Most E-Commerce Marketers Are Likely Missing Out on Personalization ROI

May 4, 2020

Kibo Retail Marketers Advanced Personalization May2020One-third (34%) of e-commerce marketers in North America claim to use advanced personalization across their entire customer lifecycle, per the latest report [download page] from Kibo. For those in the EMEA region, this figure is just 1 in 5, suggesting that money could be left on the table.

E-commerce marketers in the EMEA region, by contrast, appear to take a more piecemeal approach, with 44% share saying they use advanced personalization in some places across both marketing and the shopping/purchase experience, compared to 36% of respondents in North America. In both cases, where marketers are only focusing one area, it tends to be only on marketing channels (26% share of EMEA marketers; 24% share of North American marketers) as opposed to only for the shopping/purchase experience (10% and 8% share, respectively).

Previous studies have highlighted the lift that personalization brings to results, including earlier research by Monetate (which was recently acquired by Kibo). This most recent report links advanced personalization to ROI once again.

Among those adopting personalization across the entire lifecycle, about half (51%) claimed an ROI of 3x or more. By contrast, fewer than 3 in 10 using personalization for only the shopping experience or only on marketing channels could boast the same levels of ROI. This suggests that the majority of those yet to roll out personalization across the entire journey are yet to reap the full benefits.

Different Tactics Perform Better Than Others

Among the 400 e-commerce executives surveyed for the report, a majority (56%) stated that they get the most return from personalized messaging. This was followed by using a personalized mobile app or website content (46%) and personalized product recommendations (45%).

But the degree of personalization used across various tactics differs. For example, more than half claimed to use advanced personalization on a mobile app (55%), for website visits (55%), assisting in-store associates (52%) and social (51%). By contrast, 56% reported that their personalization of email was basic.

(The report defines advanced and basic in the following way: “Advanced personalization refers to personalization that delivers multiple personalized experiences across the customer journey or the use of AI. Basic personalization refers to tactics such as testing, segmentation, and targeting.”)

Who Owns The Personalization Strategy?

Despite its application within marketing, personalization doesn’t always sit within the department. Indeed, some 41% of respondents said that personalization may be a clearly defined function, but that it sits outside of the department. A similar percentage (40%) said there was cross-functional responsibility across marketing and other teams.

Just 1 in 10 (11%) said that personalization was a clearly defined function within marketing and had dedicated stakeholders. Kibo notes that this small group were the most likely to earn ROI of 4x or more, providing a case for this function to sit within the marketing team.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Figures are based on a survey of 400 e-commerce professionals, 50% of which were headquartered in North America and 50% in EMEA. Some 88% of respondents were at executive-level.

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