Department store brands are finding that investing in personalized e-commerce can lead to more transactions and turn shoppers into big spenders. Research shows shoppers who interact with a store digitally and physically during a single transaction are likely to spend two to four times as much money as those who interact with just one of the brands’ channels. Despite research in favor of a personalized approach to site and email marketing, brand efforts have been meek. L2’s Intelligence Report: Personalization finds that only one of five brands use all of the top three methods of cross-selling (recommending similar, complementary, or recently viewed items). Nearly half of brands in the study rely on just one.
A few brands, however, are going beyond showing items that were viewed during the same browsing message. They are identifying consumers and personalizing the entire browsing and e-commerce experience. Hudson’s Bay – which owns Saks Fifth Ave and Lord & Taylor in addition to its namesake stores in Canada – shows different products and emails based on consumers’ genders and search histories. Using analytics tools and statistical modeling, Saks attempts to predict what consumers are about to buy.
Plans are to go even further, and add social and in-store habits in the mix. For example, emails could advertise products pinned on the consumer’s Pinterest page. Or location-based pop-up messages that tell consumers where in the store to go based on their browsing habits.
Delving deeper into personalization opportunities requires that kind of cross-channel recognition, which 56% of retailer report as being one of their goals. Yet, just 7% of retailers have the technology to recognize consumers across different devices and channels on all occasions, and more than half completely lack the ability to do so.
Despite the challenges, most retailers are optimistic about their ability to deliver personalized communications in the next few years. For example, 60% believe their social media messages will be somewhat or completely personalized in the next two or three years vs. 20% that are able to do so now. Similarly, mobile site and apps see a 150% and 200% jump in personalization capabilities when projected into the future.
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