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03/31/2022

The retailer with the best personalization is…

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Two retailers tied for having the best personalization.

Two retailers have actually tied for the top spot in the fifth annual Retail Personalization Index.

According to the 2022 Retail Personalization Index, compiled by marketing automation technology provider Sailthru, a CM Group brand, global beauty retailer Sephora and organic grocer Thrive Market have tied for first place. In the 2021 edition of the rankings, Sephora took first place by itself, followed by Thrive Market in second place.

Thrive Market earned high scores for its mobile app, as well as its email experiences that are based on a data-driven personalization strategy. Sephora received recognition for its orchestrated online and in-store personalization approach, based on loyalty and experiential marketing.

DSW earned a third-place ranking for its personalized communications during a customer’s first interactions with the brand, and an online shopping experience that mirrors the one in store.

The top five scoring brands in the 2022 Retail Personalization Index are: 

  • Thrive Market and Sephora
  • DSW
  • Best Buy
  • Adidas

While Thrive Market won the mobile category with its intuitive app that is driven by past purchases and preferences, Sephora topped the website category with a loyalty-driven experience that seamlessly connects online experiences to in-store shopping. 

Many direct-to-consumer and native digital brands, such as 1stDibs, Wayfair and Fashion Nova - which jumped from 69th in 2021 to 12th place in 2022 – did well in their email scores. Ranked sixth, Fabletics scored highest in email for its advanced product filtering and curated product recommendations. Thrive Market also earned high marks for its personalized email approach.

“Over the past two years, brands have had to focus on short-term gains, whereas consumers have increased their expectations for meaningful personalization both online and in-store. That means there is now a lot of work to be done in order for brands to meet these new customer expectations and see successful revenue generation at the same time,” said Jason Grunberg, GM at Sailthru. “With more retailers turning to zero- and first-party data strategies to drive the future of marketing, it is more important than ever to create value-driven personalized engagement with customers to collect insights that offer continuously better experiences - and revenue opportunities - across every touchpoint.”

The 2022 Retail Personalization Index also included a study of retailers and consumers, commissioned by Coresight Research and Sailthru. Highlights include:

  • 71% of consumers will shop more often with brands or retailers that personalize their communications.
  • While the vast majority (98%) of retail marketers use some form of advanced personalization, many are not delivering personalized experiences that live up to consumer expectations, as 71% of retailers think they excel in personalization in marketing, but only 34% of consumers agree.
  • 80% of consumers said that they would share data in exchange for deals and offers, while 70% would share data for loyalty points.

The 2022 Retail Personalization Index also includes findings from three surveys of respondents based in the U.S. and U.K.: a consumer personalization survey of 5,014 consumers aged 18–84; a retailer personalization survey of 260 brands and retailers that have an online presence.; and a consumer privacy survey of 1,002 consumers aged 18–84.