Interviews, insight & analysis on Ecommerce

Personalisation gap persists as UK retailers’ stumble over cross-channel engagement

Irrelevant content and inconsistent cross-channel communications top shoppers’ personalisation peeves, the latest research from insights-led customer engagement platform, MoEngage, has revealed.

Original research of 1,000 shoppers by MoEngage in its latest Personalisation Pulse report shows that over a quarter (28%) of consumers received irrelevant, unpersonalised content from retailers, while a further 27% complained of receiving inconsistent cross-channel communications from brands in their buying journeys.

Despite the latest KPMG-BRC data indicating that online sales dipped 9% in June, as consumers’ share of wallet migrates from the digital demand highs seen during the pandemic back to stores, as well as the cost-of-living prompting caution on discretionary spend across-channels, online spending is still significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels.  Two fifth (38%) of those polled by MoEngage said they planned to shop more online, compared with 26% who were planning to cut back their digital spend.

The continued trend for digital is accelerating demands for increased personalisation in online-first shoppers’ buying journeys.  Four in ten (40%) expect to communicate more digitally with brands and retailers post-pandemic, while over a quarter (26%) want retailers to offer online personalisation based on their previous purchasing history, and a further 22% now want brands to tailor communications based on their individual interests.

But despite this digital demand for greater levels of personalisation and consistency of cross-channel communication, a separate study of 2,000 senior UK marketing and ecommerce professionals in MoEngage’s latest The State of Insights-led Engagement Report showed a quarter (24%) still only use basic customer data, such as name or location, to inform personalisation, while just 22% use behavioural-based data, such as recency, frequency, and monetary value of purchases, in their personalisation strategies.  Meanwhile, only 15% say they can leverage multiple channels as part of one unified cross-channel customer journey, risking inconsistent communication and disjointed online experiences.

Jason Smith, VP at MoEngage, commented: “While there is no doubt retailers and brands are on a journey and have invested in innovation that builds personalisation into the buying journey to meet the needs of shoppers.  But the consumers’ accelerated and increasingly digital demands are outpacing that innovation curve at present.  Our research shows just 19% adopted marketing automation solutions and fewer still, 14%, included customer analytics capabilities, suggesting that retailers and brands’ current infrastructures are under-prepared to support and unlock growth.

“By scaling the business through automation, retailers can accelerate their ability to succeed and capitalise on the growing opportunity of digital commerce, as well as better understanding customer behaviours and trends through analytics that can use data to improve and enhance CX to grow sales, conversion and loyalty.”

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