The Realities of Online PersonalisationThe growing importance of delivering a personalised experience online is highlighted in a new Econsultancy and Monetate survey in which 94% of businesses stated that personalisation ‘is critical to current and future success.’

Furthermore, the research found that for two-thirds (66%) of client-side respondents, both improved business performance and customer experience are the main drivers for personalising the website experience.

The Realities of Online Personalisation is based on a survey of more than 1,100 digital and ecommerce professionals working for brands and agencies, carried out in February 2013.

It looks in detail at what is driving online personalisation, the tactics and types of data being used to tailor the online customer experience and the barriers to success.

What is the main driver for personalising the website experience?

One of the key trends identified in the report is the fact that as businesses have become more digitally mature, marketers are conscious of the need to deliver experiences which are more personalised and nuanced not only for existing customers but also for first-time site visitors, using real-time behavioural data.

And the benefits of personalising the consumer experience are obvious. Businesses that are currently personalising web experiences and who are also able to quantify the improvement (in the context of online sales or their key website performance metric) are seeing an increase in sales of 19% on average. 

This translates into hundreds of millions of pounds and dollars of additional sales for online businesses across a range of business sectors.

But although nearly all businesses are aware of the potential rewards from personalisation, the reality is that most respondents have yet to implement it on their own digital platforms.

More than half (56%) of companies stated that they are not personalising the web experience for visitors, while only 4% say that customer experiences are ‘very’ personalised.

Thinking about your own organisation/clients, how would you describe the extent to which the website experience is personalised for visitors?

David Moth

Published 22 April, 2013 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Comments (7)

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Dan Huddart

Dan Huddart, Head of Analytics & Web Development at RSA Group

It'd be interesting to ask those who recognise that personalisation is important, but don't do it, what is stopping them.

I think it's one of those areas that sounds a lot more complicated and expensive than it actually is. If you can run an AB test then it's a very small step to run a basic personalisation test.

almost 5 years ago


Raj Rao, Vice President, Global eTransformation at 3M CorpEnterprise

I find that real time behavioral personalization is limited to content targeting and can favorably impact customer satisfaction scores. It is very difficult to execute in B2B eCommerce scenarios since almost all pricing and order management systems are not real time. This latency is unacceptable for a Web visitor who expect page content to load in seconds. Amazon has a work around using pricing algorithms but that is designed for B2C transactions where the buyer is not a dealer with negotiated terms. In that content a 19% improvement in order conversion is plausible.

So, perhaps marketers want some form of financial justification to invest in content personalization?

almost 5 years ago


Nathan Shilton

Definitely agree with Dan's comment regarding AB testing, this is a must with personalisation and it also depends on your market.

We have found for the financial sector that sometimes being too personalised with your content can freak the recipient out.

almost 5 years ago

Gerry Brown

Gerry Brown, Managing Partner at Cascadia Connections

As Dan Huddart notes, and my own experience with customers tells me, it is very hard to understand why personalization seems to be ignored by so many companies. While implementing a "Full Monty" solution can take a significant effort, there's no reason personalization can't be implemented on a phased basis, that builds on real time customer activity, historical data and other behavioural and geo-location information.

As an example, I just moved, and found that at least 50% of the organizations that I dealt with didn't allow me to change my address on-line. People change details all the time and these organizations are missing a golden opportunity to enrich their data, target customers with more relevance and significantly enhance their ability to personalize the customer experience.

A simple web landing page that can allow customers to update details, and that comes with a very short survey on their preferences, and that can immediately update the organizations' CRM system, is a low-cost and very effective way of starting the personalization process and can be the catalyst for change in even the most stubbornly resistant organizations.

almost 5 years ago

Pete Williams

Pete Williams, Managing Director at Gibe Digital

we are seeing clients ask for this more and more however as there are so many different ways and levels of personalisation it normally comes down to budget as to how much to offer. Standards seem to be along the Amazon model with email marketing playing a large part due to easy segmentation when a CRM is being employed properly.

almost 5 years ago

Dan Huddart

Dan Huddart, Head of Analytics & Web Development at RSA Group

If anyone's attending Adobe Summit tomorrow I'm doing a session on this exact topic at 12, with examples of our personalisation campaigns

almost 5 years ago



The topics of targeting and personalization are becoming increasingly popular, especially with the tag-line "real time" introduced.

I would like to introduce, HiConversion, the US Patent holders for real-time e-Commerce optimization. Here is a link to research we preformed on testing & personalization:

I encourage you to explore this piece and let me know your thoughts. We try to express the importance of an algorithmic driven e-Commerce optimization method, as well as the revenue associated with site testing.

All the best,
Erik Botzfield

over 4 years ago

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