Where everybody knows your name

How often have you visited a website for a brand or company that you already have a relationship with to be asked the same question, such as sign up for a newsletter, every time you visit, when you’re already on the mailing list? It can feel like visiting your local independent coffee shop to have them look blankly at you with no recognition on their face at all when you would expect the owner to start brewing your ‘usual’ when they see you step in the door. 

Using Sitecore, you can begin to personalise the journey for your customers and visitors by delivering them targeted content based on their browsing behaviour and their accumulated profile values. And, in doing so, you’ll be opening up a new world of products and services which suit their needs.  

The process for doing this can be implemented through the Sitecore Experience Editor – where you can create rules to determine the types of content a visitor will see.  The more times a person visits your website and the more journeys they take within that space will help you to build a profile about that person and enable you to share with them specific content.

There are two ways of profiling visitors, using implicit values, which relate to browsing behaviour and explicit values, which relate to visitor responses. 

Returning to that local coffee shop. Implicit values might see a potential customer checking out the pastries and the owner telling them what special Danish pastry fillings are available on that day. While explicit values might see the same customer asking directly if there are any vegan options? With implicit values, you are taking a guess at what the person is looking for, although you can’t be sure – to dealing with the hard fact that your customer is concerned with vegan nutrition. 

When it comes to a website, establishing implicit values will include looking at website analytics – which will reveal quite a lot about your visitors, such as what device they are viewing your website on, browsing patterns and time spent on different pages and where they are located geographically in the world. 

Establishing explicit values will be gained from looking at any feedback or enquiry forms customers might have filled-in. If, for instance, your business involves selling foreign travel and a potential customer fills in a form saying they are interested in a family-friendly all-inclusive resort in Turkey, it wouldn’t then make sense to send them deals for upmarket cruises in the Caribbean. In this instance, you are dealing with hard facts. You’ll soon put off any potential customers by not appearing to understand their needs. 

Again, with implicit values, that same visitor might not have filled-in a form online, but they might be looking at the website pages which relate to all-inclusive family holidays. These are not hard facts that you are dealing with – but you can start to ‘pigeonhole’ visitors based on their behaviour.

Using the Sitecore Experience Editor you can customise content, putting it into different ‘buckets’ so that it’s seen by visitors with a particular persona. You can even make sure that the visitor searching for all-inclusive family holidays to Turkey sees a different banner on the home page next time they visit – probably featuring a Turkish resort or a smiling family, while a retired couple looking for a Caribbean cruise might to see palm-fringed beaches and a distinct lack of children. 

Again, looking at travel, the sort of criteria which could be set might include location, trip duration (a City break versus a typical two-week summer holiday), adrenaline level, family/couple and budget. 

These types of criteria can be established across any website. Perhaps you are a law firm dealing with both private client work and corporate customers. Somebody looking for advice on a divorce will be making a different journey around the website to a company director on the verge of making an acquisition. Once you start to recognise that behaviour, you can tailor the journey. 

If you’d like to know more about how Sitecore can personalise and tailor your customer experience, then get in touch. 

Article Details

Ian Jepp
26 April 2018