By Christine Kern, contributing writer
More than two-thirds surveyed said they see shopping experiences as too impersonal.
While retailers recognize shoppers desire for personalized customer experiences, a recent survey found that more than two-thirds (71 percent) of those customers surveyed say their shopping sessions are still too impersonal. This frustration could be costing retailers significant sales. This is according to customer data platform firm Segment’s 2017 State of Personalization Report.
Total U.S. retail sales are anticipated to reach $5.68 trillion by 2021, which makes it imperative for retailers to meet customer demands. The 2017 State of Personalization Report examined how personalization affects consumer shopping decisions, where shoppers want tailored experiences, what happens when retailers meet those demands, and what happens when they fall behind.
The study stated, “The proliferation of new devices and the rapidly evolving technology landscape has led to a ‘personalization gap’ in the shopping experience, and as consumers’ expectations rise, retailers are struggling to meet them.”
The survey of 1,006 U.S. consumers found that 54 percent of those surveyed expect a personalized discount to arrive within 24 hours of identifying themselves, with 32 percent saying that discount should arrive after just one hour.
Those retailers who prioritize personalized experiences will be rewarded the study found, with 44 percent of those surveyed stating that they are likely to become repeat customers after personalized experiences. However, just 22 percent of consumers said that their retail shopping experiences were highly personalized, leaving a great deal of room for improvement.
The study also found that personalization drives impulse purchases, driving up sales for retailers and making shoppers happy. In fact, nearly half (49 percent) of those surveyed said that they had purchased a product that they did not initially intend to buy because of a personalized recommendation from a brand.
And while we tend to think of personalization as an ecommerce aspect, it is even more significant in brick and mortar stores. In fact, the study found, “There is a wide disconnect between consumer expectations and their actual in-store experience of personalization.” This is important, because brick-and-mortar stores are the most likely channel to drive last minute purchases of more than $50, but one quarter of customers said that this channel needs the most improvement in regard to personalization efforts.