Personalisation Is the Call to Action for Retailers

In this piece for RetailTechNews, Mitch Doust, EVP & head of americas, Cover Genius, notes that with 76% of European consumers adopting a ‘quick to ditch’ mindset, there is a call to action for businesses to focus on the customer experience. Today’s empowered online shoppers expect personalisation. Consumers no longer accept a generic ‘one size fits all’ offering and want to be thought of, and marketed to, as individuals. But how can retailers make this shift?

For brands looking to enhance the customer experience, and get ahead of the ‘quick to ditch’ mindset, here are answers to some of the most pressing questions Cover Genius received from online retailers and e-commerce companies.

RetailTechNews: What is the ‘quick to ditch’ mindset and how has it come about? 

Mitch Doust: The ‘quick to ditch’ mindset occurs when a consumer ditches a product simply because a shopping expectation wasn’t met. It could be due to poor customer communication, lack of visibility into policies, or other alternatives. Although it’s difficult to determine which customer expectation wasn’t met, in today’s marketplace, it’s the retailers’ responsibility to invest in partners and technologies that propel them ahead of a competing brand to create an experience that is relevant and enjoyable.

This concept has become more popular due to the nature of the connected world in which we live. With connectivity comes endless choices and information, directly at our fingertips. Shoppers today are empowered to make their own smart buying decisions.

What does the ‘quick to ditch’ mindset mean for shopping behaviours?
Consumers need to be treated as individuals throughout the shopping experience. If friction points occur, or the consumer feels cautious about the brand, they will move on to the next supplier very quickly. Process optimisation and customer experience now become equally as important as the product itself. As customers shop more on centralised e-commerce platforms (think Amazon and Net-a-porter), smaller scale direct e-commerce retailers that don’t invest in the best class of user experience will find their customers naturally gravitating to the larger platforms that do offer best-in-class personalisation and ease of use.

What are some tactics that can be used to build brand credibility and keep customers from ‘ditching’ an offering?
Reducing friction at all parts of the buying journey is key to building brand credibility. Some simple ways to reduce friction include transparency of fees and charges, a simple payment process, and meeting delivery expectations.

In addition, recent research conducted by 1,500 UK, U.S., and Australian consumers showed that 35-40% of consumers would find an online retailer more credible if they offered insurance. Simultaneously, offering insurance at the point of sale has the potential to reduce cart abandonment on high-value products by de-risking the purchase.

Are customised offers the cure to the ‘quick to ditch’ mindset?
Advancements in technology that allow for a deeper learning experience help retailers and e-commerce brands better understand customer demands, as well as their wants and needs to deliver the right solution, product, or service – whatever that may be.

In short, yes, coupled with other solutions, customised offers will keep a shopper’s attention.

Can protection products or return policies help drive buyer comfort decision making at the shopping cart?
Offering insurance at the point of sale has the potential to reduce cart abandonment on high-value products by de-risking the purchase. Our market research shows that nearly 70% of people say they wouldn’t spend more than USD$1,000 on an online purchase; but, on average, 30% would buy higher value products if insurance were offered.

How can the implementation of data help build brand credibility?
The utilisation of data to streamline and personalise the buying process greatly reduces friction and removes a number of cart abandonment opportunities.

Moving forward, what retail technologies can we expect to see improve the customer experience?
The need to create an online shopping experience that focuses on the customer, versus the sales numbers, will lead to the adoption of emerging technologies. Some retail tech that we can expect to see improve the customer experience includes:

– Voice technologies, through devices like Alexa and Google

– AI technologies that allow retailers to tailor and market to individuals

– Instant payments that simplify the buying process for the consumer


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