Online shoppers want retailers to respect their privacy while delivering hyper-personalised shopping experiences, according to Episerver’s new Reimagining Commerce research report. The global survey gathered responses from over 4,000 online shoppers in five countries to create a picture of customers’ evolving expectations of e-commerce.
While 53% of global consumers want brands to make greater efforts to respect their online anonymity, 61% want companies to continue prioritising personalisation. The survey also revealed that the latter is beneficial to both retailers and customers, as a quarter of respondents reported that they have returned to a purchase after seeing retargeting adverts which acted as a reminder. The research shows that personalised recommendations increase key performance indicators, but data consent is key.
Privacy and data concerns are stunting retail methods that were thought to be promising in 2019, such as voice commerce. Last year’s report found that 17% of respondents used voice-assisted devices to complete a purchase multiple times a month, but this has dropped by 10% in 2020. A third of participants reported that a lack of security features will stop them from making voice-enabled purchases via devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
Instead, shoppers are returning to their smartphones to browse and buy, with over half of millennials and 18% of baby boomers choosing the devices.
“Companies are facing a digital experience paradox,” said Alex Atzberger, CEO of Episerver. “Digital is a necessity to compete, but it’s getting more difficult and expensive to compete on digital alone as the golden standard for digital experience isn’t right for every company and customer, and yet the requirements keep increasing. We’ve been sold on experience, but hindsight is 20/20.
“Understanding what customers want, giving them control over how and where their data is used, and leading them to the next best content and action is how retailers ultimately solve for these contradictions.”
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