The Art of Personalization— Keeping it Relevant, Timely and Contextual

Today’s consumers expect personalized communications that are tailored to their individual preferences and delivered seamlessly across every channel.

But while retailers and brands have a wealth of digital insights at their fingertips, harnessing the power of personalization to target individual shoppers with the right message, at the right time, and in the right channel is proving challenging for most. Others, meanwhile, are overlooking opportunity-rich consumer segments that are eager to be engaged.

Periscope by McKinsey conducted research1 in four mature e-commerce markets—France, Germany, the UK and the US—to understand how consumers respond to the personalized messages they encounter.

The research findings provide insights on:

  • Which channels resonate most with consumers and why
  • The types of messages consumers find most appealing and are most likely to respond to
  • How attitudes to personalization differ by geography and gender
  • Which types of company consumers want to receive personalized messages from the most
  • Consumer attitudes to digital privacy – the point at which personalization gets creepy
  • What drives consumers to unsubscribe, tune out or disengage from personalized communications

Key Finding: Understanding channel preferences is key

Retailers and Brands Need to Move Beyond eMail to Connect with Consumers in Multiple Channels

Asked to confirm which messaging channel they currently use several times a day, consumers appear to be happily communicating in multiple channels. Most popular is their personal email account. For shoppers in the US, France and the UK, this was closely followed by their social media accounts. Interestingly, in Europe, shoppers appear to be enthusiastic users of WhatsApp Messenger and other instant messaging software programs (messaging apps).

German consumers, in particular, say it’s now the second most likely channel they will use to connect and communicate, and it was the third most likely channel used by consumers in the UK and France.