Sephora, JustFab and Walmart were the top three scorers in a Retail Personalization Index devised by cross-channel experience management platform Sailthru.
Net-a-Porter, Ebay, Nordstrom and REI, in that order, were next among the top scorers, according to a Sailthru press release. JustFab is also listed on the firm’s website as a client.
Sailthru created the index to quantify how leading retailers are personalizing their customer experience; to determine gaps in the approach to personalization used by top retailers; and to examine the relationship between a personalized experience, customer satisfaction and retention to drive revenue, reduce customer churn and optimize engagement.
Even though customers are demanding more personalized engagement, retail brands are struggling to gain a single view of the customer. Marketing is disconnected, as multi-channel efforts, including email, web, mobile and direct mail lack integration and are beset by a lack of customer focus, other research has shown.
A series of recent studies found that just 14% of companies rank themselves as "strong" in achieving a single view of the customer, and less than 10% of top tier retail brands say they’re highly effective at personalization. Here are some of the trouble spots, according to Brian Solis of Altimeter: 91% of consumers unsubscribe from emails (Salesforce); 44% of direct mail is never opened (NewsCred); 60% of customers opt out of mobile push notifications (Kahuna); and over $280 billion is abandoned in digital shopping carts, every year (Google).
Those getting it right, at least by Sailthru’s measure, are seeing concrete results. "The vast majority of the top 25 brands are growing revenues year on year, reinforcing the value of a personalized digital experience for customers as a prudent business strategy," Sailthru CEO Neil Lustig said in a statement. "What's even more telling about the value of personalization is that brands in the midst of executing turnaround strategies are rapidly evolving their customer experience to once again gain traction in the market. Sailthru is thrilled to recognize these top brands for their efforts to create exemplary digital customer experiences."
Sailthru conducted its research between April and August on 100 retail brands that it selected, scoring them on how they personalize the customer experience. Sailthru also surveyed more than 13,000 U.S. and U.K. customers of each retailer (who had shopped at one or more of the 100 retailers in the past 12 months) to quantify how those customers felt about the brand and their experience.
"For a brand to achieve the highest possible score, a customer would have to find its omnichannel experience seamless — meaning no matter how they interacted with a brand, be it on mobile, desktop, email, in store, the experience would need to be fluid and comprehensive," said Jason Grunberg, vice president of marketing at Sailthru, in the release. "While many retailers tout omnichannel initiatives, our research proves that very few are close to meeting consumer expectations."