Personalization is becoming increasingly crucial as online retail evolves. Two out of three consumers want a more personalized online shopping experience, and doing so provides major payoff for retailers: online shoppers who click on a personalized product recommendation spend 30% more than other consumers. But while most Department Stores have responded to these desires by adding more personalization features to their sites, they have been slow to leverage data collecting tools to improve the experience, according to L2’s Digital IQ Index: Department Stores.
Brands in the Index have widely adopted key features such as wishlists and recommendations: 84% of let customers save products to a wishlist and 82% curate “recommended” products. Additionally, 81% engage in “cross-selling” from the product page with suggestions such as “recently viewed” and “complete the outfit.”
French retailer KaDeWe features some of the most extensive personalization in the Index. For example, if an out-of-stock item previously browsed by a customer is restocked, the consumer receives an email notification. Product pages also display “part of the outfit” suggestions, and customers can create interactive wishlists by dragging-and-dropping items to form an outfit.
KaDeWe’s success highlights the ultimate goal of e-tail personalization: knowing what consumers want before they do. This requires in-depth knowledge of consumer preferences, but few Index brands fully utilize the account activation process to obtain this information. During account signup, the average brand requires new users to fill out 7.8 fields such as name, zip code, and birthday. Yet only 45% establish gender and less than one-third offer additional customization fields such as product interests. This limits the data that brands obtain to basic consumer demographics, hindering them from offering a fully personalized – and more profitable – shopping experience.