New findings on Retail Brands' Personalization approaches: a wakeup call to rewrite their rulebook?

Published: July 04, 2023

min read

With the advancement of technologies in this digital age, customers’ expectations and priorities continue to shift. And in order to remain relevant to customers, businesses do need to focus on curating highly personalised customer experiences.

It makes personalization critically important for businesses looking to attract and connect with high-value audiences. Even though, in recent years, businesses have been striving to implement personalization in digital marketing by employing several strategies, the new findings by reveal retailers are not meeting the mark.

According to the study, consumers are dissatisfied with retailers' personalization strategies, and the results are shown below.

Almost half (49%) claimed this was because their inbox was flooded, which negatively impacted their opinion of the brand's overall service.

Almost a third (31%) are irritated when brands interact with them through channels they do not want to use.

Nearly a quarter (22%) feel dissatisfied by not being able to contact brands via their preferred channels.

And, when companies use incorrect information in customer communication, more than one-third (36%) of shoppers become "extremely frustrated."

It is well known that understanding the preferences of consumers to provide a truly personalised customer experience is critical for brands to enable long-term relationships. And the new finding reiterates that.

Over half of the respondents (57%) expect personalization when they have bought an item multiple times before, while 48% expect it when they make their first purchase.

Currently, 42% of shoppers believe that companies fail to meet their personalization demands, and more than a third (39%) believe that companies aren't interacting with them in a way that makes them feel understood. A similar proportion (45%) believe that brands do not understand their needs or expectations.

What do the new findings imply for retail brands?

The unwritten mantra for any business, big or small, to succeed is to find a way to meet their customers’ expectations.

But the above study clearly shows that the current approaches taken by retail brands are not aligned with their customers’ expectations.

And we believe it is high time for retail brands to pay attention to this and refine their personalization strategies in order to reap the most from their marketing efforts. Otherwise, despite all of their efforts, the gap will still remain between brands and customers, which leads the brand to appear irrelevant and even bothersome for their high-value audiences.

Here are a few considerations we believe brands must not ignore to make their personalization efforts meaningful:

  • Retail brands must collect real-time data and customer behaviour and take actions only based on that and not just historical data. It will help them understand the current intent of the customer's actions so as to provide relevant recommendations and offers.
  • Digital communication channels have grown exponentially in recent years and even risen to become a deciding factor in providing stellar customer experiences. Thus, communicating with customers through their preferred channels and knowing their desired frequency of interactions must be a critical priority for businesses. It will lead them to connect with their audiences in an effective way. And by seeing the complete picture of their audience's interactions via their preferred channels, brands can take actions accordingly, stay relevant, and prevent all their efforts from going in vain.
  • Redundant personalization definitely irritates customers and negatively influences their experience with brands. Thus, brands should continuously monitor their customers’ interactions and make certain that they do not repeatedly show the same content to them so as to gain their trust and brand loyalty.
  • Brands should not overlook sending personalised messages at the right time, as catching customers at the right moment is critical for maximising the impact of their personalization efforts. Failing at this or improper management of the frequency of personalised interactions will only lead to disengagement and dissatisfaction for customers.
  • Brands should also consider A/B testing to compare various versions of personalised content to see which works best with specific customer segments. This way, they will be able to optimise their personalization strategies and targeting with more effective content.

In essence, the new finding serves as concrete evidence for retail brands to rework their personalization approaches so as to amplify the impact of their efforts, drive better relationships with customers, and boost sales.


Bill Walker

Bill is a marketing strategist who believes in the power of storytelling. He's known for his creativity, wit, and ability to connect with audiences across all channels. When he's not crafting marketing campaigns, you can find him hiking in the mountains or reading a good book.


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