Get Personal

If you are a small business looking to beat the competition, try getting personal. No, not personal as in having them over for dinner.

Rather, make your website a more personal experience for your customers.

The Personalization Trend

Over the past year or two, many businesses have introduced personalization in their websites in order to connect more closely with their prospective customers while differentiating themselves from the competition.

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It’s easy to understand the benefits of personalization. Just about any person would want a personal experience as opposed to a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach when visiting a website.

As Dale Carnegie famously wrote in How to Win Friends and Influence People, a person’s name is the sweetest sound to that person. When you use her name in your interactions, you make her feel important.

Personalization in Action

If your competition is not providing any personalization in their websites, injecting personalization into your own site can help you gain a competitive edge. So if you are searching for a way to differentiate your business in a way that connects you more closely with your customers, consider personalization through your website.

With that said, though, what does personalization look like?

Website personalization can actually take many forms. The following websites are just a few of the varied possibilities for implementing a personalized online experience that makes prospective customers feel like more than just a number:

  • MyMMs.com

    At MyMMs.com, you can customize the text you want to appear on your M&M’s candies. Not only that, but you can add your own personal photo or other image as well. You can even create Martha Stewart crafts out of your personalized M&M’s.
  • The Candy Lab

    With The Candy Lab, M&M’s decided to take things one step further. Here, you can upload a headshot and have it appear on an M&M candy, and then make the face on the candy talk and sing. (Note: This service is no longer available.)
  • Keds Studio

    At Keds Studio, you can apply your own design to Keds Champions canvas shoes, and then sell them on Zazzle.com.
  • AllRecipes.com

    At the recipes site AllRecipes.com, you can create your own personalized cookbook.
  • Shutterfly

    At Shutterfly, you can order a wide array of personalized products such as books, posters and calendars, as well as mugs, stickers and magnets all displaying your photos.
  • Lands’ End

    At Lands’ End, you can use their Virtual Model to see what clothing and outfits look like on your body type.
  • Amazon and Netflix

    At Amazon and Netflix, you get personalized product recommendations.
  • Threadless

    At Threadless, sell your own personally designed t-shirts.
  • Zazzle

    At Zazzle, sell your own personally designed merchandise such as t-shirts, posters and artwork.
  • Lulu

    At Lulu, create your own personalized books.

Your Website

How about your website? How can you make your site visitors feel special and unique? What type of personalization would they appreciate? See how far you can take personalization, and you can start connecting with your customers in a way that separates you from your competition.

  ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tom Shapiro
Tom Shapiro

Tom Shapiro is CEO of Digital Marketing NOW, a strategy, design and marketing agency that fuels clients' business results. DigitalMarketingNOW.com Twitter: @DigitalMN

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