Retailers Tout Personalization Push, But Are Delaying Some Features for Years - eMarketer

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Retailers Tout Personalization Push, But Are Delaying Some Features for Years

Various types of suggested selling in the works for a year or more down the line

February 20, 2017

Nearly three-quarters of retailers in North America intend to place personalization at the top of their objectives for engaging customers this year, a recent survey found. But when asked about specific personalization features, respondents revealed some of them could take as many as three years to deploy.

Leading Customer Engagement Priorities for 2017 Among Retailers in North America (% of respondents)

According to research by Boston Retail Partners (BRP) and Manhattan Associates, personalization was more important to retailers than other objectives, such as mobile efforts related to responsive design or applying data across channels in real time. The survey was compiled in November and December 2016, and recorded sentiments on customer experience from 500 retailers in the US and Canada.

There are other indications that personalization is one of the top trends to watch this year. At the National Retail Federation (NRF)’s annual Big Show this January, marketers from retailers ranging from Macy’s to Walmart discussed customization through technology as a critical strategy for attracting shoppers—and customers’ need for “instant gratification” as a way to ramp up profit.

Features that Retailers in North America Currently vs. Plan to Offer to Personalize the Customer Experience, Dec 2016 (% of respondents)

It does appear, though, that there’s more ground to gain in adopting personalization as it relates to the customer experience. BRP’s survey found that just over a third of retailers said they currently offer personalized rewards based on customer loyalty, and other tactics would take them even more time to roll out.

For instance, 30% of retailers said they anticipate launching recommended selling based on online browsing history within the next 12 months. And another 36% said that suggested selling dependent on social media posts wouldn’t be offered until one to three years down the road.

—Danielle Drolet

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