Study Shows Personalization and Recommendations Can Convert Online Shoppers

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

market-research-trendsOnline retailers and traditional store owners are locked into a tug-a-war game when it comes to attracting and retaining customers. To think of it another way, whenever online retailers increase their sales, it’s normally at the expense of a brick-and-mortar retailer. Conversely, many of the advances we’ve seen for in-store marketing are often designed to get online shoppers to visit the physical store. A recent study offered some data that can help online retailers attract new customers and help traditional stores keep their current customers.

Earlier this spring, Jetlore conducted a study that sought to understand why customers stay with certain retailers while others switch to the competition. While the respondents listed many different reasons, a key takeaway from the study is that convenience and personalization play a big role in customer loyalty and satisfaction.

The report found that ‘lack of personalization, irrelevant product recommendations and other online shopping deal breakers prompt nearly 70 percent of online shoppers to abandon the shopping experience’.

According to the report, “When asked why they prefer to shop online versus in-store, respondents chose convenience and selection as top reasons for buying online, with over 50% of shoppers enjoying the larger inventory of products available online and over 64% enjoying the convenience of buying anytime from anywhere.”

With results like these, it’s easy to see why three out of five consumers surveyed (62 percent) said they prefered online shopping to going to the physical store. But even online retailers can’t afford to rest on their laurels. According to the report, over 40 percent of shoppers are only willing to scroll two pages before giving up and abandoning the site, which means having easy-to-see relevant recommendations can help keep people on the site long enough to find what they need.

The study suggests that one way to create more personalized experiences for online shoppers is to use data and AI software to find good recommendations for customers. This is becoming even more important as they become accustomed to having meaningful recommendations that make shopping faster and easier. In fact, 86 percent of shoppers report lack of personalization and identification as their number one online shopping deal breaker.

“As more commerce is shifting online, it is imperative that retailers improve the product discovery process and improve the overall shopping experience,” said Eldar Sadikov, CEO of Jetlore, according to a press release. “Jetlore helps the world’s top retailers maximize product discovery by empowering traditional editorial curation with AI-driven predictions, increasing conversions and revenue performance across email, web, and mobile channels.”

Using AI to create relevant product recommendations is a good way to keep online customers on the site long enough to convert them, but there are other ways online retailers can make their services for useful to consumers. There are a lot of factors that make people choose to shop at a store instead of online. As the report’s authors explained, if a online retailers can provide one of those services, it can be a hole in the wall separating online from in-store shopping.

“Most shoppers have a favorite store – their ‘go to’ – and are loyal to those stores because they consistently provide the full shopping experience – products, prices, and service. If one or more of those elements are missing during the shopping session, the experience degrades and the shopper is at risk of abandoning their go-to online store for a new one,” as the report authors stated, according to a selection that was covered in other media reports.

For more recent research on consumer behavior that can improve a businesses marketing effectiveness, read this article on creating better loyalty programs with the help of mobile technology.


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