E-commerce giant Amazon continues to set the pace in its enormous industry thanks in no small part to its ability to personalise consumer experiences.
Already turning over around $75 billion a year, the company does not appear to be letting up its dominance of the online shopping arena.
Rumours continue to circulate around its alleged interest in Asos, with talk alone enough to send the share price of the highly-successful fashion e-retailer upwards, such is the weight Amazon carries.
But why is it the best in the business when it comes to customer personalisation?
According to a survey conducted by BloomReach, Amazon is streets ahead on the technological side of e-commerce operations. Simple, yet highly-effective features such as one-click ordering provide a personal touch, which is simply built around the site remembering delivery addresses and card details, all of course, entirely securely.
Amazon also remembers what you have browsed and suggests relevant alternatives, also based on what other people have purchased. The review section is also excellent, clearly showing both positive and negative appraisals. The service is both customised and impartial at the same time.
A second factor explaining why other online retailers are falling behind comes in the underestimation of customer expectation.
The BloomReach report found that UK marketers fail to recognise the importance of personalisation. Around 34 percent of retailers said they thought that brand reputation was the most important factor when consumers choose a retailer and just two percent thought that personalised shopping experience was an important factor.
However, 31 percent of consumers said they would be more likely to make purchases if they were offered personalised experiences such as product recommendations or tailored content.
There is also a disbelief among retailers that online experiences can indeed be more personalised than those encountered on the high street, something which Amazon has blown out of the water.
Some 59 percent of consumers believe that online experiences are more unique to their needs, however, a massive 80 percent of retail marketers disagreed with this, saying that online could not offer a more personal experience.
Raj De Datta, co-founder and CEO of BloomReach said: “There is clearly a gap between what UK consumers are looking for in an online experience and what UK retail brands think consumers are looking for. Amazon has raised the bar in customer experience and the challenge is for retailers across the world to try to match that.
“The good news is that consumers are more open to competitor brands, placing little value in brand reputation but a lot of importance in the experience. Marketers need to recognise that brand reputation is not as important as they think it is and more on improving customer experience.”