Majority Of Shoppers Want Cross-Channel Personalization — Survey

According to a new survey, cross-channel shoppers want personalization on retail/e-commerce websites and in email, less so with display or social ads. The survey was conducted earlier this year by the etailing-group (n=1,004 US adults) for MyBuys, a personalization platform.

All of the survey respondents owned smartphones and 61 percent reported owning a tablet. The respondents were equally divided between men and women.

Source: MyBuys/e-tailing group

Most respondents (83 percent) “saw value” in personalization across mobile devices. However only 23 percent said they thought retailers did a good job of personalization. Slightly more than half (52 percent) of these shoppers said they “realize that they buy more with cross channel personalization.” 

The majority of these survey respondents (62 percent) used a range of devices for internet access and just over half (52 percent) reported using multiple devices to complete ecommerce transactions. The top three factors that drove online purchases were:

  • Discounts – 75 percent
  • Free shipping – 74 percent
  • Finding the right product – 68 percent

These survey results are highly self-serving because MyBuys provides personalization capabilities to online retailers. I also didn’t see the original survey instrument to see how the questions were framed and presented. Skepticism about the results is warranted.

Other survey data, however, support the idea that at least in some circumstances consumers want personalized retail experiences.

By contrast, the Pew Research Center found in 2012 that the majority of consumers did not want personalized search or display advertising results. These negative findings are based on exposure of tracking and targeting methodologies behind personalization. I suspect the MyBuys survey only spoke about the benefits of personalization rather than the methodology behind it.

The “truth” is somewhere between these poles.

When consumers see and understand the concrete benefits of personalization they typically embrace it. However they’re also quite ambivalent or concerned about the privacy implications of the tactics and data collection practices behind personalization.

About The Author

Greg Sterling
Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.