Retail shoppers are fickle. And one thing that could well drive them away is meaningless email, according to a study by Fresh Relevance, commissioned by YouGov Plc.
Of 1125 U.S. consumers polled, 41% would consider not shopping with a store that emailed them irrelevant information.
On the other hand, 28% are more likely to be loyal to a retailer that does send them finely tailored email messages.
For instance, 25% want product recommendations based on items they have viewed or purchased. And 26% expect firms to notice when they buy something for someone else.
But don’t think that calling consumers by their first names is an effective strategy — 35% find it unimportant.
Email’s sins pale in comparison with those on some other fronts. For example, 60% would stop buying from a store whose website was difficult to navigate.
In addition, 46% say a frustrating online experience hurts their perception of a brand. And 38% will turn away from a retailer with a badly functioning website.
Convenience is especially key for Baby Boomers — 71% say so.
In general, 43% of the respondents want to physically try products like apparel, furniture and technology before buying online.
What’s more, 22% will be more loyal to a brand that offers personal stylists, makeovers or other amenities. This is especially true of millennials.
Shoppers also like breaks on shipping costs. They will consider retailers based on:
Free returns — 69%
Free two-day shipping — 68%
Free UPS/FedEx/USPS pickup for returns — 65%
In-store returns at any location for online purchases — 55%
Same-day shipping — 42%
At the same time, only 17% are turned on by scan & go technology, like that offered by Amazon, although 26% of people with children say they are. In addition, only 12% want pick-up towers like Walmart’s and 9% expect drone delivery.
“Today’s consumers – namely millennials and Gen X – have reached 'peak stuff,' states Mike Austin, co-founder and CEO of Fresh Relevance. “Because they have everything they need and can access anything they want with the click of a button, shoppers quickly turn to a competitor if a retailer is difficult to do business with or treats them just like one in a crowd.
Austin adds: “Personalization is the secret to forging repeat, long-term relationship — the key to profitability.”
That consists of "effectively using customer data to build out a tailored marketing strategy around the four pillars of loyalty (convenience, experiences, services and communications)," he continues.