Personalization is considered the Holy Grail of online marketing. However, according to data from a new study, online marketers still haven’t found a way to balance consumers’ worries about data privacy with their desire to be catered to on a one-to-one basis.
While 44 percent are frustrated when companies fail to deliver relevant, personalized shopping experiences, nearly half (49 percent) are concerned about personal data privacy as they subscribe to intelligent services designed to understand and anticipate their needs. according to the 13th annual Accenture Strategy Global Consumer Pulse Research.
Specifically, 41% of US consumers said they ditched a company because of “poor personalization and lack of trust,” the study says. In financial terms, that’s a staggering $756 billion in lost retail and brand sales in the US this year. And, globally, it’s $2.5 trillion in lost sales, according to Accenture.
It doesn’t help that consumers are practically begging to be treated as unique individuals. They want to reap the rewards – discounts, convenience, better customer experience. But are simultaneously reluctant to give up personalized information over privacy concerns.
It’s a conundrum for online marketers. They have the seemingly herculean task of offering consumers a personalized experience. They are expected to anticipate consumer needs without seeming overly intrusive or creepy.
Meanwhile, technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and digital assistants becoming more sophisticated and mainstream. That has companies are creating new touchpoints, offerings and services that intelligently anticipate and flex to their customer’s precise needs. This offers a level of hyper-relevance not experienced before.
However, there is a telling example in the study. Forty-four percent of US consumers said they are frustrated when companies fail to provide relevant personalized experiences. Meanwhile, 49% said they are concerned about personal data privacy. This is especially pertains to “intelligent services” such as Amazon’s Echo or Google Home.
Nearly 36% of consumers said they use digital assistants. And almost 90% of those said they are satisfied with the experience. Yet, 40% said it can feel “slightly creepy” when technology starts to correctly read and anticipate their needs, according to the study.
For affiliate marketers the key is to create personalized website content to resonate with visitors. According to Liad Agmon of Dynamic Yield, this method is delivering more sales, revenue, and profit for the entire affiliate ecosystem. He notes that Dynamic Yield has seen automated personalization deliver a 100% increase in profit (not just sales!).
But to move further towards ultimate personalization, Accenture is touting something called the hyper-relevance customer experiences as the next wave for online businesses. However, hyper-relevance requires two things: more personalized data about the customers and the trust of customers.
The Accenture study says that to pivot to hyper-relevance, companies should consider:
- Giving customers full control over their data – Organizations must become more transparent. Customers need full access to, and control over, their data which will demonstrate responsible stewardship and ethics. Furthermore, they must ensure the appropriate safeguards are in place to protect it.
- Creating new customer value – Look beyond the traditional customer journey. Businesses must prioritize areas where they can dynamically deliver something that customers value, at the right moment every time.
- Investing in precise insights – Invest in predictive analytics, Businesses need to collaborate with an ecosystem of partners to capture real-time customer insight, and mine data in new ways to understand their specific needs.
With new technologies and approaches, online marketers who thoughtfully consider the customer experience, will eventually solve the personalization problem and reap the rewards.