What is the difference
between website personalization and customization ?
Personalization provides a tailored experience based on a
consumer's previous website interactions such as past
purchase history, product clicks, or interests. In contrast,
customization is when you modify a product/service to suit
your customer's particular needs or preferences.
In simpler terms, customization is when the customer changes
something to their liking, whereas website personalization is when
the seller preemptively makes the changes that might suit
the customer's preferences.
Here's an illustration. When you walk into a small cafe for
the first time, you tend to read the entire menu and choose
the dish you like or customize it the way you want. You ask
the waiter for a window table along with your favorite
monthly magazine. This is an example of a customized
A personalized experience is when you walk into the same
cafe a few days later, and the waiter remembers your
previous order customizations, your preferable seat, and
your favorite magazine and offers all these to you without
you having to ask. This gives a personal touch to the
What is the difference between website personalization and A/B
While A/B testing and website personalization share the same
goal—optimization—they are not the same thing. In fact, A/B
testing is a data-driven method that precedes website
personalization and is used to make the personalized
experience better. Before you even segment your audience,
A/B testing helps you find the best-performing website
design to apply across the board for your marketing
After A/B testing identifies which of your website design
variations results in higher conversions for a given
audience, website personalization takes that winning design and
customizes it further for each individual.
For example, you give a box of crayons to 2 kids each, along
with a sunny landscape, to start coloring. Like everyone
else, you would assume that both the kids would color the
sky blue. However, it turned out that one of them had
colored it orange, thereby giving it a completely different
outlook to the picture. Now, you can conduct similar
experiments on different kids and track how many of them
color the sky blue vs orange. The result of this experiment
is the effectiveness of AB testing.
Benefits of improving website personalization on your website
Let's dive deeper to see what kinds of benefits you'd get
when use personalization for your web pages.
Better data insights
You don't have to rely too much on your gut when tailoring
your website, because website personalization starts with collecting
data to understand what buyers are looking for. This allows
you to offer it to them in real time. Eventually, it's all
about what should drive your audience's attention so that
you can tailor the content accordingly— which comes from
data analysis and emulating what the numbers tell you to do.
Optimized landing pages
Some customers already know what they want when they land on
your website, so
personalizing it helps them avoid a lengthy search process.
Making it easier for your customer to get what they are
seeking as soon as they arrive is a great way to increase
For example, If you're using Zoho Pagesense, you can easily
target visitors who have interacted with your ad campaign
and display relevant landing pages to the customer.
Faster sales cycles
It's a rare scenario for customers to purchase a product or a
service on their initial visit to a website. Personalizing
site provides a better user experience for these
Recent Instapage statistics tell us, "Personalized homepage
promotions influenced 85% of consumers to buy."
Knowledge about your audience
What's your audience's overall demographic profile? What
do they use to visit your website? How much time do they
on your page? In order to know your customers’
processes and your target audience, you need to get your
on these metrics.
For example, here's how you can That's something you can
through content personalization.
Lower bounce rates
A lower bounce rate can help websites make their way to the
of search engines, thereby increasing the chances of getting
discovered through organic search. With website personalization, you
not only level up website engagement and conversions, you
also reduce your bounce rate.
Website Personalization best practices
Before you start personalizing your website, here are some
pointers to keep in mind.
Collect relevant data
Ensure that the data you collect correlates with your
website personalization goals. People often wonder, "How am I
to get the right information without a form?" You do this by
picking the right criterion that's relevant to your
Also, if you're using software like Zoho PageSense or
third-party tools to collect your data, your tools must
integrate seamlessly to have a clearer view of the overall
Tailor your content strategy
Tailor messages that are relevant to your target audience.
Make sure that you're consistent with your messaging across
different social media platforms to avoid confusion and
Execute automated tests
Website Personalization is all about testing periodically to drive
good conversions. You never know when your experiment will
achieve your desired conversion rates.
Instead of utilizing every single bit of data you've
from a particular customer, focus on how you can meet their
needs without making it too personal. Don't micro-target a
customer or a specific segment. Although targeted website
personalization provides maximum assistance, there's a thin
between being impressive and invasive.
Don't limit your ideas to a one segment
For your website personalization, you start off by segmenting
your audience based on their preferences. But don't limit
efforts and ideas to any particular segment. Experiment with
similar ideas for different segments for an overall increase
Don't violate your user's privacy
People know what they want, and to meet those demands, site
owners must offer a personalized, contextual experience. At
same time, they must avoid being overly invasive. For
don't collect customer data that you don't need. Also, with
stringency of privacy laws, you need to get explicit consent
from your customers before using their data. Finally, if
using third-party software, be aware of how they use your
customers' data and make sure it's inline with your own
Industry-based examples of website personalization
Nowadays industries are willing to venture into offering a
meaningful conceptual experience to their customers. Let's
take a look at how a few industries can benefit from website
Although B2B is a tough market to please, once you offer a
personalized website experience, it helps you develop a
stronger relationship with customers even before the sales
process. Your target audience is from small to large
enterprises, all of them with complex needs and priorities
The most common B2B website personalization strategy is to help
visitors find relevant content by offering one-to-one
Don't showcase all your content/guides/ebooks on one page.
Instead, you can start by collecting data on the previously
downloaded/viewed content pieces, the type of industry they
are from, IP addresses, and other related data to offer
relevant content throughout the entire site.
All the current statistics prove that website personalization has
one of the most significant marketing tactics in the current
industry. Here are some classic examples of ecommerce
- Product recommendations based on a visitor’s browsing
- Tailoring discounts to meet individual needs
- Category menu personalization based on visitor interests
- Personalizing content based on audience segmentation
- Real-time notifications to customers when they are on
Most travel brands personalize their website in real time
based on the visitor data to make their communication more
effective and help their visitors choose the right package.
- Tracking IP addresses: Some websites create travel
recommendations based on places a visitor has frequently
or searched for information about.
- Analyzing a user's search history on the website: Travel
websites track a customer's chosen travel dates or
searches on their website. When the customer logs into
website, there's a personal greeting and the abandoned
package saved in the cart. A few websites capitalize on
proofing, such as the number of customers who have
package, displaying the hotel rooms left, or customer
testimonials/reviews to create urgency and drive faster
These days, online platforms will regularly recommend
songs/movies/TV shows they think a customer might enjoy.
companies offer extremely curated one-to-one
which means no other user will have the same suggestion
This tactic introduces customers to the newest or trending
and matches their likes and interests based on individual
Most social media platforms we use implement algorithms that
focus on customer experience to great effect.
Personalization is the new expectation
Never underestimate the power of personal touch. 71% of
consumers feel frustrated when a shopping experience is
impersonal. This marketing tactic lets you take advantage of
your existing traffic and convert your website visitors into
customers! When you treat your customers as individuals,
you'll find they're much more likely to return and make