In economics, specialisation occurs when an organisation concentrates its resources on a specific type of productive output. This grants them an advantage over their competitors. Several specialisation paths promote the growth of startups and entrepreneurship in Southeast Asia, including personalisation and customisation. 

Some key personalisation strategies and best practices can maximise this competitive advantage for companies. For example, a personalised approach will resonate in the customer’s mind, bringing visitor satisfaction, a prime metric for measuring a website’s success. Presenting customised product recommendations or personalised offers based on visitor behaviour and preferences increases engagement and conversion rates. 

The Next in Personalization 2021 Report by Mckinsey states that after COVID-19, the demand for personalised services is higher than ever. Thanks to the increased screen time, 71% of users expect personalisation when visiting a website, and 76% of consumers get frustrated when they don’t find it. Furthermore, the report has indicated that people expect brands to know them on a personal level. 

Tada wants to change the way Malaysian companies engage their employees

However, there are billions of people with access to the internet. How do companies know whom to send down the marketing funnel? 

Using data to develop a personalised approach

The days when companies catered to a large and homogeneous market with a single strategy, hoping that something would stick, are over. User information is power. The more details a site has of its visitors, the more specialised its advertising and marketing efforts will be. 

An example of this is the use of browser cookies in online businesses. Cookies are text files stored in a user’s computer that will enhance their experience. If a customer visits a website and allows the use of cookies, the page will remember what items they shopped for, their location, log in details, and more. This is only the beginning of how brands can personalise their approach. 

A pivotal element in cracking the personalisation code is analysing data obtained from customer relationship management (CRM) tools. According to a Taiwan News article, Southeast Asia’s Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) market held a market value of over USD 6.3 million and is likely to reach USD 11.5 million by 2030. CRM tools increase customer engagement using automation. 

Streamlining processes and client communications is the first step to obtaining the necessary metrics and information to provide a personalised approach which helps SMEs in the long run. The clever use of this data permits organisations to personalise their website content and messaging, as they’ll know more about the actual needs of their customers. 

Amazon customises their website by recommending products and services to its users to purchase in the recommended shopping cart sections. Instagram and TikTok obtain information about a specific user’s patterns and likes through their algorithms. They use this to provide more specialised content and, thus, keep the user in the application for longer, exposing them to more advertisers related to the user’s specific likes. 

This form of personalisation is possible by using a combination of data and applying data-driven marketing, which is all aimed at making the user feel like the app knows them at a personal level. 

Personalisation in accessibility 

Another critical element is accessibility. Several barriers may prevent how comfortable a website is for a user. It might be in only one language, the font size may be too small, or the colour palette needs to be more comfortable and make things more challenging to read or see. 

The team at ADA Site Compliance outlines some benefits of personalisation via accessibility, three of them being: the building of positive public relations, better Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) due to the increased use of keywords by blind users, and a better user journey which leads to more conversions. This third point is enhanced by reducing the number of steps in a checkout process, using less complicated forms with plainer language, and optimising the website’s architecture. Finally, a website’s localisation will significantly expand the natural customer base.

How can startups in Southeast Asia employ these strategies? 

A Business Insider report states that these steps are essential: 

  • A mobile-first approach: Entrepreneurship in Southeast Asia has transformed the region into one of the strongest footholds in mobile-first usage, so any personalisation and customisation that caters to mobile devices are beneficial. 
  • Faster loading: The use of content delivery networks promotes speedier loading times, as these networks provide content and websites based on geographic location.
  • Personal recommendations: Finally, 67% of consumers appreciate a website they’ve visited before making recommendations based on their past visits. Follow Amazon’s example and double down on the individual’s experience to enhance visitor satisfaction.

By using the data collected, startups in Southeast Asia can provide a more personal experience and customise their offerings to increase customer loyalty and recurring sales. Businesses can more easily reach and engage with diverse and fragmented target audiences by using data to present customised and personalised output.