How personalization gives users a personalized experience

There are several ways small businesses can create personalized customer experiences, from looking at customer feedback to incorporating useful and unique technology. —Getty Images/ljubaphoto

A new study shows that consumers crave products and services tailored to their specific preferences. The researchers found that consumers shopping on their smartphones were more likely to want unique items – or items tailored to their tastes – rather than items deemed “popular”.

Personalization can set your business and its products apart from others in your industry. Here are six tips for customizing your small business to meet consumer needs.

Create buyer personas

To accommodate a customer’s unique needs, a designer can create a buyer persona, or fictional character, that tells the business who the ideal buyer is, what they plan to do, and what problem they need to solve with the product or service in question. These individuals may include information such as age, gender, location and interests.

Buyer personas will help businesses understand consumer wants, needs, goals, and usage. Identifying different user needs will help target product value to a specific audience. Buyer personas will also gather information the business needs to demonstrate the difference that can be made if the product is personalized to the user’s preferences.

[Read more: Personalization Perfected: How 5 Companies Are Leading the Way on Customizing Everything]

Consider customer feedback and requests

Consumers often already suggest what a business can do to improve their buyer experience. The feedback may be regarding a feature that already exists, meaning the user wants customization. Support tickets and feedback forums are great places to review suggestions for customization features and are easy steps to start customizing for your users.

Factor in the customer journey

Consider the customer’s perspective when buying your product to ensure they have a great experience before and after the purchase. Personalization can happen at any stage of the buyer’s journey and often leads to more sales. Understanding the user journey – and each “point” they will visit – before purchasing your product gives you more personalization points. After a purchase, you can offer personalized customer service to the buyer so that they continue to feel they are getting a personalized, personalized experience.

[Read more: How Shipt Is Leaning Into Personalized Same-Day Delivery Trends With New Partnerships From Sephora to Small Businesses]

Consider the customer’s perspective when buying your product to ensure they have a great experience before and after the purchase. Personalization can happen at any stage of the buyer’s journey and often leads to more sales.

Start small

Don’t try to customize your entire business at first. Instead, start small by offering exclusive custom options to a select group of users or specific products, then build from there. Offering exclusive customization options to “loyal customers” such as gifts or add-ons can be an easy way to test custom options and gauge their success. Also, offering only one type of custom product can limit the amount of work you have to do in the beginning. Starting small not only helps you get to more customization options, but it will also prevent you from overwhelming your customers with too many options.

Use technological capabilities to improve offerings

Use technology to enhance your customization options and think outside the box about ways consumers can customize your product to fit their needs. For example, maybe your business offers custom shoes. Wouldn’t it be great to use online technology to allow consumers to see their shoe options on their (digital) feet before they buy? The more opportunities buyers have to be sure they like your product, the better chance you have of creating a customer for life. Explore different technologies to determine which best supports your personalization goals.

[Read more: 4 Types Of Technology That Can Help Grow Your Sales]

Analyze scalability

Don’t be afraid to test your methods. Custom options are not a one-size-fits-all option to build into every product and service you provide to users. Start testing personalization efforts with established products to see what works and what doesn’t, and ask for customer feedback as you do so.

The results of the testing will help your business determine if you need to think about new products or if there is a way to redesign items you already have to drive more traffic. It’s also smart to be cost-conscious and try to test customization with things that don’t touch your budget. Again, start small and analyze your scalability to determine your profitability.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult with a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

To keep up with all the news affecting your small business, go here for all our latest small business news and updates.

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Posted on September 28, 2022

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