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Jun 25, 2023
4 minutes read

Research on Personalisation: Are Retailers Getting It Right?

Consumers today expect personalised experiences throughout their customer journey. Numerous retailers are falling short of meeting these expectations, but a recent study conducted by sheds light on the potential for improving overall brand perception by enhancing consumer experiences with personalisation opportunities.

Consumers' inboxes filled with irrelevant messages

With major economies across the world continuing to feel the bite of inflation and retailers looking to do all they can to keep consumers on their side, a major new global study has revealed that brands are continuing to frustrate customers with irrelevant messages and poor personalisation efforts.

70% of shoppers' inboxes bombarded

The study, undertaken by, a global leader in cloud software for conversational commerce, reveals that retailers' personalisation approach is a source of frustration for consumers. A significant 70% express dissatisfaction due to being inundated with messages in their inbox, which negatively affects their perception of the brand's overall service. As a result, 32% of consumers believe that companies do not meet their expectations, and the same amount feel they are not understood.

The need to repeat personal information is a major frustration for over half (55%) of South African shoppers, who expect brands to already have this information on hand. 42% of respondents highlight that brands fail to communicate with them on their preferred channels, eroding trust and loyalty. In terms of data usage, 35% of respondents express privacy concerns regarding personalisation efforts by South African retailers.

Despite the current challenges in communication, nearly two-thirds of consumers still recognise the significance of personalisation efforts in building a strong connection with a brand.

Sander Harryvan, Marketing Manager at comments: It’s remarkable to see that consumers from across the world have a united experience when it comes to personalisation. Unfortunately for brands, that shared experience is not a positive one. At a time when economic pressures are squeezing consumer spending power, and in turn, the sales and revenues generated by brands, personalisation efforts are make or break. They can be the difference between establishing a strong relationship with a customer, cementing loyalty and driving repeat sales, or alienating a new customer and losing them for life.

Data is cheap, insights are gold

Clearly, our study shows consumers are 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. This doesn’t mean that personalisation is a failure, but more that the current approaches being taken by some brands aren’t aligned with consumer expectations. The lesson that must be learnt by brands is that data is cheap, but insights are gold.

There are countless opportunities for brands to demonstrate the positive impact that good personalisation can have on the overall service, but this should stem from insights driven tools. Chatbots, empowered by integrations with artificial intelligence, can improve the efficiency of the experience for the end user, which in turn can help to drive loyalty. Such tools can also be used to support human customers service agents, ensuring information a brand has about a customer is accurate, up to date and a tailored service can be provided. Only from here can the information each customer shares with a brand be used to curate each customer journey and foster a more personal and rewarding relationship.

About the research

This research was conducted by in cooperation with the independent research agency CANDID. The online survey was carried out in May 2023, where 9964 respondents answered questions about personalisation. They were surveyed about expectations and their experiences with companies in retail and eCommerce. All respondents were aged 18 years or older.

To represent different regions of the world, we surveyed 9964 respondents, approximately 1000 in each of the nine countries, including the United States of America, France, The United Kingdom, Belgium, The Netherlands, China, India, The United Arab Emirates and South Africa.

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