Providing personalized online customer experiences is seen as vital for business performance but most marketers are stuck in the slow lane when it comes to delivering. This was among the key findings in “The Realities of Online Personalization,” a new independent survey conducted by Econsultancy in association with Monetate.
In the survey of more than 1,100 digital and ecommerce professionals working for brands and agencies, 94 percent of companies agreed that “personalization of the web experience is critical to current and future success.” Companies that reported personalizing web experiences and have performance metrics in place, on average, achieved a sales uplift of 19 percent, which typically translates into hundreds of millions of dollars in additional sales for online businesses.
Despite widespread agreement on the benefits of personalization, 56 percent of companies surveyed said they are not personalizing the web experience for visitors. The primary obstacle is that marketers may understand the importance of personalization, but don’t know where to start or how to approach it.
“It is quite clear that personalization is seen as mission critical to the success of online business but too many organizations have yet to implement a well thought-out and tested approach,” said Linus Gregoriadis, Research Director at Econsultancy. “Those companies focused on delivering personalized customer experiences are realizing great returns in online sales and key website performance metrics.”
Technology and Data Present Challenges for Companies
The survey examined the top issues driving online personalization, the tactics and types of data being used to tailor online customer experiences, and the barriers to success. Other key findings include:
- Just under half of companies surveyed saying IT roadblocks and legacy technology are “major barriers.” According to 32 percent of organizations, lack of technology was the main obstacle preventing them from using “real-time onsite behavior to create personalized experiences.”
- Data – such as a consumer’s location, device and browser – are essential to tailor and personalize customer web experiences. Despite the advantages of leveraging data sources, 72 percent of client-side organizations and 52 percent of agencies don’t use real-time onsite behavior to create personalized website experiences. With the main obstacles identified as lack of technology, lack of resources and “don’t know where to start.”
- The survey uncovered a desktop bias related to online personalization, with 43 percent of companies delivering personalized desktop experiences and another 40 percent planning to do so in the next 12 months. Only 14 percent of in-house marketers indicated they are using tablets to deliver personalized experiences, with a similar proportion (13 percent) personalizing on mobile phones.
“The digital experiences that companies present to customers have become, in most cases, the face of the brand,” said John Healy, Monetate Chief Operating Officer. “The survey results overwhelmingly reveal marketers and agencies expect personalization to improve both the customer experience and business performance.”
Monetate empowers marketers to leverage Big Data to create more personalized and engaging online customer experiences. By providing more relevant web interactions, leading brands are able to anticipate and react to consumer preferences to generate stronger customer relationships and significantly increase profits. For more information, visit http://monetate.com or follow us on Twitter @Monetate.
Econsultancy helps clients achieve digital marketing and ecommerce excellence through access to intelligence and capabilities development resources. These include premium subscriptions, research, training and elearning, consulting, and events. For more information visit http://econsultancy.com or follow @Econsultancy.