Personalisation gap persists as UK retailers’ engagement capabilities fail to meet accelerated digital demands

The personalisation gap is growing as UK retailers’ accelerate their efforts to keep up with the new digital-first demands of shoppers in their omnichannel buying journeys, the latest research from insights-led customer engagement platform, MoEngage, shows. 

Original research of 2,000 senior UK marketing and ecommerce professionals in MoEngage’s latest The State of Insights-led Engagement Report showed that while a quarter (25%) of retailers currently personalise communications to shoppers by deeper levels of customer attributes, such as language preference, communication channel and content affinity, a further quarter (24%) admitted they were still only using basic customer data – such as name or location – to inform personalisation. 

Just 22% currently use behaviour-based data, such as recency, frequency, and monetary value of purchases, in their personalisation strategies, while fewer still (19%) use data on moments of conversion, dormancy, and churn to drive personalisation.  This lack of granularity could be hampering retailers’ personalisation efforts, just as customers’ digital demands are accelerating.  Shoppers now have elevated their expectations for highly curated, one-to-one engagement with the brands they choose to shop with at each touchpoint of their buying journey.

With sustained online sales growing exponentially throughout the pandemic, according to YouGov 80% of frequent shoppers would only shop with retailers who offered personalised experiences. In comparison, almost three quarters (72%) would only engage with personalised messages.  And this, Jason Smith, VP at MoEngage, suggests, could be costing retailers not only sales but long-term shopper loyalty, as he explained: 

“Poor personalisation means retailers could be leaving lost revenue opportunities on the table at a time when they simply can’t afford to be missing out on conversions.  With each conversion so hardly fought for in the context of the rising cost of customer acquisition and the cost-of-living squeezing consumers’ disposable incomes so each purchase becomes even more considered, these revenue and loyalty opportunities are ones that brands can’t afford to squander.” 

“Although some levels of basic personalisation are better than no personalisation at all, brands are still missing out on the rich, granular levels of data and insight – based on buying behaviours – that are needed to improve customer engagement to drive sales and loyalty, along with the automation needed to scale commerce success,” he concluded.

And while retailers are focusing their efforts on the personalisation capabilities, the investment and venture capital community is also echoing the role of technologies and solutions that empower retailers and brands to better engage with customers; MoEngage recently announced a $77million Series E funding round, led by Goldman Sachs and B Capital.  

For more insights on how UK retailers are shaping their customer engagement strategies and what technologies they are putting in place to meet new and evolved consumer demands, download the full report here: The State of Insights-led Engagement Report 2022 | Europe Edition (moengage.com)