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Research : Is brand loyalty dead? Brits will ABANDON favourite brands that fail to personalise

Half of British online shoppers (47%) will now walk away altogether from a brand that doesn’t understand them as a customer, a new UK consumer study* commissioned by Ometria has found. The same study has discovered that 84% of consumers feel bombarded by online retailers, in many cases leading them to abandon their favourite ecommerce shops.

Online retailers risk losing up to half of their customer base as consumers threaten to end brand relationships

Personalisation in ecommerce is the key to making a sale, with almost half of all those surveyed (46%) saying they would stop shopping with their favourite brands altogether if they felt that they didn’t understand them as a customer or failed to make smart product recommendations to them based on their personal preferences.

The UK research also showed that many brands don’t even know basic customer information before targeting them – such as whether they are male or female, with two-thirds of Brits indicating that this is a deal-breaker for them. Almost a fifth of UK shoppers surveyed would also like for companies to better understand their approximate budget and provide recommended products and services that are more realistic to their earnings.

“A lack of personal touch means customers are disengaging with brands and walking away”

According to this latest research from Ometria, three-quarters of British shoppers are frustrated by the lack of bespoke approach to marketing and are asking for a more personal touch. It seems that many brands are failing to use the data they collect on their customers to provide tailored content, products and services to encourage the shopper to make a purchase. In particular, it is the millennial audience that feels most strongly with 70% of 18-24 year olds stating that the brands which fail to personalise their marketing efforts won’t attract or win their custom.

Email is still preferred channel over popular social media sites

Although email is still cited as the preferred channel for marketing communications – with almost three-quarters (72%) of all Brits preferring to receive shopping information via this medium over social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – it seems that many customers believe that online retailers are too generic in their approach, failing to recognise their individual tastes and personal preferences. The latest findings closely correlate with Forrester’s recent report on the 10 Critical Success Factors To Determine Who Wins And Who Fails In The Age Of The Customer. Number 1 on their list described how personalised experiences will be the key determinant in who wins mindshare and share of wallet in 2016.

Ivan Mazour, CEO and co-founder at Ometria, commented: “Brands need to completely rethink the way they are interacting with their customers and prospects in order to survive. Our research shows that consumers are giving brands a clear message about what they want. And just as those interests differ for each consumer, so must the messages that brands and retailers send them.”

Rusty Warner, Principal Analyst serving B2C marketing professionals at Forrester commented: “Competitive differentiation in the age of the customer requires customer-focused business transformation. Firms looking to accelerate this transformation must ensure that they are ready to orchestrate contextually relevant customer experiences. Compelling customer experiences materialise only when firms understand their customers and anticipate their needs.

As firms move beyond traditional campaign execution, they integrate technologies that enable them to manage real-time interactions, based on recognising customers across channels and understanding current contextual requirements. They must not only determine the appropriate customer offer but also orchestrate content delivery and capture results for measurement and optimisation.”

George Graham, CEO at online retailer Wolf & Badger said: “In testing, we found our customers responded with click-through rates up to 6x higher on personalised emails when compared to undifferentiated content. The best results were found by using automation strategies combined with a human element. This introduction of personalised yet curated content has led to an increase in online revenue on of over 300% in the last year.”

Emmeli Kimhi, Digital Manager at House of Holland also commented on the research: “We realise that there are lots of potential customers on social media but when it comes to making a purchase  – marketing communications via email is still out and out the best channel. Personalising the content with the use of data which is not possible on other platforms is a crucial and the most effective tool for our online business and is helping us to connect better with our customers.