Design with the goal of a personalized experience.
If you haven’t already, read the intro & summary which explain why I wrote these thoughts down in the first place.
I came up with the term “one site per customer” in 2007 as I began to understand the promise of Personalization and I’m clearly very proud of it :) . There is no reason that you and I should have the same experience on any large retailer’s site - isn’t that what makes a digital store inherently more fascinating than a physical one, it’s ability to change and morph based on data?
Here we are nearly 15 years later and personalization is still in its infancy. But the premise of providing a unique experience is exciting, and the simplest segments are the best place to start your thinking; a new customer vs. a returning customer, an all-site-browser vs. a sale-only shopper, and the surprisingly difficult personalization strategy around women vs. men.
Even a flat, non-dynamic site without any personalization algorithms has the ability to consider the needs of many types and groups of customers, as well as customers at various points in their lifecycle with the brand. In every place possible, we should attempt to give them the feeling that the site was made just for them.