Research Reveals the Four Key Components of Effective Personalization

June 13, 2017

There’s no longer any doubt that marketers in virtually all kinds of business enterprises view delivering outstanding customer experiences as their preeminent strategic objective. In the 2016 Digital Trends Quarterly Intelligence Briefing by Econsultancy and Adobe, surveyed marketers identified optimizing the customer experience as a top focus area now and over the next five years.

It’s also clear that marketers see personalization as critical to improving customer experiences. In the Econsultancy/Adobe study, participants were asked to identify their top digital-related priorities for 2016. The most popular choice was targeting and personalization.

A new report by Accenture Interactive provides several important insights regarding what retailers must do to deliver personalized experiences that will delight consumers. Personalization Pulse Check 2016 is based on a survey of more than 1,500 US and UK consumers between the ages of 18 and 60. The survey asked participants about their online shopping behaviors and preferences, and specifically, it sought to identify how much consumers value certain personalization tactics.

Accenture’s research identified four key components of a best-in-class personalized experience, and the firm called these components “The Four Rs of Personalization.”

Recognize:

More than half (56%) of the survey respondents said they are more likely to shop at a retailer (in-store or online) that recognizes them by name.

Remember:

Almost two-thirds (65%) of surveyed consumers said they are more likely to shop at a retailer that remembers their previous purchases.

Recommend:

Fifty-eight percent of survey respondents said they are more likely to make a purchase when a retailer offers recommendations based on past purchases or preferences. Accenture also found, however, that only 50% of survey respondents said they had made a purchase based on a recommendation on a retailer’s website. This suggests that retailers have room to improve the quality of the recommendations they provide.

Relevance:

About two-thirds (65%) of surveyed consumers said they are more likely to make a purchase from a retailer that sends them relevant and personalized promotions.

What strikes me about these four components is that they are not particularly exotic. Recognize me when I shop, remember what I have bought in the past, make reasonable recommendations to me based on my past purchases and demonstrated preferences, and send me relevant promotions based on my past activities.

The Accenture report also addressed consumer attitudes about the collection and use of personal information by business organizations. I’ll discuss those findings in a future post.

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