Personalization Is Paramount for Pleasing Purchasers

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Half of Americans buy more from e-tailers who personalize their customer experience across all touch points.

 

If marketers have their sights set on gaining and retaining customers, then they'd better get to work on personalization.

A new study reveals that 53% of consumers feel that it's important for retailers to recognize them as the same person across all channels and devices used to shop. What's more, about half (48%) say they purchase more from retailers that leverage interests and buying behaviors to personalize the customer experience across all touch points.

The seventh annual "Personalization Consumer Survey"—conducted by e-tailing group and commissioned by MyBuys—also notes that about three fourths (74%) of consumers ages 55 and older used their smartphones for product research in 2014. Actually, one third of the same demographic made a purchase on their smartphone. Almost all (94%) consumers ages 25 to 34, the report says, have researched products on their smartphone. In fact, 74% say they continued on to make a purchase.

“Consumers want consistent personalization everywhere they shop and on every device they use,” says Rita Brogley, president and CEO of MyBuys. “By incorporating more tailored content and offers into their marketing strategies, retailers can improve brand loyalty, boost conversion, and increase sales.”

With regards to purchasing, 53% say they spend more with retailers that make website product recommendations based on browsing or buying behaviors, and 52% say the same about targeting through behavior-based online ads. However, just under half (48%) say they spend more with retailers that send personalized emails.

Still, personalization can be a slippery slope. After all, 39% of consumers say they get frustrated when retailers don't offer personalized website recommendations, and 38% say the same about personalized email offers. In addition, 37% express angst when their online purchases aren't considered, and 34% feel the same way about ignored in-store purchases when receiving subsequent marketing offers. 

The MyBuys study finds that consumers have not only become more comfortable with personalization, but they've also come to expect it. In addition, survey respondents report getting frustrated when retailers don't offer personalized website recommendations (39%), send personalized email offers (38%), or consider online purchases (37%) or in-store purchases (34%) when sending out subsequent marketing offers.

Imperative personalization

The study revealed just how much progress personalization has made since the inaugural report. Findings include:

  • Personalization is more important to young shoppers. Sixty-nine percent of consumers ages 25 to 34 are comfortable sharing their information with retailers to improve their shopping experience, while only 46% of shoppers ages 55 and older feel the same. Similarly, 92% of the former is willing to share in-store purchase data to receive a more personalized shopping experience; that's 20% higher than the 55 and up demographic.
  • Personalization is critical across all touchpoints, mobile included. The number of consumers who report using a mobile devices to shop most of the time grew 36% from 2013 to 2014. Twenty percent of consumers claim tablets as their primary online shopping tool, according to the study, and 18% say they strictly use smartphones. Also, the report says it would behoove marketers to personalize across all touchpoints because 70% of 25- to 34-year-old shoppers research products or make purchases across at least three devices.
  • Personalization should go beyond online shopping. More than half (53%) of consumers say retailers who consider their in-store purchases offer a superior shopping experience across all online channels; 78% are also willing to allow retailers to use information from their in-store purchases to provide a more personalized experience whenever they shop.

“Consumers engage and shop more when they receive a truly personalized shopping experience across all channels,” Brogley says. “When done right, customers consider personalization a valuable service rather than an annoyance.”

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