One of the things that excited me the most at Codegarden 2015 was the talk of personalisation and segmentation, something which I have wanted to see introduced within Umbraco for a long time.

I believe personalisation is the best way to get your customers to convert as you are providing the right information to the right people.

Segmentation means we will be able to segment any given user or group of users based on a set of criteria such as language, country or locality, time of day and the device being used (such as desktop, tablet and mobile). Although not much is known about the system yet as it is still in the planning stages, it is reasonable to believe it would be powerful enough to take into account the referring website and any other parameters being passed through as query strings.

So why do we need this?

Essentially segmentation allows us to personalise the website for an individual user or a group of users. This could be something as simple as changing a title, text or images. Where I see the potential for this technology is to tailor the website to help the user to find what they are interested in a lot easier which in turn is more likely to result in a conversion. If we know the user is interested in a particular subject then we could for example only show offers related to that subject rather than offers which may be of no interest.

Umbraco will have an interface to define these sets of criteria and then offer a way for editors to apply these to the properties on each individual page. How this will appear visually within Umbraco is yet to be seen however it could be tabular allowing the user to enter different content or select different images for the properties which have multiple criteria defined.

For example, imagine a customer stayed in a hotel which belongs to a chain of hotels. The customer receives an email newsletter six months after their initial stay and clicks through to the website. We could pass through some data to the website which then helps us to identify the user. Now we know who this user is we can begin to customise their experience by showing content for the hotel they previously stayed at such as availability around the time of their last visit along with any offers. We could even up sell one of the other hotels within the chain we think the user may like based on a similar set of facilities and location of the hotel.

I have provided a few examples here but there are so many ways segmentation and personalisation could be used to improve the experience for users of your website. Hopefully we will see this functionality with the release of Umbraco 8 and I for one can't wait to get started improving the experience for users and increasing conversions for our clients.

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