Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Less is more for personalised customer engagement

Less frequent but more meaningful, insight-led interactions with brands and retailers are among the top consumer demands to improve customer engagement, new data from Wunderkind reveals.

Original research of over 2,000 UK shoppers by Wunderkind revealed less frequent – but more personalised – engagement topped consumers’ wish lists for how retailers and brands communicate with them (43%), followed by tailored offers and promotions based on a one-to-one understanding of the shopper (40%).

Despite the call for greater levels of personalisation and insight-led engagement, over half (51%) of shoppers say they receive ‘unpersonalised’ communications far too frequently from retailers, suggesting that the generic ‘batch and blast’ approach to brand-shopper interaction still persists.  Almost two-thirds (63%) of shoppers also think brands and retailers don’t make good use of first-party data when it comes to tailoring engagement.

Wulfric Light-Wilkinson, General Manager at Wunderkind International, commented: “Retailers and brands have known for some time that the ‘spray and pray’ approach to customer engagement doesn’t pay off. It’s a short-termist strategy that will only ever deliver mediocre results at best, leads to poor ROI, and creates deeply unsatisfying shopping experiences for customers. This risks lost conversions and decreased levels of loyalty.  However, our research suggests this ‘batch and blast’ practice still prevails, and more clearly needs to be done to deliver the one-to-one, insight-led interaction customers demand.”

Consumers also now expect brand engagement to add value to their shopping journeys, with over a quarter of respondents (27%) saying they want to receive more ‘useful’ communications from retailers, such as cart-abandonment reminders, discount notifications on recently viewed products, or ‘back in stock’ prompts. Almost a fifth (18%) also said they want to receive more varied interactions that go beyond simply offering product recommendations.

“Shoppers want to establish deeper relationships with the brands they shop with, and these relationships can only be developed if retailers are able to identify and understand customers at a one-to-one level. Optimising owned, first-party data sits front and centre when it comes to driving that strategy to meet these new customer needs,” Light-Wilkinson concluded.