Personalizing the customer experience is important for retailers. In fact, 90% of marketers agree it is critical to their success, according to a study by IBM and Econsultancy. However, 80% of consumers say the average brand doesn’t understand them as an individual.
While consumers are willing to share their personal information with trusted businesses for experiences that are unique to them, the study found, they expect brands to deliver an outstanding customer experience.
According to the study, 80% of marketers believe they have a holistic view of individual customers and segments across interactions and channels. Three-quarters of them said they’re delivering superior experiences offline, while nearly as many believed they were doing so online (69%); 57% said they were doing so mobile devices.
On the consumer side, 37% said they believe their preferred retailer understands them as an individual, while 21% said the average retailer understands them. As far as communication relevance, only 21% of consumers said what they get from the average retailer were “usually relevant,” while 35% said what they got from their preferred retailers was on point.
The lack of relevance explains why many shoppers leave a brand’s website without completing the purchase. According to the study, shopping cart abandonment rate continues to rise, reaching 74% in March 2015.
The study found that a lack of innovation means many retailers aren’t able to provide an outstanding cross-channel customer experience. Thirty-four percent of marketers said they do a good job of linking their online and offline customer experiences.
With a vast majority of dollars spent offline and the majority of product research happening online, online and offline experiences are already linked for consumers, but marketers must close the gap in order to succeed, the study found. One issue it surfaced was technology integration, with only 37% of marketers saying their current systems allow them to deliver exceptional customer experiences.
The study revealed that businesses that deliver superior experiences pave the way for a surge in brand advocacy and customer trust. Regarding retailers in general, just 38% of consumers said they were willing to share geographic data, and about the same (37%) said they would share personally identifiable information.
When it came to trusted brands, these numbers spiked dramatically. Seventy-two percent said they would share geographic data with a brand they trust, and 61% would be willing to give them personally identifiable information.