentation. To simplify the process of building business rules, visitors are often broken down into segments. It mostly tries to filter out the possible offerings. It can be sub-divided into Explicit and Implicit prescriptive personalisation.
In Explicit personalization, content is determined by the user’s profile, whereas in Implicit personalization, content is presented as per the clicking patterns. This phenomenon is often seen in e-commerce websites like Amazon.
On the other hand, adaptive or predictive personalization is the latest concept, which uses collaborative filtering, data analysis and user profiling tools to adapt content based on visitor characteristics, interactions, intent or any other parameter one might desire to use. It is an evolving process unlike prescriptive that is based on pre-defined set of rules. It is primarily based on adaptive rules and adaptation strategies. Adaptation rules define the conditions - when the personalization has to take place and what kind of adjustment will be held. However, adaptation strategy describes the relation between various adaptation rules in which the history needs to be taken into account while personalizing. It’s more about creating personas in order to group customers and build a profile with attributes relevant to different types of personas is a very useful way to boost the personalized content. For example, a car manufacturer will have persons of the people who are interested in makes and models. A mother with children may consider practicality and safety as top priorities, while a single and a successful saleswoman may opt for a two-seater. These different visitors are profiled and can have content (i.e. based on car types) predictively matching their interests.
Adaptive Personalization requires the creation of robust algorithms, and data analysis along with a lot of integration points as in this case the source of data has to be huge which can be predicted so as to display the requisite content further. This form of personalization is still in its nascent stage, but it holds a tremendous potential. Organizations like Tinder, Netflix, degree compass, Google, and Amazon are using this form of personalization for their users, and I need not highlight the credibility these companies hold in the eyes of the internet generation.
With this write-up, my aim was to invoke the importance of personalization as a feature to be embedded in your websites. However, getting into the depth and introducing you to various other forms of personalization techniques depending on the nature of business and marketing needs is what will eventually get you there.