ShopTalk: Personalized commerce for SMBs

Personalization is one of the most important aspects of commerce. It’s a way to make customers feel recognized, valued, and appreciated. Most importantly, it’s a powerful strategy for attracting new clients and turning them into repeat customers.

Personalization runs the gamut from individual communications (emails, texts, and direct mail) to tailored experiences on eCommerce websites. It can be a loyalty program that lets customers accumulate meaningful rewards. Or a warm, personal greeting from a store associate. It can give shoppers the ability to customize their products and services right down to specific preferences like delivery times, sizes and colors, monograms, and gift giving options.

Data is the backbone of personalization, as is the technology that interprets and applies that data. It helps business owners understand which emails customers open, what ads they click on, which coupons they redeem, and what they buy. Compiling and analyzing that data can help ads become more targeted, coupons more customized, and purchases more frequent. While this level of sophistication might only feel accessible to large businesses, there are tools that small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can use to maximize their personalization potential as well.

But how much personalization is too much? Can it cross the line into invading privacy? Or are consumers so satisfied with the benefits that they don’t mind? Vantiv and Socratic Technologies conducted a ShopTalk survey of 500 consumers to better understand how shoppers feel about their data being used for more personalized commerce. Here are the results.

Consumers have mixed feelings when it comes to businesses tracking their purchase behavior

53% of survey respondents report being uncomfortable with businesses tracking their shopping decisions; on the other hand, 51% think it shows that companies are interested in them and their spending dollars

Personalized recommendations are okay as long as customers can control them

50% of survey respondents think that personalized suggestions based on their past purchases are permissible as long as they can opt out of them

Personalization has a strong impact on Millennials

The majority of Millennials are influenced by personalization – 67% report that personalized shopping experiences increase the frequency of their purchases with Online Retailers

Personalized shopping recommendations are most often seen from Online Retailers

62% of respondents observe Online Retailers creating personalized suggestions and recommendations based on past purchases

Two types of retailers are most likely to reap the benefits of personalization

38% of survey respondents say that personalized recommendations originating from Online Retailers and Grocery Stores would increase the frequency of their purchases

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