Why Personalization Matters

Jul 26, 2016

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It's no secret that the most successful businesses, the stores, and restaurants with a loyal customer base do a great job of tailoring the experience to each individual consumer. Sure, there's a convenience factor, but nothing can replace the feeling you get when the server at your favorite restaurant remembers your "usual." Or when a store associate picks up on your style preferences and makes recommendations that are just right.

Those are the experiences that keeps you coming back. They know who you are, tune into your preferences, and offer suggestions that are well suited to what you like. That's what personalization is all about. 

Online retailers have been trying to personalize the shopping experience for years, but as we all know, delivering a personalized shopping experience at scale is easier said than done. Technology has come a long way and it's becoming easier for online merchants to add a "personal" touch to the shopping experience. But it takes more than implementing a predictive product recommendation engine to truly offer a personalized experience.

Why does personalization matter?

The battle to win the customer has never been more competitive; today’s tech savvy, mobile customer is driving changes in technology based on their behavior and expectations.

Boston Retail Partners’ E-commerce Benchmark Survey gathered feedback from top North American retailers to gain insights into the top priorities for online retailers in 2016 and beyond. It’s no surprise that the overarching theme is focused on providing shoppers a personalized, seamless experience. Let’s take a look at the key findings from the survey:

Key Findings: Top E-commerce Priorities

  • 31% of retailers indicate a consistent brand experience across channels is a top priority.
  • 78% of retailers plan to have a unified commerce platform within five years.
  • 45% of retailers indicate mobile websites are their top digital retail capability
  • 63% of retailers plan to accept Apple pay within two years
  • 85% of retailers expect an increase in digital sales in 2016

Retailers that personalize the shopping experience across channels are seeing an increase in engagement, sales, and customer satisfaction.

According to a study by Magnetic (formerly MyBuys) and the E-tailing Group, a big percentage of consumers purchase more from retailers who:

  • 53% suggest products based on browsing or buying behavior
  • 52% are likely to engage with a new brand and purchase when they see relevant online ads based on current and past behavior
  • 48% send personalized emails based on past browsing and buying behavior
  • 48% personalize the shopping experience across all of their channels

Success in digital commerce really boils down to two things going forward: the ability to deliver a personalized experience and the importance of unified commerce.

Check out "3 Personalization Trends That Are Reshaping Online Shopping" for more about the ways marketers are able to create a personalized experience.