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There’s been plenty of talk about personalizing online communications, such as email, but recent research suggests it’s equally important to tailor offline customer experiences as well.
According to September 2014 research by Econsultancy in association with RedEye, 95% client-side marketers worldwide who had implemented personalization via offline channels had seen an uplift in conversion rates. This was more than any digital channel studied, and led email—the most popular personalization channel—by 5 percentage points. Among digital channels, websites and search engine marketing (SEM) were most likely to have seen lifts in conversion due to personalization, with the latter tops across all channels for driving “major” uplift.
However, those polled weren’t exactly focusing on the most successful channels. Just 23% of client-side marketers worldwide personalized offline channels, compared with 88% who used email personalization and 44% who did so for websites. Agency professionals were even less likely to tailor offline efforts, at just 17%. One-fifth of respondents personalized SEM—the second-lowest response for both marketers and agencies.
Econsultancy’s findings are another reminder of the need for retailers to provide an omnichannel experience. While digital and mobile are no doubt part of the purchase path, most final buying decisions still happen in-store. Retailers who can tie all of the data collected on a customer stand a better chance at closing the deal.
But many face a long road ahead in doing this. In a study by Retail Systems Research for SPS Commerce, released in September 2014, just 5% of US companies believed they had made advanced progress in executing an omnichannel strategy, compared with 37% who said they were lagging.
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