STUDY: Nine in 10 Consumers are Comfortable with Brands Knowing More about Them to Get a Better Online Shopping Experience

Episerver’s annual “Reimagining Commerce” benchmark report reveals that brands have reached a turning point in their relationship with consumers

Despite 87 percent of online shoppers being comfortable sharing personal information with brands in exchange for a better online shopping experience, over a third feel that brands don’t care enough about personalizing their experience, according to a study released today byEpiserver, the company transforming digital experiences. 

The perceived lack of attention to personalization from brands is causing even more negative feelings among shoppers, with a third feeling disappointed, 16 percent feeling frustrated, and 12 percent even feeling distrustful of brands that do not personalize enough, according to “Reimagining Commerce: Global Findings.” On the other hand, when a brand does personalize experiences, a quarter of shoppers are more likely to consider purchasing from the brand again. Personalized experiences make one in five feel more loyal to the brand, and 20 percent report these experiences make them trust the brand more – a far cry from the negative feelings minimal to no personalization evokes. 

Feelings can make the difference in whether retailers can cash in on the number of people who are regularly shopping online. For example, Episerver found that 63 percent of people currently shop online at least once a month, and a quarter (23 percent) shop online at least weekly. Further, almost two-thirds of shoppers expect to make more online purchases this year than they did in 2017.

“With people shopping online more often, we’re seeing that they’ve come to expect personalized, seamless experiences, and they’re disappointed when those expectations aren’t met,” said Joey Moore, director of product marketing at Episerver. “To earn customer trust and loyalty, retailers need to elevate their personalization capabilities beyond product recommendations to include elements like individualized content, user-generated content and experiences that are personalized based on real-time behavior. Those retailers that achieve this level of personalized digital experiences will succeed in the Amazon era.”

Consumers aren’t just completing purchases online, but browsing and researching as well, according to the report’s findings. More shoppers are going online to search for (35 percent) and compare (29 percent) products/services than they are to buy (17 percent) when visiting a brand’s site for the first time. The report also found that 30 percent of people browse on their smartphones daily, and half do so weekly.

“Online shopping is on the rise worldwide, and customers’ expectations of what their shopping experience should feel like is evolving,” said Ed Kennedy, director of digital commerce strategy at Episerver. “Brands that are willing to invest in all aspects of the online shopping experience set themselves up for long-term success, while those that focus too heavily on transactions are not accounting for shoppers’ diverse expectations and needs. Offering solutions to points of friction such as delivery, gift-giving, and privacy are great ways to earn repeat customers.”

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Over a third of shoppers have tried emerging technology functions like smart mirrors and in-store tablets, and nearly 90 percent who have tried these would do so again.
  • Incorrect or incomplete content has dissuaded 95 percent of online shoppers from completing a purchase before.
  • Just 17 percent of people say purchase is their primary purpose when visiting a brand’s website for the first time.

The Episerver “Reimagining Commerce: Global Findings” report is based on a survey of over 4,000 consumers ages 18 and older who have shopped online within the last year. Respondents are equally distributed among the U.S., U.K., Germany and the Nordics.

To see the full results and implications for marketers, download the 2018 Reimagining Commerce report.

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