How personalization can make you feel at home.

Personalization can be scary. It’s understandable; suddenly the anonymous internet knows your personal details, likes, dislikes, and your location….a tad stalkerish? Yet personalization, when done intelligently, can have the reverse effect. Here we look at some examples of personalization that don’t just help the user, they make them feel at home.

There is no need to introduce you to the little globe at the top of your Facebook page, the icon which has the ability to disappoint or excite us the instant we log in. I’m sure most of you, including myself, were too busy checking if the little red box had appeared next to the globe to realise a slight change. I, sitting in London, can now no longer see America but Europe and Africa. This tiny detail, an apparently miniscule change, not only indicates a shift of mind at Facebook, it also improves my experience of the site itself. 

Likewise CNN the international news hub also uses this same idea on their web page logo, if you log in from Africa their globe icon centres upon this region. The fact that these globes are no longer Americentric, indicates a shift in mindset. Global businesses now need to think and connect to their customers locally. Facebook, for example, reports that just 18.3 percent of its 829 million daily users are from either the United States or Canada.

No-one wants to shop for winter clothes when the sun is shining. Topshop know this and so have incorporated a live weather feed, telling you the temperature of your location and giving you an option to shop clothes suitable for your current climate. Apart from being extremely handy and quick, it also allows Topshop to drive their sales worldwide by personalizing the icon and clothing choices to customers internationally. Burton recently did a similar test, which caused an 11.6% uplift in conversion. Understanding where your customer is, in terms of where they are when they are shopping, a great way of connecting with them in a personal way. 

This is not exclusive to retail brands, the BBC also use the weather feature to show a short but sweet three day forecast to their users. Combining weather data with geolocation data produces a very helpful result for the end user.

The key to a homely touch is definitely subtlety, for it is those small differences you notice in your own home so why should it not be the same on a website? Customers must feel comfortable when shopping and the subtlety of these small icons also allow global businesses to cater for varied cultures, languages and climates.

To find out more about adapting your online offering for an international audience, why not read our latest piece of research, “10 ways to grow your international sales using personalization”?