Bluecore Study Finds That 39% of Retail Brands Consider Improving Customer Experience an Urgent Priority, But as Few as 12% Believe They Are Actually Good at Delivering Personalized Experiences
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In a new research report released by retail technology company Bluecore and conducted by Forrester Consulting, retail brands get candid about their struggle to meet the demands of hyperadoptive consumers. Among the findings, up to 39% of brands reveal they are prioritizing customer-centric initiatives, such as improving experience or increasing customer value. This is in direct response to consumers’ rapidly increasing rate of product adoption and demand for experience. Yet, even respondents with access to data and technology admit to having difficulty delivering high-value personalized customer experiences at scale.
Forrester Consulting surveyed 307 marketing technology (martech) decision makers at retail enterprises in the U.S. and Europe for the new commissioned study, “Align Technology, Data, And Your Organization To Deliver Customer Value.” With 14% of all U.S. sales taking place online and 39% of all offline sales influenced by digital channels, Bluecore sought to understand retail brands’ digital marketing priorities and how the evolving use of data in marketing is causing IT and marketing to converge. Survey respondents included those in marketing, analytics and IT roles.
Research Highlights Include:
- Brands rank customer experience nearly as important as customer acquisition. When asked to rank their three highest marketing priorities for 2020, 45% of respondents said that winning new customers was one of the three most important business objectives for their company this year. Right behind customer acquisition was “customer experience,” with 39% of respondents citing it as one of their three highest priorities. [Figure 1]
- Only 21% and 20% of respondents believe they are effective at their two highest-priority objectives, customer experience and acquisition respectively. This might be because 50% of respondents claim to spend only 30% or less of their time on their top objectives. [Figure 2]
- Only 12% of respondents claimed to be very effective at delivering personalized experiences to customers. Just 30% say they are effective at driving seamless and consistent omnichannel experiences. Considering that personalization across channels is critical to achieving optimal customer experiences, retailers’ difficulties in these two areas explain their urgency to improve. [Figure 3]
- More than one-third of respondents (36%) have to wait up to a week or more for campaign or audience data. Despite pervasive talk about the use of real-time data in the retail and marketing industries, only 10% claim to have access to data in real-time or near real-time. Twelve percent (12%) get it within a day and 42% say it takes a few days to complete their data requests. [Figure 4]
- More than 40% of respondents believe their organizational structure hurts data management efforts. Getting the right technology is just one part of the solution: problems with process bottlenecks and organizational misalignment are just as crucial to account for as what tools will help deliver better customer value more quickly.
- Only 35% of brands say their marketing technology is contributing to their ability to improve customer experience. Just 21% say it helps them win new customers. A mere 15% credit it with creating or increasing customer value. Because of this, IT resources (which are usually responsible for data management) are overloaded. [Figure 5]
“This research confirmed a number of things we suspected, but also revealed new insights we weren’t privy to,” said Fayez Mohamood, Co-Founder & CEO of Bluecore. “We knew that even retailers who have access to mass amounts of customer, product and behavioral data, don’t always have the ability to derive insights from and action it. We did not know, however, exactly how few are able to scale their personalization efforts. This will change when retail brands recognize that it’s not only data and technology that need to work together, their marketing and IT infrastructures need to evolve to work together too.
“For retailers, data is a massive untapped opportunity,” said Carrie Tharp, VP of Retail at Google Cloud. “The winners in retail are those who embrace data, whether structured or unstructured, to create personalized experiences at scale and in real time. At Google Cloud, we provide an innovation platform for key partners like Bluecore to help retailers create highly personalized experiences for their customers.”
The research was conducted between July and November 2019. Respondents represent apparel and footwear (62%), home goods (50%), health and beauty (43%) and luxury goods (34%), many working in more than one of these categories.
Bluecore is a retail marketing technology company that’s reimagining the way retailers communicate with shoppers. Through its 2019 launches of Bluecore Communicate™ and Bluecore Site™, the company introduced retailers to a fundamentally different approach to digital marketing. For the first time ever, retailers are able to personalize 100% of consumer communications delivered by email and throughout the shopping experience. Bluecore replaces manual processes with an intelligent, AI-driven workflow and pioneered the industry’s first engagement-based pricing model. Retailers can now manage their full email program, as well as all on-site communications, from a single interface. As a result, the Bluecore platform doubles email revenue, reduces production time, and increases customer retention and lifetime value for more than 400 of the fastest-growing retailers, including Staples, Tommy Hilfiger, The North Face, TomboyX, Bass Pro Shops.