Blogs

Blogs

Creating Personalized Experiences with Liferay 7.2

Discover the new segmentation and personalization features 

Personalization has become a key part of customer experience. Essentially, by tailoring content for individual users depending on their characteristics, preferences and behaviour, companies can communicate, engage and delight customers across multiple channels, ultimately increasing both revenue and customer base.

Liferay has been at the forefront of helping organizations understand their customers’ journeys, gain insights into how their content performs and deliver consistent brand experiences across devices to better engage with their customers. This strategy was reinforced with the release of Liferay Analytics Cloud, Liferay Commerce and Liferay DXP Cloud last year. As a result, Liferay was recognized as a Leader for the ninth time in a row in the Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for DXPs, being the only Open Source company in this category.

Continuing this line, Liferay Portal/DXP 7.2, the new version of Liferay’s flagship product, includes a plethora of new features aimed at providing better and more personalized user experiences. As the first Beta of this version is already available for download, in this post we’ll guide you through a first glimpse of some of these features.

Defining your Audience

The first step in providing personalized content is to define your target audience. To do this, Liferay 7.2 includes a new segments management application under Site> Members> People.

By adding a new segment, you can define through an advanced editor the criteria that visitors must meet to belong to it. The editor offers by default three types of criteria, combinable with each other:

  • User properties, including attributes of registered users such as their name, job title, sites, roles, or registration date, among others. User custom fields can also be used to define user properties-based criteria.
  • Organization properties, to segment users based on attributes of the organizations they belong to. Organization custom fields can also be used to define organization properties-based criteria.
  • Session properties, allowing to segment not only registered users, but also any visitor, based on real-time attributes such as their current URL, cookies, browser, device and many others.

For each type of criteria, the administrator can define complex rules, including operators adapted to the field type (e.g. contains for text, greater or lower than for numbers…), negations, groupings and AND and OR conjunctions.

As you add the criteria that define your audience into the editor, the member count at the top is updated. By clicking on it, you will get a preview list of the members even before saving the changes. This preview includes only registered users who meet the user and / or organization-properties based criteria, since the session criteria can only be applied when the user accesses the page.

Liferay DXP instances connected with Liferay Analytics Cloud will also be able to reuse the segments defined in this platform. In practice, this allows to define and exploit in Liferay DXP audiences based on the information of the behaviour and interests of the user compiled by Liferay Analytics Cloud.

Finally, Liferay exposes a series of headless APIs that allow external applications to obtain and exploit information about user segmentation. For example, the segments of a site, the segments to which a user belongs and even the users belonging to a segment can easily be retrieved through them.

Creating Personalized Experiences

Once you have defined your audiences, it is time to start creating personalized content for each of them. Liferay 7.1 introduced a new way to create content pages through reusable components (fragments) in an agile and simple way. In Liferay 7.2 these options of modern site building have been improved, and also allow to create variations for each audience to provide personalized experiences.

When editing a content page, in the upper bar - next to the language selector - you will find the new experience administration. If you have not chosen any, the content of your page are those that will be displayed by default to the user. By creating an experience for a specific audience, you can define variations of text and images with respect to the default experience that will be visible only for the users that belong to that audience.

If a user belongs to several audiences, they will see the experience that has a higher priority. The priority of the experiences can be easily varied in the list of experiences.

Creating Personalized Content Sets

Another new feature of Liferay 7.2 is the possibility of defining content sets that can be reused through the sites pages using the Asset Publisher application. As in the case of content pages, these collections can be customized for each audience. When adding a new content set, you will define dynamically - through a filter - or manually its default content. By selecting audiences through Personalized Variation option, you can change the filter or the manual selection of content that users belonging to that segment will see.

One of the advantages of content sets is the ease of reusing them not only within Liferay, but also in external applications through the new headless APIs. Specifically, the new Content Sets API allows the user to obtain the content set variation for the audience they belong to.

Migrating from Audience Targeting

Since version 6.2 and up to version 7.1, Liferay DXP provided user segmentation and content customization through the Audience Targeting marketplace application. As we have seen throughout the post, in version 7.2 these functionalities have been integrated into the core of Liferay and have been expanded significantly. This is great news not only because it facilitates the integration with other core Liferay applications (we have already seen the case of modern site building or content sets), but also because these features are also available in the Liferay Community Edition.

For Audience Targeting customers who wish to upgrade to 7.2, Liferay provides a semi-automatic data migration process, which allows preserving the segments defined in previous versions and enjoying all the novelties of the newest Liferay version.

What's Next?

Soon we will update you with some additional functionalities in 7.2 - like segment-based simulation and personalization of the page structure - for which we are putting the final touches. In addition, we are already working on extending and improving all these features for version 7.3. Meanwhile, we encourage you to download Beta 1 of Liferay 7.2, try the new customization features and provide us with your feedback!
 

Could we also be able to create a new audience targeting rule (or property) as we do it in 6.2 or 7.1 ? I am refering to this doc : https://dev.liferay.com/fr/develop/tutorials/-/knowledge_base/6-2/creating-new-audience-targeting-rule-types

Hi Helene,

 

You'll be able to define your custom model-based and session-based fields in the segments editor. To improve the extension experience, we reduced the development as much as possible. For instance, adding new model-based fields (for users and/or organization criteria) is as simple as creating new custom fields for this entities through the renovated Custom Fields UI in Liferay. As for session-based fields, the required modules are minimal and you don't have to care about the UI (e.g. no JSP or template is needed), but exclusively on the field properties. See our dev docs for more information here: https://portal.liferay.dev/docs/7-2/frameworks/-/knowledge_base/f/segmentation-personalization