The secret to engaging young adults (18-24s) online? personalisation

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Young adults (44% of 18-24-year-olds) are more likely to be influenced to buy a product or service online if they’re given a personalised offer, compared to those aged over 55 (24%), research has revealed.

However, while it’s been established that the younger generation is influenced by a more bespoke approach, a shocking 57% of all those surveyed agree that the offers they receive online are ‘mostly irrelevant’. And with 63% of all adults saying that they find irrelevant offers ‘annoying’, this perhaps signals that a turning point is needed in the way brands interact with their online audiences.

YouGov research used a nationally representative sample of over 2,000 GB adults – commissioned by customer experience optimisation specialist Boostify – which uncovered the roles personalisation and relevance play in driving sales.

In an evolving digital era where online purchases are rising, high-street stores are dwindling and marketplaces are becoming increasingly crowded, it’s never been more important for marketers to truly know their shoppers and their digital behaviours.

But it’s emerged that it’s the older generations businesses are really failing to understand, with 61% of over 55s agreeing that the offers they receive are mostly irrelevant.

Irrelevant offers annoy 64% of this older demographic group – which is more than the 59% 18-24-year-olds who feel the same.

Interestingly, there is a gender divide surrounding companies that do and don’t ‘get’ the importance of offer relevancy to their audiences. There’s almost a 10% difference in how much brands know customers based on their gender – with 62% of men versus 53% of women agreeing offers they receive online are ‘irrelevant’.

It isn’t just the age and gender splits which are apparent in the findings though, there are also clear differences when it comes to geography.

People in the east of England are more annoyed at receiving irrelevant offers (75%), compared to Londoners (55%). Adults in Yorkshire and the Humber (72%) followed by those in the North East (68%) also find these offers annoying.

In addition, adults (68%) in the East Midlands say they receive mostly irrelevant online offers, more than any other government region.   

Commenting on the research, CEO and founder of Boostify Jonathan Thirkill said: “We’re in a society where content relevance is key for enticing savvy shoppers. It’s no longer enough to blast out universal messaging to all customers, instead it is vital brands harness the individuality of each consumer.

“Getting under the skin of how users interact and behave online allows companies to deliver clear, relevant offers at just the right moment – instead of bombarding shoppers with numerous online offers which will never convert.

“As the research indicates, non-personalised offers can leave customers feeling annoyed, and that’s just one of the many reasons today’s brands should be using customer data to make every online experience a pleasant and profitable one.”

Results in a snapshot

Q1 – The offers I receive online are mostly irrelevant to me

AgePercentageNet agree
1.      55+61%57%
2.      = 45-5457%
2.      = 25-3457%
4.    35-4453%
5.      18-2450%

Q2 – I find irrelevant offers annoying

AreaPercentageNet agree
1.      East of England75%63%
2.      Yorkshire and the Humber72%
3.      North East68%
4.      South West63%
5.      West Midlands62%


Q3 – I am more likely to buy a product or service online if I am given a personalised offer

AgePercentageNet agree
1.      18-2444%32%
2.      25-3443%
3.      35-4435%
4.      45-5434%
5.      55+24%