A recent global survey of 6,000 consumers across three primary regions (U.S., Europe, and Asia/Pacific) argue disconnects between what online features consumers desire and what features companies are investing in.
It also reveals that while most companies are in transformation mode and consider themselves pioneers in adopting or investing in digital technologies, few are investing in personalization initiatives that consumers say will increase the depth and breadth of their shopping experience.
This cross-industry study released by Mindtree pinpoints personalization as the key driver that will help “phy-gital” consumers reach their ideal mix of online and offline shopping.
Other eminent finding from the survey:
- Consumers indicate that personalized promotions encourage them to buy products and services they have purchased before (78 percent), as well as relevant products and services they have never purchased (74 percent).
- Only 28 percent of the decision makers from companies surveyed globally say their organizations are investing significantly in personalization to improve the online purchasing experience, even though it has improved their online sales over the past 12 months for the majority (58 percent).
- Consumers expect their use of mobile apps for shopping to more than double in the next three years. While 6 percent of consumers said their preferred channel for making retail purchases as of 2015 was mobile apps, 15 percent said they expected mobile apps to be their preferred channel by 2018.
“There are a lot of stories to be gleaned from this study, but what stands out most is that companies need to prioritize more investments in personalization, an area that quite clearly drives more commerce,” says Radha R., EVP and Head of Digital Business at Mindtree. “Many of today’s personalization approaches are ineffective since they are based on a siloed view of the customer. With the right data engine and digital underpinnings in place, customized experiences will allow companies to target the right people, at the right time, in the right place, on the right device, with the right content.”
Today’s consumers crave improved search and compare/aggregate functions, but companies are investing more in features like shopping lists, wish lists and social features. The survey results also reveal the top reasons that customers abandon online shopping carts, and what drives customers to read and post online reviews (positive or negative).
Recommended Next Steps for Companies:
- Break up data silos to get a more enriched view of customers from various digital touch points, using a big data-led approach.
- Deliver relevance for customers by creating content, offers and recommendations using context-weighted personalization algorithms.
- Implement the technology for automatically delivering these customized messages and offers to customers in a cross-channel, cross-device landscape.
Mindtree believes that companies need to blend four cornerstones that are crucial to achieving true digital transformation and success: creating digital customer experiences, digitizing the value chain across the front and back end, developing “sense-and-respond” systems, and shaping new, innovative business models and partnerships.
“It’s important to note that an online presence should focus on serving customers and not just on selling to customers,” says Paul Gottsegen, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at Mindtree. “With better personalization, companies will essentially embed themselves in the ongoing phy-gital lives of consumers and earn the right to be part of a continuous stream of engagement. It will strengthen the relationship for the long haul and give the companies that get it right a big advantage.”
The study “Winning in the Age of Personalization” commissioned by Mindtree and market research firm Vanson Bourne studied 900 decision-makers from companies spanning the retail and consumer goods, travel and hospitality, banking and insurance, and media and entertainment industries.