Over a third of retailers don’t personalise online shopping experience, study finds


More than a third of major UK and European retailers do not have teams dedicated to personalising the online shopping experience, which could be having a direct impact on the quality of onsite personalisation customers receive, with retailers missing out on sales as a result.

That’s according to a survey by SDL, a leader in global customer experience management.

The research shows 36% of retailers are not investing in trained in-house experts to work with the personalisation and merchandising technology they have implemented. By not leveraging this type of big data, companies are missing out on the opportunity to provide their customers with a fully tailored and more relevant online shopping experience, said SDL.

SDL surveyed 23 prominent UK and European retailers across five sectors. The major participants were fashion retailers (41%), followed by department stores (37%), while the rest of the sample traded in homewares (11%), sports (7%) and DIY supplies (4%).

Seventy two per cent of retailers were unsure of the average sales uplift they had achieved since implementing the technologies, while 80% were unable to confirm the average order value uplift, pointing to a lack of accurate measurement or supervision of the products.

“Although the retailers in our study have customer-centricity at the heart of their strategies, the absence of dedicated in-house resources behind these technologies means they are not realising their full potential,” said Allyson Tremblay, UK sales director at SDL.

“With proper management of these systems, customers could be receiving a much more tailored experience to meet their needs, while retailers could be reaping the benefits in terms of increased conversion and customer loyalty.”

The study also found 44% of retailers surveyed received positive customer feedback after introducing personalisation technology, while 52% started to see uplifted sales within three months of implementation. 48% of retailers said they would purchase further customer-centric technologies in the future.

“Personalisation and merchandising technologies can create richer online customer experiences and have been proven to increase conversion rates, but more retailers need to take ownership of their CRM strategies by appointing internal staff to manage these systems,” said Tremblay. “Otherwise, they risk not giving the customer the best possible shopping experience, which could mean losing out on sales.”

SDL provides search, navigation and merchandising technology, and it counts among its clients such well-known brands as ASOS, Screwfix and Debenhams.