Personalization: Are Retailers Really Walking the Walk?
The consensus in e-commerce is resounding: personalization is a really big deal. Various industry surveys have found it to be among the highest, if not the No. 1 priority for marketers. At any trade show, you’ll see the “P” word splattered across banners and fliers everywhere. It’s a bandwagon and everyone seems to be on board. But …
How many retailers have actually implemented a functional personalization strategy across their sites and devices? What vendors are walking the walk of what they can deliver?
The answer to this question is shockingly very few, according to a recent study conducted by RSR Research. The research firm found that the vast majority of top 100 retailer sites evaluated are not living up to the dream you hear echoing from the exhibitor halls year after year at all the events.
The report details the following unsuccessful statistics, highlighting that while retailers understand the importance of online personalization, their executions fall very short:
- 85 percent treat return shoppers the same as first-time visitors;
- 52 percent do not tailor content according to desktop, tablet or smartphone; and
- 74 percent have no memory of past products browsed by users during previous visits.
RSR started with the 2014 Internet Retailer Top 100 list, and made a few alterations to exclude retailers for which personalization isn't a viable strategy. Retailers were then evaluated in two distinct visits across their individual desktop, tablet and mobile sites. At least 24 hours after the initial visit, the analysts returned using the same device and browser in order to gauge the level of personalization presented.
“RSR set out to evaluate 100 top-selling, web-based retailers to discover the current state of ‘personal’ online shopping,” says Steve Rowen, managing partner, RSR Research. “What we found was that although the industry understands the importance of personalization, the reality is that their execution falls very short. At the highest level, we discovered that retailers’ personalization strategies are rudimentary at best.”
This personalization evaluation was conducted by RSR Research over a period of two months during the summer of 2015 in partnership with Reflektion, a technology company that drives incremental conversion events for leading retailers.
Kurt Heinemann is the chief marketing officer of Reflektion.
Kurt serves as the Chief Marketing Officer of Reflektion, the artificial intelligence-driven customer engagement platform for top retailers and brands worldwide. Kurt is an innovative and dynamic marketing professional with a track record of success communicating a company’s unique value proposition to potential customers, partners and market influencers through strategic and creative means.