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Retailers fail to fulfil consumer personalisation promises – and technology is to blame

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While retail brands continue to battle over offering an increased level of personalisation to their customers, 52% of shoppers that have followed up on a personalised offer have been left disappointed or empty handed.

A recent survey carried out by HSO revealed that over half (52%) of those polled had followed up on such an offer, only to find that the product was out of stock or the retailer was unable to provide the service. It’s not surprising then that 61% of the sample think that retailers still have a long way to go before getting customer service right.

The survey also revealed a number of further mismatches between consumer expectations and the capabilities of many retailers. 59% of respondents said that, they expected retailers to use the latest technology to gain an all-round view of their buying history, regardless of whether they were buying instore, online or via their mobile phone. In addition to these findings, the survey also revealed that retailers have failed to improve the customer personalised experience with 40% of customers getting irritated by targeted offers.

“Unfortunately, many retailers are still being let down by their technology. They are running systems that are not flexible enough to meet today’s customer expectations. Nor can they provide the accuracy and timeliness needed for today’s complex stock control demands and processes. When these systems were developed, this kind of challenge would never have even be envisaged – but they have been patched and adapted over the years,” says Robin Coles, Microsoft Technologies Enablement Lead, HSO.

“One of the main consequences of this is poor stock management. To address this challenge, retailers need to consider technology – an ERP system that has CRM at the heart – that allows them to coordinate and integrate their stock management approaches across the online and physical store environments.”

This will enable retailers to achieve an all-round view of stock across the entire operation, while at the same time receiving real-time updates on the stock held. This enables more accurate long-term planning and strikes a balance between not having enough stock to meet customer demand while avoiding being overstocked.

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