on 20 Sep, 2015.
This year, online retail sales are predicted to reach £52.25bn in the UK alone. This would constitute a 16.2% rise on last year’s £44.97bn. As a total of all UK retail sales, online would equate to 15.5%, and the average UK consumer will spend around £1,174 online in 2015, making us the most frequent online shoppers in Europe.
This is encouraging news for the industry as a whole, however as more and more shoppers increase frequency and spending online, the market is becoming tangibly discerning. Online retailers need to fight harder, and provide a better service, to maintain the attention and loyalty of customers.
The frontier of digital marketing is constantly advancing, however there are key trends emerging that we need to monitor in order to stay at the forefront of service delivery. One of the pre-eminent improvements is personalisation. As customers become increasingly aware of retailers strategy and deployed marketing, personalisation helps cut through the noise, and ultimately rewards the customer by providing an enhanced experience, geared towards creating a strong affiliation with the retailer.
Personalisation is still in its infancy. 38% of marketers admit to not utilising personation at all as part of their strategy. However, the remaining 62% are seeing extremely positive results.
56% of customers cite ‘irrelevance’ as the top reason for unsubscribing to marketing emails, which decimates databases. This can be reduced with personalisation. Personalised emails have a 26% higher unique open rates, which then improves click through rates by 14%, and conversion rates by up to 10%.
Nearly three quarters (74%) of online consumers cite frustration when websites produce content such as offers, ads and promotions, which have nothing to do with their interest. This is rendered even more astounding when businesses that provide fully personalised web experiences are able to quantify the improvement and see up to a 19% increase in overall sales on average.
Despite all the statistics, the message is simple. Personalisation holds the potential to transform most web experiences, but for most retailers/marketers, this is still in the early adoption stages.
So why isn't this commonplace? For most companies, the barrier to personalisation is technological. Disparate data sources, insufficient CRM systems, and incorrectly implemented analytics means that the raw data simply isn’t there to manipulate. This is often coupled with the straightforward problem of lack of resource – i.e the business cannot afford to invest the time to provide a dedicated assault on personalisation.
This means that to the majority, personalisation presents a very real opportunity to increase market share and improve customer retention and satisfaction. Mapping rich media content assets to buyer journey stage, and personalising content in real time is the key to unlocking substantial additional growth.
Personalisation needs to move very quickly to the top of the priority list, as the additional customers, and increased percentages on offer, will pay dividends in the long term. There is also a significant risk of being left behind other retailers, who are serving more enjoyable experiences to their customers.