Off-The-Rack Personalization: Ecommerce Brands Lagging Despite Shopper Demands

There is much hype about email personalization. Yet only 49% of retailers have personalized their email, according to Ecommerce Personalization Benchmark Report 2021, a study from Netcore, conducted by Wakefield Research. 

At that, email is the leader. Only 48% are are providing personalized search results, while 47% are providing product displays, 45% are giving discounts and 38% provide home pages. 

Despite that, 62% of retailers claim they have improved their personalized shopping experience over the past year. However, only 45% of consumers say they see first-rate personalization.

And execution does seem to be lagging — 41% of retail executives say their ecommerce platform is somewhat personalized at best. And only 13% provide a completely personalized experience.  

Why this trouble? Retailers cite these challenges:

  • IT bandwidth — 43%
  • Identifying a solution partner — 41%
  • Misalignment of internal teams — 40%
  • Inadequate tools — 36%



There’s a price for brands that fail to overcome these problems: For one thing, 36% of shoppers are more likely to unsubscribe from emails if the messages aren’t relevant to them. 

And 24% of shoppers are more likely to abandon their cart if the offers are not relevant. 

Worse, 91% would abandon an online retailer over a poor shopping experience in general. 

On a more positive note, 60% of retailers say their average order values leaps by 10% or more after personalization. And 41% see a similar increase or more in average revenue per user. 

And 75% report pulling 10+ page view per customer post-personalization, versus 51% before.

Moreover, they see a 1.65% average conversion rate afterwards, compared to a 1.14% rate prior to personalization. And personalization helped them reduce the average cart abandonment rates from 60% to 46%. 

Retailers seem to be ahead of shoppers in several areas. 

For instance, 59% plan to focus on visual search, while 40% of consumers are waiting for it. 

And 56% of retail brands plan to focus on hyper-personalization. But only 21% of shoppers are awaiting that 

Another 46% of ecommerce companies expect to focus on touchless shopping, and 29% of shoppers are waiting.

Expectations are closer when it comes to augmented and virtual reality — 34% of firms plan to concentrate on them, and 27% are waiting. 

Here’s one more state to keep in mind. Of the brands polled, 71% have seen at least 4X ROI with personalization. But 87% acknowledge they could improve their personalization efforts. 

Wakefield Research surveyed 200 U.S. ecommerce executives and 600 consumers between Feb. 24 and March 10, 2021. 

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