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Data & Intelligence, Digital Marketing October 14, 2019

Are consumers beginning to ‘get’ personalised marketing?

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With brands taking an increasingly data-driven approach to marketing, consumers are beginning to recognise how useful sharing their information can be. Up until recently, people have had their guard up towards sharing personal data however, research suggests that public concerns are beginning to dwindle and more people are inclined to share their details in exchange for a straightforward shopping experience via personalisation.

Dept interviewed 1,000 participants across an equal distribution of male and female, as well as age brackets. The aim of the study ‘What Do Consumers Really Think of Personalisation’ (published on 30 August 2019) was to find out how online shoppers felt about retailers changing and tailoring the online shopping experience, based on individual needs, preferences and data.

Findings indicate consumers are in favour of personalisation and these tactics were the most well-received:

  • Location-based, interest-based, and past purchase-based recommendations and offers are popular and appreciated. 34% of interviewees acknowledge receiving offers based on their physical location. Out of these, 44% said that this was most helpful, while 40% said it was quite helpful. Only 2% said that it wasn’t helpful, which points in a positive direction for location-based recommendations. 
  • Consumers like to be helped in finding and purchasing exactly what they want. Asking questions, such as spending habits & product preferences has been experienced by 25% of the panel. The majority of them found this technique helpful (28% most helpful, 36% quite helpful), which indicates online shoppers like being asked initial questions about their preferences, in order to guide them to the right purchases and making it easy for them, rather than suggesting extras.
  • Seamless navigation is a personalisation technique in itself, as it supports the consumer through their buying journey. When the panel was asked why they liked personalisation 73% ‘strongly agreed’ it saves them time, 70% ‘strongly agreed’ it helps to find new products and 67% ‘strongly agreed’ personalisations helps them find exactly what they need. Based on this research, it is worth considering what a buyer’s intentions are when they initially land on a website to help them navigate their purchasing decisions.

This research shows that consumers respond well to time-saving and functional techniques, but that there is an underlying feeling of indifference towards personalisation, potentially because it’s still evolving and opinions are heavily demographic-dependent. Overall, younger people are more positive than older generations, possibly because they’re more accustomed to this marketing approach and expect more interactive features. Even though they spend more online, older demographics are more wary and conservative, especially when transactions are involved.

Overall, people seem comfortable about sharing their tastes and preferences, but not anything that makes them identifiable. 63% were happy to share their favourite brands, 61% said they would share their hobbies, and 53% their lifestyle choices. However, only 30% were confident in handing over information about their browsing or search history. 

The more data brands can accumulate about their customers, the more tailored and creative their personalisation approaches can be. Equally, the more use of data in context a marketer can establish, the more useful their efforts seem for consumers. However, as the research clearly shows, while most are craving an experience which is more dynamic, people are still cautious about “handing over” their data. Whether for privacy, security or personal reasons, it is an understandable precaution and this poses an obstacle in the evolution of personalisation.

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