The Power of Personalization: How Companies Are Breaking Through to Customers
Personalization has become a word that online retailers see everywhere — and for good reason. With the human attention span only lasting eight seconds or less, companies need to find compelling ways to engage their customers enough to keep them shopping on their site and returning for more. Recent research confirms that real-time, one-to-one personalization is a rewarding target for most companies investing in the technology. For retailers to maximize their success in connecting with customers, they’ll need to understand key market trends and value drivers related to the adoption of personalization solutions and platforms.
The 2019 Personalization Industry Survey captures insights from numerous marketing and digital commerce leaders to identify the key trends and challenges as brands evaluate and apply personalization technologies to their businesses.
Top Technology Initiatives
Companies are investing broadly to enhance their overall customer interactions. In addition to e-commerce personalization, which 63 percent of respondents noted as a top priority within their current technology initiatives, brands are also investing in omnichannel marketing and analytics. It’s great to connect with a shopper once they’re on a company’s website, but businesses must also focus on maintaining the relationship once that shopper is offline as well.
Investing in inter-related focus areas like omnichannel marketing and analytics will help companies with their ability to effectively reach customers through multiple channels and make strategic data-driven decisions through the use of sophisticated analytics. Delivering consistent, real-time personalized experiences across various touchpoints has been proven to create a "flywheel" effect that drives improved business performance.
Expected Future Investments — Digging Deeper Into E-Commerce Personalization
True real-time, one-to-one personalization remains an elusive, yet rewarding, target for most retailers. Looking ahead over the next 12 months to 18 months, 55 percent of respondents are focusing their investments on better personalizing product recommendations. By improving online recommendations, companies are actually turning their websites into personal shoppers. Businesses can tap into the power of artificial intelligence, which can turn back-end analytics like clicks, views, add-to-carts, along with product details, into strategic actions such as displaying targeted products to shoppers in real time.
In addition to product recommendations, 50 percent of respondents noted that they're also planning to invest in optimizing their search experience. Companies are realizing that it’s no longer enough to have a generic word search association in place that only boosts the most popular products. Instead, through these investments, they’re focusing on creating individually targeted experiences that present only the most relevant items to shoppers.
From the projections, it’s apparent that personalizing product recommendations and search together is getting more attention and investment than other types of e-commerce personalization. By grouping and addressing them together, it increases the chance that consumers will click on a recommendation after searching, which can improve conversion rates by 3.7 times.
Through this new research, and what we’ve seen over the past few years, it’s clear: as consumers’ choices increase — and attention spans decrease — it’s imperative for companies to personalize the online shopping experience to not only survive, but thrive in today’s retail landscape.
Amede Hungerford is chief marketing officer at Reflektion, a real-time intelligent personalization platform.
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