The Internet has become an integral part of the average consumer's day-to-day life. Whether it's used for business or pleasure, nearly everyone uses the Web to interact with friends, family, colleagues, and their favorite brands. But, while we connect with others on a personal level, many brands have yet to master and implement effective personalized online experiences.
According to Econsultancy's recent "The Realities of Online Personalization" report, most marketers see Web personalization as a vital component for business success, but many fail to comprehend the processes behind integrating these engagement tools. The survey, conducted in association with Monetate, polled 1,107 digital and e-commerce professionals working for brands and agencies to explore how they perceive personalization and its impact on the digital customer experience. The study examines the top issues behind personalization, the tactics and types of data being used to shape online customer experiences, and the obstacles standing in the way of success.
The following statistics explore how companies currently view online personalization and how they are handling this increased need to engage on an individualized level:
- Ninety-four percent of respondents believe that personalizing their Web experience is critical to current and future success. Those companies that have personalized their Web experience have measured an average 19 percent boost in sales.
- Sixty-six percent of all client-side respondents cited improved business performance and customer experience as the main drivers behind personalization.
- While the majority of respondents recognize the benefits of personalization, 56 percent haven't personalized their Web experiences because many (72 percent) don't know where to start.
- When adopting or improving personalization, IT roadblocks (47 percent) and legacy technology (46 percent) present the biggest obstacles overall, with 32 percent of companies citing this lack of technology as the primary barrier against real-time personalized experiences.
- For client-side respondents, lack of budget and lack of staff act as primary barriers (44 percent). For supply-side respondents, lack of knowledge (54 percent) and the inability to translate data into action (51 percent) are the main obstacles.
- Though 43 percent of those polled currently deliver personalized desktop experiences, with 40 percent planning to implement such experiences in the next 12 months, few in-house marketers offer personalized experiences via tablets (14 percent) and mobile phones (13 percent).
Key takeaway: Though the Web has made an indelible mark on how companies do business, online strategies continue to leave marketers perplexed as technology rapidly evolves. Data has grown increasingly abundant, but companies still have yet to effectively manage and employ all the information that floods in. Most marketers understand that this data offers numerous opportunities for cultivating strong relationships, but personalized Web experiences remain elusive for many. Companies must look beyond the mere act of data collection by analyzing consumer information in ways that allow both parties to engage with each other swiftly and effectively. By doing so, companies will be able to establish constant connectivity with their client base, while also determining an effective method for continued reevaluation and improvement in the personalized experience space.