We have been saying it for ages now: so far we have conceptualised, designed and developed silly websites. Websites offering the same face every time we open them, websites that do not recognise us or respond to our personal expectations, websites which do not learn from their mistakes and which do not proactively apply any kind of commercial intelligence to get us to visit them again and turn us into clients.
We are standing on the brink of a new stage in which websites will start to think and take decisions for us. And it?s not an option. It?s starting to become compulsory. It?s time to make intelligent websites which execute actions proactively on and off the webpage, depending on the profile of the user and how he behaves.
Here are 12 initial ideas which tell us what ? beyond multi-variable testing ? we should start thinking about to make our websites more intelligent:
- Landing pages with dynamic texts which use the key words from our campaigns or our users? natural searches to contextualise messages. Users tend to dedicate a lot more time to webpages where the key words used to search for them appear. What better than to create landing pages which make dynamic use of them?
- Contextualisation of our information depending on the user?s geographical data. By recognising the IP we can find out what country, region, city, longitude and latitude the user is browsing from. Shouldn?t we use this resource to adapt our discourse locally?
- Commercial proactiveness on our internal search engines. Internal search engines are being used more and more by our impatient users. Our capacity to use algorithms which dynamically prioritise the results depending on their conversion probability should be an obligation for us all. But our internal search engines should also allow us to enter promotions and campaigns to maximise our chances of closing a deal with our customers.
- Business rules depending on specific criteria (time of day or of the month, customer?s situation, pages visited,…). Technology already allows us to microsegment to an extent that no-one from the world of marketing could ever have dreamed. Shouldn?t we take our first steps by testing primary business rules with customised development to see how our users react?
- Different layers and levels of content depending on the length of the visit or the pages that the users have visited. The user?s own behaviour allows us to condition the content we display and how we should display it. Dealing with different archetypal users with different requirements for information, depending on behaviour seems very sensible to us.
- Creation of dynamic pricing depending on the level of sales, conversion ratios or promotions currently under way. There are solutions which allow us to condition our prices depending on multiple variables relating to the webpage itself and which, therefore, can be automated.
- Customisation of messages, depending on our users? current or historical behaviour. Behavioural targeting is being applied on advertising networks with great success and will shortly become our daily bread, since the possibilities for customising messages on the basis of behavioural criteria are infinite (and, at the same time, highly effective). What is the point of seeing a message or something highlighted that I systematically ignore?
- Last-minute offers for users who are leaving our website. It may sound a little aggressive, but in some cases it is extremely effective and gives us a last chance to hook the user who is leaving the website.
- Automated e-mails, based on on-site behaviour (e.g. leaving the site with products in the shopping basket). So far, we have thought too much in terms of the webpage and very little about the intelligent and automatic use of e-mail to develop a closer relationship with our users. We are not referring to the typical newsletter with information that the user does not want to read sent every so often with offers that do not always generate the interest we would like them to. We are referring to using push intelligence at specific times: e.g. sending a reminder or promotion when a purchase has not materialised in spite of having placed items in the shopping basket or after performing a search (for a flight or a product) and the user has not made the purchase. A few days later we may have a better offer or a product that the user might be interested in. Push, but always subtly and relevantly.
- Customised personalisation and configuration of wish-list products. Creating dynamic proposals (cross-sales, special terms and conditions…) depending on the how the user is personalising our product also makes a lot of sense.
- Automatic completion of fields for repeat customers. We must simplify the steps or work the user must perform to avoid him giving up along the way. Are we sure that we can?t make our users? lives easier? Why, every time I enter the sites of the same airline companies, do they ask me for my city of origin?
- Activation of proactive chat at specific times. The integration of proactive, personalised service when everything seems to indicate that the user has got stuck can be highly profitable on certain pages of our online presence. Have we paid proper attention to everything?