Search for “picture frame” on Amazon, and you’ll get 400 pages of results. That’s more than 9,000 picture frames to choose from. And while many believe that offering seemingly endless choices means shoppers will be able to find exactly what they’re looking for, it could also lead to bona fide indecisiveness, a new report shows.
According to “The Art Of Knowing Me,” by Accenture Interactive, 40% of consumers said they have left a business’ website to purchase elsewhere because they felt overwhelmed by too many options. The solution: superb experiences through meaningful personalization.
“When you think of best-in-class experiences, they are usually when someone treats you in a personal way,” said Jeriad Zoghby, global lead for personalization at Accenture Interactive, in an exclusive interview with CMO.com. “They recognize you, they remember your preferences, and not just what they are, but why you have them. And they are relevant, because they understand your unique motivations.”
In fact, 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer if they are recognized, remembered, and receive relevant recommendations, according to Accenture. To reach the highest level of relevancy, companies must not solely focus on what customers prefer, but also take into consideration why they have made these choices. For example, knowing a customer purchased a candle is one thing, but understanding that she has a preference for lavender is the more valuable insight, Zoghby explained.
“Most companies have the data on the ‘why.’ They just aren’t looking at it,” he said. To thrive in our customer experience-led, digital world, companies must use all of the data they are collecting to build a single view of the customer. Doing so will help them spot patterns and figure out why they make certain choices.
This requires a new form of listening, Zoghby said, and advised companies to identify their top 20% of customers and build out their individual profiles. “When you put them into a persona or a segment—and don’t get me wrong, segmentation doesn’t go away; you still need it for lots of things—you’re not treating them as individuals. You’re actually drowning out their voices in the masses,” he said. “So you do lose that ability to treat someone in a personal way.”
However, all of this raises the questions: How much data is too much data? And, are we being creepy? According to Accenture, 80% of consumers are comfortable with data collection as long as companies are transparent, give customers control over the information being collected, and use the insight to enhance the customer experience in some way.
“A fundamental shift needs to happen,” Zoghby said. “It’s about really looking at the individual attributes of products purchased and interactions of the customer to get to that ‘why.’”