Personalization drives product sales; companies invest elsewhere

(This article by Chuck Martin originally appeared on MediaPost)

One of the big promises of mobile has been personalization.

Highly relevant messaging delivered at just the right shopping moment was supposed to be just the ticket.

Shoppers actually see personalization as a way to get them to buy more.

Sellers pretty much see it the same way, but that’s not where they are actually placing their bets, according to a report just out.

Personalization makes customers spend more, but companies don’t value it as a critical factor in improving the experience, according to the report.

The study comprised a survey of 900 decision makers from retail and consumer goods, travel and hospitality, media and entertainment and banking and insurance industries, conducted by the research firm Vanson Bourne for Mindtree. In addition, 6,000 consumers using products or services from those industries were surveyed.

The study encompassed consumers from the U.S., Europe, Australia, New Zealand, India and China.

From the consumer’s viewpoint, personalization increases sales, both relating to things they bought in the past as well as those new to them. Here’s what consumers say personalized promotions encourage what they buy:

  • 78% — Products they have purchased before
  • 74% — Products they had not purchased before
  • 65% — Recommendations from peers

One in five (20%) consumers expect a more personalized customer experience buying digitally rather than in a physical store.

This matters for mobile since twice as many consumers, growing from 6% to 15%, say they expect to be using mobile device apps to make purchases in the next few years.

Consumers see distinct advantages in shopping by mobile and online, such as the ease of comparing products and prices (48%) and the ability to search for the product they’re seeking (45%). This is consistent with numerous other mobile shopping studies

On the other side, the decision makers say their organizations are investing in features such as the ability to pay in a number of ways (43%) and creating shopping lists (43%) to improve the digital shopping experience.

A large majority (92%) of decision makers see as a way to encourage purchases the personalization of promotions on relevant products that shoppers have not yet purchase before, personalized products they have purchased (89%) and recommendations from peers (87%).

However, where the investment is being made tells a different story.

For example, only 28% of decision makers say their organization is investing in personalization to improve the shopping experience compared to 43% in new payment methods and 40% in shopping cart additions.

Interestingly, shopping carts also may need a second look.

The survey found that most (86%) consumers ended a purchase transaction. Almost half (47%) of those were due to shipping costs and 41% because of a price change at checkout.

Personalization of a mobile app or website would improve the purchasing experience, according to 22% of consumers.

And a positive shopping experience can go far.

The majority (65%) of consumers commonly share positive views on independent websites. And that matters, since 82% of consumers look to those independent sources for deciding to buy.

Find out more: Take a look at “Winning in the Age of Personalization,”a Mindtree survey and research report.