Shoppers are going increasingly digital—and their expectations around personalization are also increasing, according to new research from personalization software firm Redpoint Global. The firm’s new study of consumer opinions about the upcoming holiday season, conducted by Dynata, finds that major changes in shopping are already underway, with 62 percent saying they would shop exclusively online this year.
“The commerce habits of virtually every consumer were dramatically changed in 2020,” said John Nash, chief marketing and strategy officer at Redpoint Global, in a news release. “For the holiday season, these shopping trends will continue to transform the shopping experience and it is imperative brands adapt. The retailers that use real-time data to understand individual consumer preferences, make changes the data shows are needed, and effectively leverage multiple channels will be much more successful in securing consumer spend this holiday season.”
Personalization motivates purchases, with nearly half (49 percent) saying they will be more likely to purchase from retailers who send personalized content and/or offers this holiday season. Receipt of irrelevant offers is for the second year in this survey, a top consumer frustration. Today’s consumer sees being understood by a brand as table stakes. In the survey, 82 percent of respondents expect that retailers will be able to accommodate preferences and expectations.
Brands that can get personalization right will be rewarded, with consumers highly likely (70 percent) to purchase exclusively from brands that show they understand them. Two thirds of respondents say they want retailers to make the personalization consistent and frictionless, no matter the channel. They want the same understanding from a company whether shopping on a website, in-store, via a mobile app, or reaching a call center.
Additional insights from the survey that retailers should make note of include:
Omnichannel approaches are key
While e-commerce will be crucial for holiday shopping, retailers should ensure they bridge the gap between physical and digital channels as 50 percent of respondents plan to take advantage of buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) capabilities.
Consumer pockets will not be as deep
More than half (56 percent) of consumers expect to spend the same this holiday shopping season as last, but with uncertain markets and high unemployment, 27 percent say they will spend less. For retailers, this means the competition to stand out and win over shoppers will be even more crucial.
Moderation is critical
Thirty-nine percent of consumers say they get overwhelmed by marketing from retailers during the holidays, so striking the right balance of personalized communication at the cadence the customer prefers is as important as what the marketing materials say.
Maintain supply chain transparency
Keeping stocked shelves digitally and physically is important. Out of stock items remains a point of friction for many consumers during the holiday season, 36 percent rating it as a top frustration. Transparency in communication around delays is a major factor in managing customer expectations.
This survey was conducted via Dynata and targeted 1,000 general U.S.-based consumers over 18 years of age.