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Keeping up to speed with the customer

The gap between consumer expectations of personalisation and what retailers are delivering is getting wider, Drapers Digital Festival heard today.

True Fit managing director for EMEA Lars Rabe said that 34% of marketers believe they provide good customer experience, while just 18% of shoppers feel they receive a good customer experience.

Rabe said customer expectations are accelerating because of technology: “Consumer expectations haven’t changed. They want to be serviced, to be inspired and delighted and to find the right product. The main difference today is the speed they expect it.”

Technology combined with dwindling attention spans – Generation Z has an eight-second attention span compared with Generation X’s 12 seconds – means people expect to be delivered relevant content and product faster than ever.

To illustrate this, Rabe shared that 70% of shoppers will never click beyond the first page of search results on Amazon, and 35% click on the first product featured on the search page.

How to close the gap

Rabe said to close what he termed the “personalisation gap”, retailers need to understand and master consumer, product and transaction data.

He believes most retailers have an “isolated view” on their consumers and said that looking at data such as views, clicks and purchases “tells you about what she does but not who she is”.

He encouraged retailers to ask their customers more questions about what she likes and who she is.

“If they’re loyal consumers, it shouldn’t be too hard,” he said.

Rabe said that when consumer, product and transaction data is combined with data science and artificial intelligance (AI) retailers can “truly personalise”.

He said that fit information is a crucial part of personalisation: “Personalisation can massively increase the chances that she buys and keeps the product. Returns are a massive issue. The number one reason people return is that it doesn’t fit.”

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