Personalization Will Be Key This Holiday Season

Consumers are more likely to shop online and in-store at retailers who personalize their offerings or messaging, reports a new study released Thursday by Accenture Interactive.

The digital ad agency polled 1500 adult consumers in the United States and United Kingdom on how personalization influences their buying decisions, both online and in-store. Three out of four responded that they are more likely to buy from a retailer that either recognizes them by name, offers relevant recommendations or remembers their purchase history.

Fifty-six percent of respondents acknowledged they were more likely to shop at a retailer that recognized them by name, 65% of consumers expressed a preference for retailers that remembered their purchase history and 58% of respondents were more likely to shop at stores that offered relevant recommendations based on past purchases or preferences.

Consumers are increasingly coming to expect personalized offers from their favorite brands, but businesses are still struggling to meet with those expectations, according to the study. Only 50% of consumers polled by Accenture Interactive reported ever completing a purchase of a product recommended to them by the retailer on their Web site and almost 40% of respondents admitted to abandoning an online shopping experience altogether because of an overwhelming choice of recommendations.  

Digital channels represent a huge chunk of a retailer’s revenue, accounting for as much as 42% of an organization’s total sales, according to a recent study by Sitecore, and brands will want to prioritize personalization ahead of the upcoming holiday season. 

The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that holiday sales in 2016 will grow 3.6% to $655.8 billion in November and December, lead by a strong online growth of between 7% and 10% year-over-year.

Deloitte and eMarketer, however, predict that online sales growth this holiday season could be even more substantial. Deloitte predicts online sales to grow 17%-19% year-over-year to $96-$98 billion, while eMarketer expects online sales to grow 17.2% year-over-year to $94.71 billion this holiday season.


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