Email Voted Best for Personalized Product Recommendations

January 18, 2012

baynote-personalized-product-recommendation-channels-jan12.gif68.3% of US online holiday shoppers say that the personal product recommendations they received during the 2011 holiday season via email were either very relevant (32.2%) or relevant (36.1%) to them, while about two-thirds said that search delivered very relevant (27.7%) or relevant (38.9%) personalized product recommendations, according to a survey released in January 2012 by Baynote. Product recommendations delivered in-store via sales associates ranked third (57%) in relevance, with e-commerce sites (56.8%) closely following. There was then a large drop-off to the fifth-ranked method, Facebook, cited by 35.6% of the respondents. According to a survey released in December 2011 by Emailvision, almost all US and European online marketing professionals believe it is very important (68.4%) or important (28.1%) to send targeted and personalized email marketing campaigns, although only 1 in 5 actively personalize their email marketing content across all campaigns.

Overall, online shoppers appear more willing to share personal information to get a more personalized shopping experience: 20.8% of online shoppers responding to the Baynote survey said they would definitely share their information, representing 28% growth from 16.2% in the previous year’s survey.

Checkout Influences Online Experience

baynote-influencers-of-online-shopping-jan12.gifData from the “2nd Annual Baynote Holiday Shopping Survey” indicates that the leading attribute cited by online shoppers for making their experience positive was the checkout experience, rated very important by 48.1% and important by one-third. Site navigation and product comments and reviews closely followed, voted very important or important by 81% and 78.1% of respondents, respectively. By contrast, receiving advice and recommendations from live chat support was important to just 20.4% of respondents, and very important to only 13.6%.

Shoppers Dissatisfied With SocNet Integration

When asked to rate various online shopping attributes as they pertained to their online holiday shopping experience, just 33.6% of respondents indicated that retail sites did a good or excellent job connecting them back to their social networks. By comparison, 73.1% said the quality of navigation on retail sites was either good or excellent, and 68.5% felt the same way about the usefulness of product reviews and ratings.

Search Results Overwhelm Shoppers

The leading concern online shoppers reported experiencing during the holiday season was an overabundance of website options to choose from when searching for a product on a search engine (44.1%). Roughly one-third of respondents also complained that after searching for a product, the link took them to a generic home page instead of the product page, or that they were shown ads by retailers that did not sell the product. Retailers in general fared better on their websites: 31.8% of respondents said that they could not find the product they were looking for as easily as they would have liked, while only about 1 in 5 said the results from the search box were poor.

About the Data: The Baynote results are based on a survey of 1,032 US online holiday shoppers between Cyber Monday and Christmas Eve 2011.

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