The personalization paradox: European online retailers make too little contact

This paradox is evident from research by Dotdigital, a leading omnichannel marketing automation platform. “Only 1 in 10 European retailers appears to make sufficient use of personalization in the customer journey.”

The Covid-19 pandemic is changing the customer experience of consumers. When they make a purchase, they have less personal contact but at the same time, precisely because there is less personal contact, they still want more connection with the brands they purchase and the shops and retailers where they buy. This paradox is evident from research by dotdigital, the leading omnichannel marketing automation platform.

From the ‘Hitting the MarkResearch by Dotdigital, which compared the omnichannel marketing approach of 100 global e-commerce brands, shows that while 95% of European retailers use welcome programs that send personalized content to new customers, 71% subsequently fail to deliver after this initial phase. to collect even more customer data from engagement. As a result, they miss out on future opportunities to segment and target shoppers and thus promote conversion and sales. In addition, only 15% of the EMEA brands have live chat on their website.

UK is leading the way

Top omnichannel brands
1. Matches Fashion (UK)
2. (UK)
3. Gymshark (UK)
4. Holland & Barrett (UK)
5. The Iconic (AUS)]

The study also shows that the rest of Europe lags behind compared to the United Kingdom. UK retailers have a score of 31% based on the survey’s key figures, compared to the global benchmark of just 18%. The British brand Holland and Barrett, also known in the Netherlands, is in the top five of the omnichannel marketing brands in the report.

Opportunities for personalization remain
While many Dutch people may perceive that the US is a leader in omnichannel marketing, the Dotdigital report shows that 70% of US e-commerce brands fail to collect post-purchase customer data, such as product reviews or feedback of shoppers. Also, only 23% ask why subscribers unsubscribe from emails, leaving opportunities to improve and personalize online experiences.

With online sales gaining momentum due to the corona crisis, Statistics Netherlands reported the highest monthly increase in online sales ever in April, an increase of + 62%, while omnichannel retailers in the Netherlands saw an increase of + 76% in web sales. At the same time, demand for online personalization has also risen, up 123% since the covid-19 crisis began in mid-March.

However, the Dotdigital survey shows that only 10% of European retailers use tactics to personalize the online customer journey. This, the Hitting the Mark report suggests, could be a major source of lost revenue and significantly reduce customer lifetime value.

Mark Jervis, Marketing Director at Dotdigital, further comments: “European brands have already made progress in improving the e-commerce experience of customers, but they still have a long way to go to meet customer needs. The ultimate customer experience is created when brands convert customer data into optimal omnichannel journeys and user experiences. ‘
(PvWK, photo chessboard: Pixabay / Pexels)


* CBS, 2020:

** True Fit, 2020

The full report can be downloaded here: Hitting the Mark, Global Ecommerce Benchmark Report 2020

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