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The People Have Spoken: We Are Ready for You to Know Us

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by Robert Cell, Chairman

I believe there are people for every product, and it’s our duty as marketers to create a more relevant world for consumers. I’ve been talking about the pros of 1:1 personalization forever, since my early days at Kellogg’s over twenty years ago. It’s why I started MyBuys.

For the past 6 years, we’ve been partnering with the e-tailing group to survey consumers on their attitudes and opinions on this sometimes controversial topic. The study seeks to gauge the temperature of consumers in regard to their shopping behaviors and attitudes on devices, personalization and channels. We’ll be releasing additional study findings throughout the next quarter, but for the time being I’d like to share a few highlights that I found particularly interesting.

Big Data ≠ Big Brother

The “big bad wolf” of big data, concerns of consumer privacy are often raised. This year our study puts this misconception to bed:

  • 83% of consumers see value in being recognized with personalized experiences across all devices.

Consumers are ready for you to know them. They’ve come to realize that having their shopping behaviors known isn’t some Orwellian nightmare, it’s what they want and even expect.

  • 65% of shoppers consider personalizing the shopping experience based on past shopping behavior a valuable service.

Value and service. These are good things that make for happy customers, and happy customers are repeat customers. In fact, 52% of shoppers realize they buy more with cross channel personalization.

Happy shoppers buying more makes you happy, so everyone wins.

The Multi-Device Dilemma

Today’s multi-device buying cycle came up frequently at this year’s eTail West Conference, and it’s something retailers are increasingly becoming aware of.  And look what consumers told us:

  • 62% of shoppers use 3+ devices to access the Internet.

Even Grandma is Buying on Her Mobile

When it comes time to purchase, the chart below shows how real the shift is, even across all age groups:


We’re all connected to some kind of device at any given point during the day. It’s great for retailers because that means consumers are readily available to engage with you more often, but not so great if you cannot give them what they want. And guess what? We’re not giving them what they want yet:

  • 77% of shoppers state they don’t think retailers recognize them across devices.

More than ¾ of consumers think retailers have dropped the ball, and that number will only continue to grow as shopping practices and device adoption continue to evolve.

I have to admit, I feel a bit vindicated by these results, but more important is what these numbers mean for retailers. Consumers have not only accepted personalization, but have grown to demand it. However, you can’t personalize anywhere, not on your Site, Email or Ads, without recognizing and knowing your consumers. Get to know your consumers. Give them the personalized experience they want no matter what device they’re on or what channel they’re engaging with you in. If you don’t, get ready to say goodbye to them when they leave you for someone who really knows them.


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