UK retailers continue to miss out on lucrative online opportunities

BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 11:  In this photo illustration a laptop displays the shopping basket on the eBay website on August 11, 2014 in Bristol, United Kingdom. This week marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale. Since that sale - a copy of an album by the artist Sting - online retailing has grown to such an extent that it is now claimed that 95 percent of the UK population has shopped online and close to one in four deciding to shop online each week.  (Photo Illustration by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

More than half (59%) of retailers are still failing to personalise online content for customers across more than one channel, new research has found.

The findings, published by personalisation platform Monetate, come despite 93% of retailers admitting that customers are now demanding a personalised approach to shopping, according to Monetate.

The company said that recent data collected from over 100 UK retailers found that 81% of respondents claimed to be personalising content across more than one channel (predominantly desktop and mobile), but when asked if they were able to synchronise this content, for a consistent cross-channel experience, more than half said ‘no’.

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Mike Harris, VP EMEA at Monetate, said: “It’s no longer the case that customers will use just one platform to shop. Now, people frequently research items using their mobile on the way to work, switch to a desktop when they reach the office, and complete their purchase via tablet that evening. For this reason, using personalisation to deliver one single view of the customer, across multiple devices, is essential. It allows retailers to target customers in real-time, based on their behaviour at that particular moment of interaction with the brand.”

When asked what they viewed as the biggest barriers to doing more with personalisation, 51% of retailers gave lack of human resource as the main obstacle, closely followed by an inflexible ecommerce platform (50%).

Harris added: “Many retailers find they can run their personalisation strategy with teams of just one or two members, creating personalised experiences for customers alongside their other daily roles. For today’s retailers, customer experience is the only place left to both innovate and differentiate. Each customer has a discrete intention behind every engagement with a brand and it’s important for retailers to understand that and serve it.”

The survey posed a number of key questions to some of the UK’s biggest brands, ranging from what methods of personalisation they are currently implementing, to the level of return on investment (ROI) they are seeing.


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