New Consumer Survey Shows Personalization Dramatically Improves Conversion

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70 percent of consumers are comfortable receiving targeted ads and content

Consumers have clear brand, product and shopping preferences. Retailers understand this and strive to create experiences that take advantage of these preferences. Digital has largely failed to understand the delicate relationship between the retailer and customer, replacing it with blunt force retargeting that dazes, dismays and disturbs customers.

Big Data = Smart Data for Better Conversations with Consumers

The next-generation approach to commerce needs to focus on the consumer, not the limitations of the marketing technology. Businesses need be able to seamlessly reach, interact with and ultimately transact with their customer when and how she chooses. Effective commerce conversion puts the consumer at the center of everything. The best approach starts with a deep understanding of the consumer and what she likes, dislikes and expects when engaging with a retailer.

We’ve packaged the initial findings into an infographic that you can download here.
And you can read the press release that summarizes the infographic here.

Shopping With a Purpose

It’s important to understand why and how people shop. One may think that with a seemingly endless supply of browsing opportunities, online shopping could be considered a recreational activity but that’s not the case. It turns out that most people shop with a purpose – almost half of respondents were laser-focused on where and what they are going to buy.

  • When online shopping, 41 percent of people go to a specific site with a specific product in mind, purchase it and check out.
  • Price still matters however, with 36 percent of people indicating that they spend the time to search for the product they want and purchase it from the site with the lowest price.
  • Only 20 percent of people shop online for fun, visiting a retailer’s site and adding items to their cart and deciding whether to buy or not later.

Since people are not simple browser window-shopping, it makes sense that digital shopping carts drive consumers right to check out. Here are details on how consumers use their online shopping carts:

  • Fifty-eight percent of people put an item in their cart only when they are planning to purchase it
  • Nineteen percent who use their cart as a wish list or reminder, putting in items they like to keep track of them
  • Thirteen percent said they keep collecting items in their cart until they reach the threshold of free shipping or a deal based on how much they are spending
  • Eleven percent claim to be more likely to abandon their cart more often than they purchase, tying directly back to having a purchase-focused mindset when shopping in the first place

Myth Busters: The Truth About What Consumers Want

Despite media coverage focused on consumer discomfort with targeted advertising, the data shows that is merely hype: 70 percent of people said they are comfortable receiving ads and content specifically targeted to them. And this is good news for marketers – because as the data outlined below will demonstrate, targeting significantly improves the impact of marketing messages delivered through the variety of digital channels in use today.

It’s Simple: Targeting Works

Organizations of all kinds aspire to effectively convert their browsers into buyers by delivering the kind of “wooing” experience the consumer desires – and providing targeted and relevant content is critical to that success. Across the board, the more targeted the messages through a given channel the more influence that channel had on online buying behavior. For many channels the impact is dramatic:

  • People are twice as likely to be influenced by targeted web ads – 52 percent vs. 26 percent
  • The percent of people influenced by web video rose from 7 percent to 22 percent when the messages were targeted
  • Mobile ads are four times more likely to influence online buying behavior when highly targeted – 22 percent vs. 5 percent
  • Social channels demonstrated marked improvement in influencing behavior with higher levels of targeting:
    • Pinterest’s influence among people who found the channel well targeted was 47 percent, compared with only 11 percent for those that found it not targeted.
    • 50 percent of people who found Facebook well targeted said the channel influenced their buying behavior, compared with only 17 percent of general respondents.
    • Only 3 percent of general respondents listed Twitter as influential, but among people who found Twitter to be well targeted, that number rose to 31 percent.

It is common sense that the more consumers feel the information they receive is targeted and relevant to them, the more likely it is that they will be influenced by that information – and the numbers above prove that point.

Better Targeting Equals Better Conversion

Also important, the survey revealed that in addition to improving a channel’s influence, effective targeting also improves a channel’s likelihood of conversion. Compared with the general response pool, the likelihood of a person acting on a discount was significantly higher among those who felt the channel was well targeted.

  • 74 percent of people who find web ads well targeted and relevant are likely to act on a coupon delivered through that channel; among general respondents, this number is only 53 percent.
  • The likelihood to act on a mobile ad coupon nearly doubles when comparing those who find mobile ads targeted and relevant with the general response pool – 67 percent vs. 35 percent.
  • When people rated mobile apps as well targeted and relevant, 69 percent of them said they would be likely to act on a coupon delivered through that channel. Only 42 percent of the general pool indicated they would be likely to act.
  • Among people who felt that email was well targeted, 91 percent said they would be likely to act on a coupon. While email already achieved an 82 percent rate of people likely to act, targeted content drives this to nearly 100 percent!

The Net, Net From the Research

Again, the “boiled down” takeaway from all of this data shouldn’t come as a surprise: people who receive targeted, relevant content are more likely to be influenced by those messages and more likely to act on those offers.

Read the entire press release here >

Download the infographic here >

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