Only one quarter (26%) of the UK's 50 largest online retailers are sending insight-driven personalised communications to customers, according to research by Teradata into these retailers' consumer email marketing campaigns.
When considered alongside another survey from Teradata and Celebrus Technologies which found that 63% of consumers across every age group like to receive personalised offers, this suggests that retailers are generally failing to capitalise on consumers' growing appetite for personalised brand interactions.
The survey also highlighted a significant decrease in online retailers with a preference centre, which has dropped from 64% in 2014 to 36% in 2015. Whilst this indicates that businesses are moving away from preference centres in favour of more dynamic data collection methods, there is still work to be done to implement effective data-driven strategies which add real value to customers.
Furthermore, the study found only 28% of the top 50 online retailers are targeting customers by demographic, for example age and gender, with only a third (36%) personalising emails by name.
The study also discovered that whilst 84% of online retailers have a newsletter, only half included the sign-up option on their homepage. This suggests retailers are leaning more toward customer retention strategies over acquisition, which is fundamentally at odds with a lack of personalisation in customer communications.
Online retailers are embracing mobile technology, with 75% of respondents reporting that they optimise their emails for mobile platforms, and 33% reporting they are using more mobile-friendly responsive design for their newsletters.
"It is counter-intuitive for retailers conducting email campaigns to overlook customers' stated individual preferences, because ignoring the personal touch risks customer defection to savvier retailers who do address their individual needs," concluded Christopher Kollat, country manager (UK & Ireland) for Teradata Marketing Applications. "Rich data insights are there for the taking, but it's time to ensure they are harnessed effectively with the right data analytics tools to put personalisation at the core of customer communications."
The full study results have been made available for free download from Teradata's web site - click here (free registration required).