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Survey: 80% of retailers to increase customer experience spending in 2015


Wakefield, Mass. — More than 80% of retailers plan to increase their customer experience spending in 2015, according to a survey conducted by Econsultancy for SDL, a provider of global customer experience. The report also reveals that while North American retailer brands appreciate the need for technology integration, with 97% citing integration of customer experience technology as “important” or “essential” to their growth, only 40% describe their relevant systems as integrated and cross-functional.

Here are some other findings of the survey, which was sent to more than 225 senior marketers at North American retail companies with annual revenues of more than $100 million:

• Among the survey participants, none plan to reduce their customer experience commitment in 2015.

• Nearly half of retailers strongly agree with the statement “our customer experience is our brand” — a figure that balloons to more than 80% when those who simply “agree” are included.

• Despite the realities of commoditization and competition, most retailers point to product offerings (54%) and price (45%) as their primary methods for attracting new customers.

• More than 50% now say they have a strong understanding of the mobile user experience. But only 35% believe they can differentiate using mobile.

• For 45% of retailers, content is a tool to grow their audience, often in tandem with social reach.

• Omnichannel retailing is cited by 22% of marketers. This reflects the challenges in creating a truly seamless experience, but also highlights that it can be a powerful differentiator for those that achieve it.

“Mastery of the customer experience is a challenge with many facets. Retailers are overwhelmed by the complexity of data, technology and understanding of the customer journey,” said Paige O’Neill, chief marketing officer at SDL. “Our latest research indicates that North American retailers are acutely aware of their technological shortfalls when it comes to creating a seamless, personalized customer experience across multiple channels.”

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