What is web personalization?

Website personalization is a marketing strategy for designing unique customer experiences. These experiences can include customized recommendations, dynamic content, and exclusive offers. Personalization is based on user behavior, demographics, and interests.

Why is web personalization important for customer experience (CX)?

Today’s consumers have come to expect personalized experiences online that match the level of personalization that they receive in the real world. For example, consumers can receive personalized experiences on their social media feeds or favorite online stores. As a result, personalization has become a top priority for today’s business and technology leaders.

The benefits of web personalization

Relevant product recommendations

One of the major benefits of website personalization is relevant product recommendations. User data can be analyzed to determine what customers might want to buy next and when.

Relevant product recommendations are a great way to predict future purchases. Brands can take advantage of customer data to automatically personalize a user’s homepage with specific items they might be interested in.

Better understanding of customers

A better understanding of customers results in a better customer experience. The best way to start doing this is by creating buyer personas for the most common types of customers. This way, there are far less combinations of data than personalizing for each individual customer.

For example, instead of creating experiences for 15,000 individual customers, customers can be segmented into 5 or 6 buyer personas through categories such as region, amount they spend, or shopping habits.

Increased customer retention

Not only does personalization boost customer retention, but it also drives down costs since attracting previous shoppers is less expensive than acquisition-based campaigns. Successful personalization collects customer data over time, creating customer relationships through trust and familiarity.

However, the more data brands collect on customers, the higher their expectations will be for a personalized experience. This makes it all the more important to consistently deliver high quality, personalized experiences that bring customers back again and again.

Increased time on site

While customers pay attention to things that interest them, that interest starts to wane after only 8 seconds. Human beings are naturally self-interested, so creating personalized experiences that mirror their buying habits will keep them on a company’s website longer.

A common metric used by digital marketers is time spent on page. This is because it is an obvious sign of user engagement, which can then be converted to a call-to-action (CTA) or a certain landing page.

High converting calls to action (CTAs) and landing pages

The ultimate benefit of website personalization is higher conversion across landing pages and calls to action (CTAs). Companies who choose to create personalized experiences can expect to see significant increases in revenue for their efforts.

While website personalization requires a lot of work and effort to get right, the pay off in terms of ROI is more than worth it. A website personalization strategy is likely to succeed when brands take the time to do it right.


The challenges of web personalization

Scalability issues

Website personalization can become a balancing act between managing heavy traffic and displaying personalized content on demand, all without decreasing website performance. While non-personalized websites can manage heavy traffic by caching snapshots of each webpage, this becomes difficult when webpages become more dynamic.

There will always be a trade-off between personalization and performance, but there are steps that can be taken to mitigate this problem. A content delivery network (CDN) can help images load more quickly and remove unnecessary plugins and bloat from a personalized website.


Privacy has become a hot topic of conversation in the tech world. The majority of today’s websites use third-party tracking, also known as cookies, to collect information about its users. This information can include location and device type that can help businesses create personalized experiences for their users.

However, web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Apple’s Safari have blocked cookies by default, and Google Chrome is on its way to blocking them as well. The General Data Protection Legislation (GDPR) enforced in the European Union requires explicit consent from users in order to track and store their data.

Data collection challenges

Companies who have developed a new app, onboarded a new customer service software, or updated their payment processing system know the challenges involved in collecting and managing data across multiple platforms.

It can also make personalizing websites more difficult as recommendations are not as relevant as when all data is synced to the same place in real-time. While restructuring databases can be a time-intensive project, it will improve the customer experience across all departments, from customer service to sales to finance.

Resource heavy

Not only does a personalized marketing strategy require a mindset shift, but it requires significant investments in time, money, and effort. Personalization is often a difficult sell for decision-makers as its value is difficult to measure in advance. While personalization requires a resource overhaul, new technologies have provided templates and workflows that have significantly reduced the burden on stakeholders.

How to personalize your website

Buyer personas

Buyer personas are detailed representations of people who represent a brand’s target audience. These personas help create simple yet accurate snapshots of market segments that are easy to use for product launches, campaigns, and websites.

Integrating buyer personas into a website personalization strategy allows brands to create different versions of their online stores for different groups without creating a unique layout for each individual user.

Key categories of customer segmentation



Behavioral Data

Related to decision-making (i.e. purchase, consumption, lifestyle, and usage data)

Geographic Data

Subset of demographic data. Divides customers by geographical area

Demographic Data

i.e. age, income, education, race, family size, gender, nationality, occupation, etc.

Psychographic Data

Related to psychology (i.e. personality traits, values, opinions, interests, lifestyle, etc.)

Firmographic Data

Demographics but for organizations (i.e. company size, number of employees, etc.)

Technographic Data

Related to business technology (i.e. marketing tools, CRM software, etc.)

Planning experiences

It is important that brands understand their customers well when planning their personalized customer experiences. This way, they can create engaging experiences that will be tailored to each buyer persona. Effective planning also involves managing the size and complexity of the personalization strategy.

Continuous measurements and improvements

Website personalization strategies do not end after implementation. Brands should be constantly measuring the return on their strategies so they can continue to optimize their customer experiences.

Types of website personalization



Dynamic Content

Replacing website content with personalized variations (i.e. hero banners, call-to-action buttons, other in-page elements)


Recommend products or services according to attributes in user news feeds, interactions, and past trends

Overlays and Popups

Highlight relevant offers with large, attention-grabbing popups

Notifications and Widgets

Use subtle and unobtrusive elements such as toolbars or sliding menus


Tailor promotional messaging with calls-to-action (CTAs) and a sense of urgency

Chatbot Prompts/Flows

Personalize chatbot conversations with data from purchase history, website activity, etc.

Landing Pages

Tailor landing pages for each visitor instead of a single, one-size-fits-all solution

Product or Feature Personalization

Customize search results according to user preferences and behavior

Menu Personalization

Change the order of menus and navigation bars based on user behavior or preferred categories


Tools to personalize your website


HubSpot’s content management system (CMS) software is designed to build and maintain visually appealing and personalized websites. Its intuitive drag-and-drop editor allows brands to use forms and chatbots to improve their customer experiences. HubSpot also collects data on website visitors, allowing companies to gather insights and enhance their websites.


Reactful uses AI to determine customer intentions, personalize customer experiences and boost conversion. It can interpret user behavior in real-time and deliver the right message and content at exactly the right time. By using machine learning over time, Reactful better understands user behavior and can recommend products automatically.


Ada’s conversational AI platform can proactively reach out to customers with personalized support and suggestions. It can learn from a customer’s purchase history, preferences, and intent to influence customers to take action. Messages are triggered using real-time data and can be automated across all customer-preferred channels.


Proof makes it simple to make your website delightfully human and customer-obsessed. It offers loads of personalization content which can boost conversion by 15% in under 15 minutes. Proof collaborates with experts to offer the best growth and personalization strategies for today’s fastest-growing startups.

Dynamic Yield

Dynamic Yield delivers omnichannel personalization in an easy-to-use platform. It can personalize customer interactions at scale for optimal customer experiences across the web, email, mobile, and more. Dynamic Yield offers powerful APIs that are trusted by clients such as McDonald’s, IKEA, and Sephora.

Google Optimize

Google Optimize allows businesses to run experiments on their website to determine what design converts best with customers. Once a brand discovers what interests their customers and achieves company objectives, Google Optimize can deliver personalized experiences that promote engagement and boost conversion.


Optimizely is the world’s fastest A/B testing platform, making it a great option for gathering customer insights and creating personalized and engaging websites. It uses testing methods backed by data science to test changes before they are rolled out to a company’s website.