Personalization is still lacking and shoppers are getting frustrated
About 71% of shoppers surveyed by customer data platform firm Segment admit to having been frustrated by shopping experiences they deemed impersonal, according to the company’s 2017 State of Personalization Report.
The survey of 1,006 U.S. adults also found that 54% of shoppers expect to receive a personalized discount within 24 hours of identifying themselves, and 32% expect a discount after just one hour.
The survey found retailers that strive to provide personalized experiences will be rewarded, as 44% of consumers surveyed said they likely would become repeat buyers after personalized experiences. Still, only 22% of consumers actually find their retail shopping experience to be highly personalized.
There is not much excuse for a "personalization gap," as Segment and other companies have called it, to still exist. Retail has been radically disrupted by Amazon, a company that has used personalized product recommendations and other forms of personalization to build its empire, and as stores fight for their survival, it should be a no-brainer to do something in this vein.
As the Segment survey noted, there is a big payoff for retailers that manage to keep pace with shoppers' expectations for personalization. Not only will they become repeat buyers, but 49% of those surveyed said they have purchased a product they did not intend to buy after receiving a personalized recommendation from a brand.
Furthermore, at least 23% of them have spent at least $50 on a single purchase, with 7% spending more than $100, the report stated. Also, 85% of impulse buyers were happy with their purchase, and just 5% returned it.
Getting personalization right is a significant issue for both online and brick-and-mortar retailers. About 77% of consumers surveyed said they expect large online retailers to deliver a highly personalized experience, while only 23% found their experience to be highly personalized. There are even some online retailers that haven't gone far enough to follow in the footsteps of Amazon.
The situation is getting tense in the physical shopping realm, too, where 51% of consumers expect department stores to deliver a highly personalized experience, while just 17% found their experience to be highly personalized. That is especially painful considering that brick-and-mortar is the channel most likely to drive last-minute purchases worth more than $50, the study said.
Brick-and-mortar retailers also increasingly need to ensure seamless integration of customer shopping histories between online and physical stores, and make sure store staff have access to that information. As the survey said, 41% of consumers say they expect representatives in a brand’s physical store to know what they have purchased online, yet only 19% have experienced this. Another 24% of consumers think the in-store experience needs the most improvement when it comes to personalization.