The Personalization Disconnect Among Shoppers and Sellers

Retailers are increasingly emphasizing their interest in and ability to deliver personalized customer experiences across channels, but consumers certainly don't see it that way according to new research from TimeTrade.

Findings from the study indicate that the divide between consumers' needs and retailers' focus remains quite wide. Ninety-three percent of retail decision makers, in fact, say service personalization is a strategic focus, but only one-quarter of consumers feel as though they are receiving a consistent, personal experience across channels. That's a pretty major perception disconnect between retailers and consumers and one that obviously needs correction.

"While today's retailers seem to recognize the importance of delivering a personalized cross-channel experience, it's clear that their approach is not resonating with shoppers or meeting their growing expectations," said Gary Ambrosino, CEO of TimeTrade. "Today's shoppers are more demanding than ever before. To remain successful in this environment, brands must work to better understand consumer demands and re-examine and evolve their approach to ensure that service is prompt, personalized and consistent across channels."

Additional highlights of the study include...

  • A mere 23 percent of retail decision makers plan to undertake initiatives for personalization in the next 18 months, while 8 percent plan to do nothing at all.
  • Among organizations planning improvements, training store associates was noted as the top priority (83 percent).
  • In terms of experience improvement, the physical store is a top priority for retailers, with 45 percent of decision makers ranking it ahead of other channels. Social media came in second at 19 percent, Web experience at 14 percent and call centers at 11 percent.
  • In contrast, 51 percent of consumers ranked call centers as having the poorest experience, followed by in-store with 26 percent of the vote and social with 23 percent.
  • When asked if they would be willing to schedule in-store appointments with a store associate, 59 percent of consumers said yes.

As an ecommerce merchants, are you providing a personalized experience across channels to your audience? Sound off with a comment below!