Three quarters of top 50 retailers fail to deliver tailored marketing, eCircle reports


Three quarters (77%) of the top 50 retailers in the UK are failing to deliver tailored marketing collateral to their customers, according to research, carried out by eCircle, a Teradata company. 

In contrast, retailers clearly understand the value and importance of technology and the mobile market with 93% of the emails sent by the top 50 retailers optimised for mobile. According to eCircle, this begs the question, why when a retailer has invested in a mobile solution, and improved the ability for customers to engage with content, are they not taking full advantage of the opportunities they are creating?

The research also discovered while 84% of retailers did send newsletters, the content is largely generic and only 61% were found to have a welcome email, of which only 5% had a welcome offer of discounts on their first spend. Furthermore, only 38% percent of the retailers had a preference centre attached to their newsletter campaign, meaning 62% of the top 50 retailers are missing the chance to talk to their customers with personalised and relevant content, said eCircle.

Simon Bowker, managing director of eCircle, said: “As the inbox becomes ever more crowded and the number of communication channels continues to proliferate, personalisation, mobile optimisation and customer experience are becoming increasingly important to both retailers and customers in the rapidly evolving digital market.

“Targeted communications are an effective way of bolstering sales and making your customers feel valued. If your customers feel like they are being targeted with content that is valuable to them, they are more likely to buy from you and establish a long-term relationship with you. At a time when the high street is witnessing a dramatic decline and online spend is rising, retailers need to recognise and utilise the benefits of email. As new technologies emerge, it’s always assumed it has to be at the expense of another, but it needn’t be. Email is still and will continue to be an imperative tool for retailers when maximised to its full potential.”

The research was carried out over a one month period in December 2012 on the top 50 retailers in the UK. The top 50 list was selected according to Hitwise and based on turnover. The study took into account the registration process for newsletters, including the ease of sign-up on the retailer’s website and promotion of the retailer’s newsletter.

The research then analysed all communications sent to customers throughout the month after signing up to their regular newsletter, which included frequency of communications, mobile optimisation of email templates and personalisation levels of the content delivered.