Nearly one-third (31%) of online retailers in the United States with annual marketing budgets exceeding $1 million do not personalize their websites in any way, according to a recent report from Retention Science.

Moreover, of the 69% of companies that do personalize their sites, just 21% offer personalized offers to visitors.

A similar percentage (33%) of online retailers with annual marketing budgets under $1 million also do not personalize their websites; of the 67% that do, only 16% present personalized offers.

The most popular form of website personalization for large and small companies is product recommendations. Other common site personalization tactics include shopping cart reminders, displaying a customer's name, and social integrations.

Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on data from a survey of 139 marketers who work for online retail companies in the United States.

Email Personalization 

  • Most respondents (61%) personalize marketing emails by using a customer's name.
  • Less than half of all marketers surveyed use other email personalization tactics such as product recommendations, personalized offers, shopping cart reminders, and dynamic pricing.

Which Incentives Work Best?

  • Respondents say percentage-off discounts are the most effective incentive for driving sales.
  • Free or discounted shipping ranks second, followed by dollar-off discounts and dynamic discounts that are tailored to the specific customer.

About the research: The report was based on data from an online survey conducted in July 2014 of 139 marketers with online retailers in the United States. The companies included in the survey spanned a range of industries such as: fashion (22% of respondents), consumer goods (30%), entertainment (6%), big-box retail (6%), and digital goods (4%).

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How Much Do Retail Marketers Personalize Websites and Emails?

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a writer, editor, and a content strategist. He is a co-founder of ICW Media and a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji