Study: Personalization a Critical Cornerstone, eCommerce Leaders Doubling Down on Technology to Drive Growth
94% of retail execs agree eCommerce personalization is a must for driving engagement among customers as well as for improving focus, productivity, and business growth
SAN MATEO, CALIF., Sept. 24, 2019 — Reflektion, the world’s leading AI-powered personalization platform for the retail industry, today announced findings from its 2019 Reflektion eCommerce Personalization Industry Survey, commissioned with WBR Insights, a leading retail market research firm. Based on insights from marketing and digital commerce leaders within the IR500 across North America, the study revealed that major brands and retailers are increasingly pursuing eCommerce personalization initiatives as a primary strategy to drive growth amidst heightened market competition to attract, engage and retain customers.
“True real-time, 1:1 personalization remains an elusive – yet rewarding – target for most retailers,” said Amede Hungerford, Chief Marketing Officer, Reflektion. “The 2019 eCommerce Personalization Report illustrates the key challenges — and opportunities — as digital commerce professionals evaluate, navigate and apply personalization techniques to their business.”
eCommerce Leaders Are Investing Broadly in Retail Tech
While 63 percent of marketers affirmed eCommerce personalization as a top priority within their technology initiatives, survey results also demonstrated broad investment on interrelated initiatives. For example, improving data quality naturally leads to improving the quality of the decision-making from analytics. Delivering a consistent, real-time experience through personalization across multiple channels has created a flywheel effect that drives improved business performance. This means that as retailers invest in personalization, they will see all digital touchpoints and channels working together synergistically to improve overall predictive outcomes and shopper experiences.
Findings from the survey also showed:
- eCommerce leaders are maturing when it comes to personalization. More than three-quarters of respondents (78 percent) confirmed the importance of personalizing to the individual level as a must to be included in any solution. This finding represents an advanced understanding by marketers and eCommerce leaders of the need to move beyond legacy first-generation, segment-based targeting to real-time, 1:1 personalization solutions.
- Bundled solutions are in. eCommerce leaders today want more capabilities bundled into their personalization solution for higher business flexibility, lower total cost of ownership, and ease of managing vendors. A majority (62 percent) of eCommerce leaders surveyed placed importance on capturing a single view of the customer into their personalization solution. In addition, capabilities such as artificial intelligence/machine learning, omni-channel targeting, merchandising controls, and advanced analytics were rated as being important to very important.
- Value of the platform. 80% of respondents confirm the value of one unified platform for eCommerce personalization to unify the personalization experience across the customer shopping journey. Survey respondents believe one platform for eCommerce personalization would improve their customer focus, achieve greater productivity and drive faster business growth.
- Conversion rate is king. When asked to select the most important metric for eCommerce personalization today, the clear no. 1 metric was Conversion Rate at 37 percent. Following closely behind was the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) metric at 26 percent. This indicates the balance retailers are looking to strike between long-term and short-term success. Conversion rate is a critical near-term metric given its focus on growing revenue by product, category, and the overall business. Meanwhile, CLV hints at the importance of building brand and reputation to understand customer needs better than others.
“As consumer choice expands and attention spans shrink, the imperative to personalize the shopping experience becomes even more important,” Hungerford said. “The results of our 2019 eCommerce Personalization Survey shows that retailers are doubling down when it comes to tailoring the shopping experience down to the individual customer, and are taking steps to move beyond first-gen solutions.”
While most eCommerce and marketing leaders have already taken the first step in personalizing product recommendations with first generation solutions, the survey found that 60 percent of marketers plan to continue making investments in improving the personalization of product recommendations with next-gen solutions over the coming 12-18 months. In particular, more retailers are combining search with personalization to deliver a unified eCommerce experience across the buyer journey.
View the full study here.
Reflektion’s AI-powered personalization platform listens to the behaviors of each individual shopper, utilizes Artificial Intelligence to calculate their preferences and intent, and then responds to every moment-to-moment interaction by displaying the most relevant content and products in real time and across the digital touchpoints that matter most—including preview and site search, product recommendations, content personalization, category and landing pages, and email.
Leading retail brands such as ULTA, Godiva, Skechers, and Marmot rely on Reflektion’s platform.
Founded by pioneers in Artificial Intelligence and awarded both the Best eCommerce Solution and Best Overall Business Technology Solution by SIIA in 2019, Reflektion combines individual shopper insights, product intelligence, and AI to create more relevant and impactful eCommerce experiences.