Retail marketers in dock over customer bombardment

angry laptopRetailers might be under more pressure than ever but it seems their marketing is simply not rising to the challenge, with over two-thirds (69%) of consumers reporting they receive irrelevant messages from brands and two-fifths (41%) saying they do not feel valued when it comes to the service offered.

That is according to a damning study by conversational commerce software specialist CM.com, which highlights that consumers are frustrated with the personalisation approach taken by retailers, with almost half (49%) citing that this is due to their inbox being bombarded, harming their perception of the brand’s overall service.

Almost a third (31%) are annoyed by brands communicating with them on channels they do not want to use and, conversely, nearly a quarter (22%) feel frustrated by the inability to contact brands through their preferred channels. Over a third (36%) of UK shoppers say the become “extremely frustrated” when companies use incorrect information in customer communication.

When it comes to data, nearly a third (30%) of Brits report privacy concerns when it comes to personalisation efforts on the part of UK retailers, while nearly two-thirds (63%) do not think purchase history is acceptable data for brands to draw on when providing a personalised customer experience. In fact, just 31% of shoppers are comfortable with companies accessing their shopping behaviour.

For brands, understanding where work is needed to get consumers onside with a truly personalised customer experience is vital to enabling better relationships long-term, the report maintains.

Over half (57%) of respondents expect personalisation most when they have purchased a product multiple times before, whereas for 48% it is when they have made the first product purchase.

Currently, 42% of UK shoppers feel that companies do not meet their expectations when it comes to personalisation and over a third (39%) state that companies do not communicate with them in a way that makes them feel understood. A similar proportion (45%) think that brands do not have a good understanding of their needs or expectations.

CM.com UK & Ireland country manager James Matthews commented: “Personalisation as a business practice is not driving the value that brands would either hope, or expect.

“Consumers want an experience that is tailored to them, which brands are failing to get right as it stands. Shoppers are clearly not convinced that the quid pro quo of data sharing for an enhanced experience is a worthwhile trade, and they are voicing those frustrations loud and clear.

“With poor personalisation likely impacting the bottom line at a time when business revenues are already stretched, this should serve as a significant warning and a sign that change needs to happen.

“This doesn’t mean that personalisation is a failure, but more that the current approaches being taken by some brands isn’t aligned with consumer expectations, especially in the era of significant advances in artificial intelligence which, among other things, enabling the ability to offer tailored services to all.

“With the right tools in place, retail brands can deliver truly personalised experience that isn’t invasive and provides shoppers them with the right information, driving better relationships and repeat purchases.”

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