Posted by cara.harshman
In 1998, Jeff Bezos had a vision for the Internet. At that time he was four years into building Amazon. It was taking off as a humongous online emporium of books and music. In an interview with the Washington Post that year, Bezos made a visionary statement about the web. “If we have 4.5 million customers, we shouldn’t have one store. We should have 4.5 million stores,” he said.
Fast-forward 19 years and here we are in 2017. My Amazon homepage is extremely personalized to me. (In August it was showing me glow sticks and solar-powered lamps. It clearly knew I was going to Burning Man.)
Bezos’ vision is reality for Amazon.com and many more e-commerce sites. At this point, personalized product recommendations are table stakes for online retail. But we haven’t seen personalization become as popular across the rest of the non-retail web. Most businesses have one version of the homepage that is supposed to cater to all different sorts of people. The sites still say, “come one, come all!”
This is troubling. Marketers spend so much time and energy developing personas and messaging for the myriad audiences we want to turn into customers. But it usually …read more