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Personalizing the Visitor Experience

How far do you go?

     
4:20 pm on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I really enjoy working with dynamic sites. Just having the ability to "personalize" the visitor experience makes all of this that much more fun!

How far do you go in personalizing? I mean, do you do the default Dear %firstname% and leave it at that? Or, do you drill down further and really get finite with the personalization?

Me? I like to get finite. I'll take that dynamic page and personalize it to the max. Little things that really have a subconcious influence like a first name naturally occurring in a sentence. We pretty much take whatever information we may have stored for the user and look for ways to make their browsing experience more personalized. How about you?

10:24 pm on May 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Personally, I'd rather the visitor not fully realize the site is adapting to them. I like to deliver content (read: product selections) based on previous purchases, geography & season, age, etc...
10:30 pm on May 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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%firstname%

Do you mean when a person is logged into their account or just when they're using the site at large?

Unless I'm either logged in, or my name is appearing in response to a sequence where I have explicitly and very recently submitted my info, that sort of thing makes me feel spied on.

Personalization need to be done with a light hand or else it can give people the creeps.

11:40 pm on May 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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really enjoy working with dynamic sites. Just having the ability to "personalize" the visitor experience makes all of this that much more fun!

Fun for you perhaps, but I'm gone whenever a site gets personal. If a site wants to be personal let it post a telephone number where I can call and speak with a real person.

Why would shoppers feel warmer toward sites that are warehousing information about them? Creeped is as good a word as any.

1:22 am on May 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Do you mean when a person is logged into their account.

Oh, strictly after login. There's nothin' creepy about this. ;)

10:03 pm on May 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The Amazon experience delivers personal info that I actually use. I've been checking out one genre of books one day, something completely different the next, and the next day it comes up with genuinely time-saving, resourceful suggestions.

Disclaimer: I have a perhaps somewhat elevated trust level with them since I rely on them for web services, but if the info is truly useful why would someone feel creeped out? Any kind of basic ecommerce transaction is a warehousing of information of the most sensitive type, if a system can extract shopping tips from the pages i've been to then more power to them.

10:21 pm on May 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Speaking of %Firstname%, for some reason when I login to Amazon, it says "Welcome, (not ? then click here)" i.e. missing my name. Apparently I am the man with no name.

Funny that these types of bugs bubble up on the largest of sites. Still, I shop away..

 

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