Facebook, Brand Consistency, and Personalization Influence Consumers

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Source:  Phil Whitehouse via Flickr Creative Commons
Facebook, Brand Consistency, and Personalization Influence Consumers

It's time to spruce up that company Facebook page. About 38% of consumers who interact with brands online do so through brands' Facebook pages more than their actual websites, according to “Rethinking Retail,” a new study from Infosys. Brand consistency and personalization are also big contributors to consumer purchases.

The study, commissioned by Infosys and conducted by independent technology market research specialist Vanson Bourne, polled 1,000 customers and 50 retailers.

Social media is still a powerful channel for consumers, according to the study. Of the 1,000 retail customers polled, 59% interact with brands online. Among that population, 38% interact more with a brand's Facebook page than they do with the brand's actual website—especially the younger shoppers. Additionally, Pinterest was found twice as likely to influence female shoppers over men, while the converse was true for YouTube. Foursquare, however, only influences 2% of customer spend.

The study also revealed that brand consistency across channels is a significant factor in consumer spend, with more than 63% of shoppers asserting that brand consistency plays a role in their spending. Additionally, 34% say a high level of brand consistency equates to a greater spend, while a lack of consistency reduces spend for 39% of consumers.

Personalization also influences spending; 59% of shoppers say personalization impacts the amount they spend with a particular brand. “There are numerous studies, including [the “Rethinking Retail”] study, that reinforce the concept that customers are willing to let the retailer into their lives as long as they see the value being delivered,” says Dinesh Bajaj, VP of Retail, CPG, and Logistics at Infosys.

This poses an interesting challenge to retail marketers, considering that retailers appear to struggle with providing personalized shopping experiences both online and in-store. While 62% of the 50 retailers polled said that they offer personalized, in-store-only promotions, only 20% of consumers reported seeing these offers. Although consumers are three times more likely to impulse-buy in a physical store, only 10% of retailers offer product recommendations based on customers' previous purchases online. Less than half (45%) of retailers offer personalized perks to both online and offline shoppers.

More than a third of retailers (38%) cite a lack of technology as the primary obstacle to providing a better, more integrated customer experience; only 34% of retailers have the ability to track consumer trends in real time.

“Retailers and brands need to arm themselves with the technology that can ensure their fans and brand advocates receive the same personalized service across channels to increase sales,” says Sandeep Dadlani, SVP of retail and logistics at Infosys.

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