4 reasons why web personalization is not a threat to online privacy

Web personalization is a successful tactic that should be on every marketer’s agenda. And it generally works wonders in terms of conversion rate optimization. The problem is that that the web personalization trend coexists with the ever present ethical questions about internet and privacy. Further on we will try to show you how web personalization addresses these issues and makes things work by actually respecting customer privacy.

Online personalization is a tactic used to display to different users, different content and products, adapted to their needs and preferences. For this to take place marketers need to acquire and use some sort of relevant information about the user. It can be his location and the weather from down there; it can by the type of products he likes, the fact that he’s a new or a returning visitor.

online privacy and web personalizationPhoto

Amid bigger issues concerning the privacy issues on the internet, web personalization has also been caught up a little in the dispute. The truth is that the tactics used when personalizing a website are not that different from traditional marketing and follow the same rules. The only difference is that web personalization allows for a much powerful segmentation and identification of customers preferences and also provides the means to offer customers instantly what they want.

Here are the 4 reasons we think web personalization done properly is a tactic that should not raise any internet privacy issues.

1. E-commerce personalization is interested in creating a shopping profile, not identifying a real person. Most users want to keep their anonymity on the internet and personalization methods take this into account. The persona, for which the offers and the content are tailored, is mostly defined by internet parameters or characteristics.  A persona or a profile, it’s not a person’s identity. It’s just a shopping or online navigation profile used to personalize his web experience through real-time targeting.

2. Web personalization does not create security concerns. Most of the online privacy issues are actually related to the security of personal data and to eventual breaches in the storage and the use of private information.

However, web personalization generally does not work with this kind of coordinates. It uses data like online behavior, patterns of navigation and at a more general level, how a user acts on a certain website.  Based on this, personalization can translate into unique messages, recommended products and new content.

3. Web personalization does not only have a strategic significance for vendors, it is also beneficial to customers. In a report created by Zogby, 40.5% of respondents said they’d rather see ads directed towards their interests. And this can be achieved by marketers through data gathering and personalization of ads, product feeds and offers adapted to a user’s interests and general profile.

4. Conversion rate increases. Visitors really buy more when confronted with a web experience personalized to their needs. If personalization would be an intrusive method, it would fail at convincing people to buy more. The fact is that people who experience personalization also experience more interesting content and products discoveries.

When it comes to online privacy, people have different expectations. Some might prefer an automatically personalized experience, as long as it helps them make better choices and filter offers more easily. Others enjoy the discoveries they make on their own and might reject the idea of a marketing tool that can read their preferences.

Meanwhile, personalization remains a very powerful tool and a trend that can change the way we perceive the internet.
If you have any thoughts on this, please feel free to tell us what you think about personalization and online privacy.

For a complete overview over online personalization, download our ebook for free at ebookdirectory.com

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