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Can Too Much Personalization be Hurting Your Business?

Personalization, dynamic content, remarketing, IP tracking… we all know that consumers appreciate and respond well to personalized messaging and experiences, but can retailers go too far? Accenture released results of their personalization survey that says YES.

Consumer Personalization Survey Overview

The Accenture Personalization Survey examined customer expectations around a personalized shopping experience and identified the types of retail technologies, tailored customer experiences and communications – online and in-store – that consumers may experience.

Welcome Personalization Strategies

The most welcome in-store retailer communications and offerings cited by survey respondents include:

  • Automatic discounts at checkout for loyalty points or coupons (82 percent)
  • Real time promotions (57 percent)
  • Complementary item suggestions (54 percent)

Popular Personalization Strategies

When it comes to personalized online experiences, the most popular choices include:

  • Website optimized by device (desktop, tablet, mobile) (64 percent)
  • Promotional offers for items the customer is strongly considering and intuitive web navigation depending on whether the shopper wants to browse (59 percent)
  • Compare prices or buy an item (59 percent)

Uncomfortable Personalization Strategies

According to the survey, consumers are less comfortable with the following personalization tactics:

  • Retailers suggesting not to buy items online outside their budget at big-ticket destinations such as home improvement and electronics stores (46 percent).
  • Mass retailers and grocery stores advising them not to buy items online outside of their dietary restrictions (40 percent).
  • Store associates who can provide recommendations based upon their family health issues in store (42 percent).
  • Store associates greeting them by name when they walk into a store (36 percent).
  • Retailers giving them feedback from their friends online (52 percent).

Personalization can be a powerful method for retailers to differentiate from competitors, increase basket size and build customer loyalty. To effectively implement personalization across all channels, retailers would benefit from understanding customers at a broad level as well as individually – determining where personalization strategies can best drive business results, and giving key subsets of customers the choice on how they wish to participate. Dave Richards, global managing director of Accenture’s Retail Practice

There are some differentiators depending on the demographics of the consumer. Be sure to read the Accenture Fact Sheet and check out the full findings.


Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of the Martech Zone and a recognized expert on digital transformation. Douglas has helped start several successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to launch his own platforms and services. He's a co-founder of Highbridge, a digital transformation consulting firm. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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