Many big e-commerce brands are failing to truly engage with today’s increasingly mobile and global customers, says a new report. Almost none of the UK’s top e-commerce brands deliver personalized customer engagement in their mobile apps, and most are wasting huge opportunities to grow their mobile channel and engage with users–especially mobile savvy millennials.
The report, which focuses on three key channels (email, mobile apps and social media), reveals that relatively few of the UK’s top 50 e-commerce companies are taking user preferences, personalization and optimization across devices as seriously as they should. The report is based on a study carried out last year by global digital marketing company Mapp Digital.
While 96% of the large companies in the study use email as their primary form of marketing communication, only 26% personalized their customer emails, 60% personalized their web experience, and a mere 2% used a personal approach in their mobile apps–despite most brands asking for customer names and other identifiable information.
All data, no action = customer engagement fail
“All data, no action summarizes the broad approach we’re seeing from the UK’s top e-commerce brands–and today, broad is no good,” says Rolf Anweiler, Senior VP of Marketing at Mapp. “Today’s proliferation of channels, devices, and technologies brings a great opportunity for marketers…[but] most are being bland, formulaic, and not quite delivering. Many brands are still more ‘9 to 5’ than 24/7 when it comes to marketing.”
Although at least 92% of brands have a mobile app and most seek permission to send notifications, only 17% actually delivered a message across the month-long duration of Mapp’s study.
The study also looks at how brands are orchestrating cross channel customer engagement. It found that only 25% of the top brands with bricks-and-mortar stores were using technology to drive engagement when potential customers might be passing by.
Other key findings from the study include:
94% of the e-commerce companies analysed sent at least one email to their customer base during the study.
78% of emails assessed during the study were not fully responsive, meaning that the mobile email experience for most customers is very limited.
Only 13% of brands assessed had a customer or user preferences section on their website, where users can customize delivery of messages and content.
Only 11% of brands with mobile apps connected the dots between digital channels (for example, by enabling social sign in).
When it comes to posting seasonal content on social media channels, 45% of the e-commerce brands chose Facebook, 52% turned to Twitter, and only 20% employed Instagram.
“What this research most clearly highlights is that some of the largest e-commerce brands are still failing to create meaningful, personalized customer engagement due to inconsistent use of digital channels,” says Anweiler. “Never before has having a consistent strategy been more important, nor has combining the data from the multitude of digital channels to create a holistic view of the customer. It should be simple to deliver highly [personalized] messages. Marketers today have all the tools to achieve this.”
Mapp’s “Digital Customer Engagement Index” study is based on research conducted over a 32-day period in the spring of 2016, of the top 50 leading e-commerce companies in the UK, as identified from IMRG. You can download the full report here.