Leading eCommerce companies failing to deliver personalised engagement yet have the data
Mapp Digital’s ‘The Digital Customer Engagement Index’ suggests that email remains king in marketing communications with 96% usage, while multi-channel remains unexploited
Mapp Digital, LLC one of the largest independent digital marketing technology companies in the world, today launched The Digital Customer Engagement Index  – a forensic analysis of the digital marketing methods of the Top 50 leading ecommerce brands in the UK.
The study, which focuses on three key channels (email, mobile apps and social media), reveals that relatively few of the UK’s top ecommerce companies are taking user preferences, personalisation and optimisation across devices as seriously as they should.
While 96% use email as their primary form of marketing communication, only 26% personalise emails, 60% personalise the web experience, and a mere 2% use a personal approach in their mobile apps – despite most brands asking for customer names and other identifiable information.
“All data no action summarises the broad approach we’re seeing from the UK’s top ecommerce brands. But broad is no good when it comes to marketing in a digital revolution when customers relationships with brands are changing to an ‘always on’ culture, and you explicitly ask for information about them” said Rolf Anweiler, Senior Vice President Marketing, Mapp. “Many brands are still more 9 to 5 than 24/7 when it comes to marketing. With the proliferation of channels, devices, and technologies comes a great opportunity for marketers. At the moment, though, most are being bland, formulaic and not quite delivering.”
In mobile app marketing, where 92% of brands have a mobile app, most seek permission to send notifications. Despite this, only 17% actually delivered a message across the duration of Mapp’s study. The study also looks at how brands are orchestrating cross channel engagement, noting that only 25% of the top brands with bricks-and-mortar stores are using technology to drive engagement when potential customers might be passing by. This indicates that most are wasting a huge opportunity to grow the mobile channel and engage with customers, especially mobile savvy millennials.
Key findings from the study include:
- 94% of those analysed sent at least one email to their customer base during the study
- 78% of emails assessed during the study were not fully responsive, meaning that the mobile email experience for most customers is very limited
- Only 13% of brands assessed had a preference centre on their website, inhibiting personalisation of messages and content
- Only 11% of brands with mobile apps connected the dots between digital channels (for example, by enabling social sign in)
- When it comes to posting seasonal content on social media channels 45% of brands chose Facebook, 52% turned to a Twitter feed and only 20% utilised their Instagram account
“What this research most clearly highlights is that in an era when brands are pushing for more personalised, individualised marketing, some of the largest ecommerce brands in the UK are still failing to create meaningful engagements due to inconsistent use of digital channels” said Anweiler.
“Never has having a consistent strategy been more important, nor has combining the data from the multitude of digital channels to create a holistic view of the customer. It is – or should be – simple to deliver highly bespoke messages. Marketers today have all the tools to achieve this” said Anweiler.
Built by marketers for marketers, Mapp Digital was created by the combination of BlueHornet Networks and the digital marketing-related applications business purchased from Teradata Corporation in July.
 Research conducted over one month between March 19th and April 20th, 2016, of the top 50 leading ecommerce companies in the UK (identified from IMRG)