Successful personalization is one of the key drivers for websites with a high amount of returning visitors. Therefore, another performance indicator could be added to in the toolbox of performance measurement of websites and traffic. And this should be measured immediately after every first visit of a new visitor.
You have probably figured out the different targets for 2020. Revenue, media-budget, traffic and conversion could be within your range of performance indicators to set the tone for 2020. Maybe you’ll measure this within a dashboard or rapportage-tool to create a sense of overview for all of your set performance indicators and to measure progress. Don’t fill this dashboard with too many different performance indicators. Although, we would like to add one new performance indicator which could be very helpful over time: the returning website visitor. Exactly, one who has already visited the website.
Just take a look at your Google Analytics for a moment. How many of all visitors are returning visitors? This amount could be surprisingly high. And take a look at the amount of orders your customers have placed. Chances are that you have already developed a group of loyal customers who repeatedly placed an order at your website and revisited your page. Of course, you would like to personalize and adjust the website to each visitor visiting your pages. But are you capable of recognizing the visitor immediately after they visited your website? Are you familiar even before they log into their shopping cart or already have left the shopping cart? If not, the reward could be high when you try to increase the amount of returning visitors to your website. Because, this is one of the basic conditions for successful personalization.
Recognizable website traffic is traffic you recognize the moment they enter your website. This isn’t just the IP-address, the behaviour shown in the previous visit or a generated profile. We are talking about order history, place of residence and seasonal buys. These could be more relevant when approaching a new website visit.
When you are capable of recognizing your website traffic for real, this leads to plenty of possibilities to discover, to increase conversion. A couple of examples:
• Create follow-up offers and personalized promotions;
• Offer personalized content in mailings;
• Provide service content for previous purchases;
• Prefilling order forms to increase level of service.
1. Work with accounts
Maybe, the most important way to recognize visitors is to make them log into an account. This is the way for customers to make themselves visible. The one disadvantage is that people log into after they’ve made up their minds and want to place an order. They log in whenever they’ve found what they’re looking for.
More features within the customer interface is that they increase the total amount of visitors that logs in. This also decreases customer service costs.
2. Through e-mail
Maybe you’re sending a newsletter to your customers on a regular basis. This has huge potential to increase the total amount of recognizable customers. For a lot of retailers, e-mail is the most important channel of created revenue. This means that it is worth the effort to invest in recognizing website visitors through their e-mail addresses.
- First of all, make sure that web shop customers and newsletter registrations are merged and deduplicated. At the end of the day, you only want one profile for each customer. This could be measured and registered in a customer data platform (CDP), but with few sources of data this could also work in a marketing automation platform.
- After completing this step, it’s easy to add recognizable and unique profile aspects. This could automatically be added links in e-mails.
- Eventually, this could lead to a website that is prefilled based on different profile aspects through an API. The API makes sure that the customer data is imported and updated in your online personalization system.
That’s it. At the end of these three steps you’re closer to recognize website traffic and creating the basic conditions for personalization.
3. Through codes and vouchers
Another frequently used method is to recognize visitors through their usage of codes and vouchers. But in most cases, this is only used in shopping carts, where customers enter their codes and vouchers after they’ve done their shopping. This is a chance missed, because you want to recognize them at the moment when they enter your website, not when they’ve finished shopping.
Of course, there are even more possibilities when it comes to increasing returning visitors. However, this will probably increase only after this became a target for your organization and when the results are measured often. And if you’re still in doubt: investing in customer recognition is often more profitable than investing in returning visitors. Good luck with recognizing your customers!
This article is written by Peter van der Schaar for magazine Twinkle, edition 9.