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Study: Retail personalization efforts not connecting with shoppers


Despite all the attention being given to retail customization and personalization, most consumers see their shopping journeys as marred by inconsistency and impersonal service offerings.

Although 93% of retail executives say service personalization is a strategic focus, only one-quarter of consumers feel they receive a consistent, personal experience across channels, according to findings from personalization technology provider TimeTrade,

TimeTrade recently surveyed 100 C-level retail executives and compared their responses to results from its State of Retail 2016 consumer study. Most retail-decision makers (69%) believe their organizations already provide a consistent personalized experience for every customer.

These numbers contrast markedly with results of the consumer study, which found that only 26% of customers feel they receive a personalized retail experience across channels. Other key findings include:

· Only 23% of retail decision makers plan to undertake initiatives for personalization in the next 18 months, while 8% plan to do nothing at all.

· Among organizations planning improvements, training store associates was noted as the top priority (83%).

· In terms of experience improvement, the physical store is a top priority for retailers, with 45% of decision-makers ranking it ahead of other channels. Social media came in second at 19%, Web experience at 14% and call centers at 11%.

· About half (51%) of consumers ranked call centers as having the poorest experience, followed by in-store with 26% of the vote and social with 23%.

· When asked if they would be willing to schedule in-store appointments with a store associate, 59% of consumers said yes.

"While today's retailers seem to recognize the importance of delivering a personalized cross-channel experience, it's clear that their approach is not resonating with shoppers or meeting their growing expectations," said Gary Ambrosino, CEO of TimeTrade. "Today's shoppers are more demanding than ever before. To remain successful in this environment, brands must work to better understand consumer demands and reexamine and evolve their approach to ensure that service is prompt, personalized and consistent across channels."

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