US/EUROPE: Consumers increasingly understand the value exchange involved when they give up their data to brands but a significant proportion feel they aren’t getting the personalization benefits they have come to expect, a study suggests.

The Episerver Reimagining Commerce: Global Findings report was based on a survey of more than 4,000 consumers aged over 18 who have shopped online within the last year, with respondents equally distributed between the US, UK, Germany and the Nordics.

This found that 87% of online shoppers were comfortable sharing personal information with brands in exchange for a better online shopping experience.

But over a third felt that brands didn’t care enough about personalizing their experience and the same proportion professed themselves “disappointed” with such brands.

A small proportion (12%) even claimed to feel “distrustful” of brands that don’t personalize enough.

On the other hand, when a brand does personalize experiences, a quarter of shoppers said they were more likely to consider purchasing from the brand again; personalized experiences made one in five feel more loyal to the brand, and the same proportion said these experiences made them trust the brand more.

“To earn customer trust and loyalty, retailers need to elevate their personalization capabilities beyond product recommendations to include elements like individualized content, user-generated content and experiences that are personalized based on real-time behaviour,” said Joey Moore, director of product marketing at Episerver.

“Those retailers that achieve this level of personalized digital experiences will succeed in the Amazon era.”

Beyond personalization, brands also need to continuously ensure that all the basics are present and correct.

Almost all online shoppers (95%) have opted not to complete a purchase when faced with incorrect or incomplete content, and 44% will abandon purchases because something as elementary as a product search function is missing.

Sourced from Episerver; additional content by WARC staff