Website personalisation helps small businesses compete more successfully with big businesses


123 Reg is today announcing the launch of its industry-leading website builder, helping small businesses and web professionals to narrow the gap and compete with larger businesses. The new tool enables users to build mobile optimised and dynamic websites without technical training and skills.

In an online study of 2052 adults online, commissioned by 123 Reg and undertaken by YouGov, it was revealed that more than two-thirds (71%) of British adults who ever purchase items online from a business’ website think that a small business’ offline service is more personal than that of a big business. However, over half (59%) felt that big business websites were generally better than small business websites, showing a clear need for small businesses to learn to translate their personal offerings to their online stores.

As part of its research into how to help small businesses maintain a competitive edge, 123 Reg partnered with a behavioural scientist to conduct an online experiment* with shoppers in an effort to understand the psychological influences impacting website visits and sales. The experiment tested personalisation, defined as using personal information such as time of day, location or user behaviour to display specific website content, and found that large businesses performed better on 14 out of 22 website attributes tested – excelling at usability, social functions, information quality and website personalisation.


The behavioural scientist, Patrick Fagan, director, BrainChimp, offered insight: “The experiment shows that SME’s could almost halve lost sales opportunities and double their propensity to return to a site by using information about the visit to show specific content. It also highlighted that personalisation of a site significantly affected people’s trust and empathy with the business which, in turn, directly translated into purchase and behavioural intent.”


To help SME’s address this problem, 123 Reg has launched its website builder, providing customers with responsive design templates that can be personalised according to need, an extensive dashboard, behavioural targeting, easy migration to templates and an in-app up-sell option. These features allow users to control what visitors can see based on location, time of day and number of previous visits, as well as increasing the ease of use in terms of development.

“Our research conclusively confirmed what we all instinctively know – that Britons value small businesses highly for their personal service offline, ahead of larger businesses. However, it showed online the picture is the exact opposite, where people actually trust in and empathise more with large business websites. The experiment attributes this to their better website functionality and personalisation” said Matt Barry, COO, 123 Reg. “We want to help SMEs to increase their business performance online and have focused on developing practical and easy to use tools to enable our customers to compete more successfully online. Our new website builder seeks to respond to this need by allowing users to quickly construct personalised websites using responsive design – an asset critical to many small businesses who may not have the time or skills required to do it from scratch. Introducing these tools to the SME market means that businesses can offer dynamic, tailor-made content that attracts customers without the need to learn to code.”

To read the full report “Closing the Digital Personalisation Gap” and find out more about 123 Reg’s new website builder visit

Total sample size for the YouGov Plc survey was 2052 adults, of which 1,861 have ever purchased items online from a business’ website. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22nd – 23rd October 2015.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

*In order to understand the behavioral influences impacting website sales, a sample of online British respondents (N=567) were recruited through panel provider Research Now. The sample was 55.4% male with ages ranging from 18 to 87. The online survey was completed in October 2015.

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