Individualized user experiences with personalization engines

Charlotte Malz
Head of Marketing, BSI

Individualizing your website content based on the person visiting the site has enormous potential in regard to marketing effectiveness and sales promotion. In addition, such personalization increases customer satisfaction and improves brand perception. So-called personalization engines provide the technology to make this possible. We will show you precisely what this means and how these software solutions work.

What are personalization engines?

Personalization engines collect and analyze customer data from anonymized behavior or directly from customer profiles to give every customer visiting a website a customized experience. Using this approach impacts automated marketing campaigns, websites, and product suggestions. In addition, these tools accommodate the automation of segmentation and distribution processes. Personalization engines add more context to customer data, allowing companies to precisely customize and personalize content, offers, and customer interactions. In particular, this benefits marketing and e-commerce and enhances the customer experience – marketing will be more effective, leaving customers more satisfied, which, in turn, makes companies more successful. Unlike customer data platforms (CDP), personalization engines collect big data without structuring the data or sorting out duplicates. Instead, they interpret the data comprehensively with artificial intelligence and machine learning – functions that CDPs generally lack.

Key points:

  • Personalization engines utilize information about website visitors and respond in real time by delivering personalized website content.
  • In addition to resulting in an individualized, positively perceived user experience, this generates higher conversion rates and increased revenue.
  • Personalization engines can push specific marketing campaigns as individual tools or contribute to marketing automation as part of comprehensive tools.

The definition of personalization engine

To begin with, the main elements of personalization engines are primarily internal and external data collectors and information processors. Some data can be retrieved on-page through tracking and cookies, while for other information, data from external platforms, such as Google, Amazon or social networks, is used.

Add to that all the digital tools that develop and deliver applicable marketing campaigns based on the stored information. Above all, however, the critical first step is to derive individualized context from the tracked information – individualized for each user and no longer clustered by buyer personas or vague target group grids.

In a second step, personalization engines can utilize the analyzed context to facilitate targeted website user experiences precisely customized to the user. Specifically, this means that the same website shows a slightly different version of its content to each visitor.

91% of consumers are more willing to shop at companies with personalized offers. About 83% share personal data if this personalization results in an individualized customer experience for them. (Accenture, 2019)

Examples of personalized website communication

Different target groups use websites very differently and have different priorities. Insurers can optimize their landing pages with personalization engines to display only information that is of genuine interest to each visitor. A 58-year-old property owner is presented with building insurance, while a 22-year-old student gets a recommendation for reduced-premium young-adult rates for home or liability insurance.

The benefit of personalization engines is that the content alignment is no longer limited to such broad criteria as age or gender. While a 22-year-old student visiting a sporting goods fan shop sees products related to his favorite soccer club, another visitor is presented with his favorite basketball team’s latest jerseys.

The goal is to enhance the customer experience

The benefits of personalized communication through personalization engines are evident. The more individualized the website’s content, the more comfortable the user feels. And the more comfortable the user, the more offers of interest she will discover and the higher her willingness to make a purchase. But there is a lot more that matters besides optimizing the conversion rate and increasing sales.

Personalization engines are essential for the customer experience, i.e., the holistic experience of a brand or a platform. Of course, a positive customer experience is ultimately reflected in a company’s sales numbers. However, along the customer journey, many other aspects besides personalization play an essential role, such as service or the general brand perception.

Having the right technology partner is critical

Website personalization tools are solutions available on the market which serve as personalization engines for your company. A distinction should be made here between stand-alone products and comprehensive automation solutions. First, your company can purchase specific tools that target specific areas, such as product recommendations or triggered e-mail marketing. Or, you can select digital experience platforms that take all your marketing activities into the digital age – and these usually always include a personalization engine.

Gartner and the magic quadrant: Gartner has researched personalization engines and ranked several vendors in its magic quadrant. In particular, it evaluated application strength and visionary power:

Conclusion: Everything is about the customer

What personalization engines can essentially provide is precisely what the old-fashioned neighborhood store offers: recognizing customers and explicitly offering them suitable products. The only difference is that personalization engines can do this on an unprecedented scale and with a high degree of currentness. Personalization engines succeed in placing the customer as an individual back on center stage. With big data, real-time analysis based on AI and user-friendly interfaces for the design of campaigns combines with the personal proximity of your favorite store at the speed and availability of major digital players in the market.

Did you know?

For almost 25 years, BSI has been the leading software company for solutions ranging from CRM to CX. We are experts in personalization. With our many years of experience and the requisite expertise, we create unique customer experiences in the retail, banking and insurance industries. Would you, too, like to enhance your marketing with more personalization?

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