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Consumers Like the Personal Touch But Will They Spend More?

By Michael Patrick McSweeney

PYMNTS.com, January 15, 2014

Shoppers are responding positively to the personalization of eCommerce, new research shows. 

A new study from omnichannel digital marketing firm Listrak found that 77 percent of consumers are likely to make additional purchases if an option that matches their preferences is presented to them in a personalized email from a merchant or retailer. 

The report “Personalization Is The Key To Post-Holiday Campaigns” outlines how a significant portion of consumers are motivated to spend if provided with promotional materials with email, SMS and other channels that match their preferences. Sixty-nine percent of respondents said they even were willing to provide personal information if it meant that emails would be more tailored to their shopping tastes.

The study posits that sellers have a wide range of tools at their disposal for reaching out to consumers about their latest products, deals and specials. Leveraging mobile technology is a key factor in creating materials that consumers will feel is truly personal.

“More customers will use their mobile devices to search for the best deals and the highest rated products this year, which means a lot of new customers will be visiting your site. [Sellers] need to have a plan in place to keep holiday shoppers engaged after the first sale and after the holidays,” Megan Ouelett, Listrak director of marketing, wrote in the report.

Most Consumers Want Personalization

Of the 2,000 respondents to the Listrak survey, 27 percent said they were “extremely willing” or “very willing” to sign up for regular emails, as long as the messages were in tune with their personal shopping tastes. Eighty-two percent indicated that they would at least be somewhat willing to do so.

The study also looked into the reasons why shoppers want more personalized email campaigns. Seven out of ten respondents said that it’s helpful when making selections if they receive an email from a seller that matches their tastes, rather than one that simply lists the latest sale. Additionally, 90 percent of participants indicated that they would like to receive a personalized email if a preferred item or product line goes on sale.

Seventy-two percent of consumers said that they would be okay with increased promotional email traffic as long as they matched their shopping preferences and included sales and discounts.

More Personalization, More Purchases?

The Listra report strongly suggests, but does not confirm, that consumers are more likely to actually purchase something if they receive a personalized email. Three-quarters of respondents suggested that they were more likely to do so if their past shopping habits are featured in the email. Additionally, 25 percent of participants reported a strong likelihood of making a purchase if they received a personalized email.

“[Consumers] are willing to share preferences with retailers and receive more emails from them if the merchandise featured is customized to their shopping behaviors and past purchases and helps them in their shopping journey,” Ross Kramer, CEO of Listrak, said in a press statement.

However, 81 percent of respondents said that they were “somewhat likely” to make a purchase following receipt of a personalized email. This suggests that personalized emailing, as a seller tool, is only part of the equation.

In a recent commentary, Market Platform Dynamics CEO Karen Webster discussed the evolving nature of consumer loyalty efforts and how technology has reshaped the means by which merchants and retailers connect with their customers. You can read more on this topic by clicking here.

Click here to access the complete Listrak study.

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