The Personalization Gap

How often have you been excited to receive an “exclusive offer just for you” from your favorite retailer, and then immediately disappointed when you realize that the offer applies to a product category that you have absolutely no interest in? If your answer is “most of the time”, you’re not alone. A recent study found that three out of four shoppers feel that retailers don’t understand their preferences or needs.

Regardless of channel or category, most retailers are missing the mark in a big way when it comes to delivering personalized content and experiences. Everyday, consumers are bombarded with generic messages that fail to resonate. In fact, surveyed consumers said that more than three quarters of the emails, online ads and mobile content they get from retailers are irrelevant.

Lest you think that personalization is impossible to execute at scale, there is one company that consistently demonstrates that it can be done — Amazon. While only 25% of surveyed consumers feel that traditional retailers demonstrate an understanding of their needs and preferences on a regular basis, more than 56% say that Amazon truly understands them.

Should retailers care about this personalization gap? In a word — YES. Those that are able to deliver seamless and personalized omnichannel experiences stand to reap major benefits. Nearly 90% of consumers said that more personalized and connected online, mobile and in-store experiences would increase their loyalty and likelihood to shop at a particular retailer.

Mastering omnichannel marketing should be at the top of every retail marketer’s agenda for the coming year. Today’s shopper interacts with retailers in a complex journey that crosses channels, places and times. Whether it’s online, in the store, or on mobile, retailers need to be able to capture and act on consumers’ stated and inferred needs at every touchpoint. Beacons may be the key to making it happen.