Personalization a Critical Cornerstone, E-commerce Leaders Doubling Down

Sep 26, 2019


Reflektion, an AI-powered personalization platform for the retail industry, 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.

 

eCommerce Leaders Are Investing Broadly in Retail Tech

While 63% 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%) 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 e-commerce leaders of the need to move beyond legacy first-generation, segment-based targeting to real-time, 1:1 personalization solutions.
  • Bundled solutions are in. E-commerce leaders 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%) 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 e-commerce 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.

 While most e-commerce and marketing leaders have already taken the first step in personalizing product recommendations with first generation solutions, the survey found that 60% 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.


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