More than six in 10 consumers surveyed this year expect personalisation when they interact with brands, and claim brands will lose their loyalty if their experience does not hit the mark with a personal touch.
The figures show how personalisation has leapt in importance over the past year, with just 45% of consumers claiming they would be turned off brands that offer no personalisation in 2021, says customer engagement platform Twilio.
Twilio’s survey of 3,000 consumers and 400 business leaders around the globe during April and May this year aimed to get a ‘pulse’ check over changes to attitudes towards personalisation over the past year.
It reveals a link between personalisation and return on investment (ROI), with virtually half (49%) of consumers saying they’ll likely become a repeat buyer after a personalised experience with a retailer. Almost four in 10 said they would shop with a brand that offered a good experience again, even if there were cheaper or more convenient alternatives.
Business leaders told the survey that personalisation equalled higher spend, with 80% saying consumers spend on average 34% more when their experience is personalised.
Personalisation versus privacy
Despite citing personalisation as a necessity to ensure brands get their business, just 40% of consumers trust brands to use their personal data responsibly and keep it safe. And six in 10 say transparency and trustworthiness are the most important things to them concerning brands – a small jump from 55% in 2021.
Twilio points to first-party data as being “optimal” for privacy – with 63% of consumers pointing to being fine with personalisation as long as brands are using their own data and not renting or purchasing from third parties.
On the other side of the coin, four in 10 (43%) of business leaders claimed to embrace first-party data because it provides better privacy for customers. More than a third (37%) claimed to use exclusively first-party data to customise experiences – six percentage points up on 2021, though less than half personalise communication based on real-time customer behaviour.
Samantha Richardson, Principal Visioneering Consultant, Twilio, said: “This research points to how recent changes in data privacy regulations has made the personalisation imperative increasingly important and challenging, as customers are sceptical of how brands are handling their data.”
Brands need to raise the bar
Just 35% of businesses feel they are successfully achieving omnichannel personalisation. This was up from 24% in 2021, but shows brands still have a long way to go, the research said.
And despite six in 10 saying they ploughed more investment in personalisation this year, there are clear struggles to implement and execute initiatives. A lack of technology, unclear ROI, struggles to get accurate data and “organisational impediments” were the four main challenging areas, said Twilio.
“With the end of third-party cookies coming to fruition next year, brands need to put a strategy in place to rebuild trust with consumers and move away from legacy advertising approaches towards a more authentic kind of engagement,” added Richardson.
“Using consensually offered first party data and applying that to learn who your customer is and what they really want is a critical first step here. It’s no longer about retargeting someone who has just bought a product with several other, similar items. Customer data platforms can uncover meaningful insights that will help build genuine customer-first relationships – and moving in this direction now is about when, not if.”