Lack of meaningful personalisation is costing brands lost conversions, leaving revenue opportunities on the table at a time when customer caution is lengthening buying journeys, the latest research from insights-led customer engagement platform MoEngage reveals.

Original research, which analysed insights from 10.9billion emails sent globally to shoppers, in MoEngage’s 2023 Email Marketing Benchmarks Report showed that brands using behaviour-based personalisation, which tailors emails based on individual preferences, previous purchase trends and shopper actions, can improve conversion rates by x16.7.  However, the same study showed that currently, only 3% of European brands and retailers are leveraging behavioural customisation within their email marketing efforts.

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Similarly, on average, retailers that leveraged ‘journey-based’ personalisation were found to improve conversion rates by +9.6-fold; however, currently under 2% (1.72%) of brands are using journey-based engagement.

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Journey-based personalisation describes when brands curate a flexible, multi-step customer journey that sends out various messages across different channels and at varying times based on the customer’s lifecycle stage.  This is regarded as the gold standard in driving email marketing performance.  Yet, with so few retailers leveraging this capability within their email campaigns, brands are missing out on meaningful one-to-one customer engagement opportunities.

It also means they risk leaving sizable chunks of revenue on the table at a time when conversions and sales are even harder won due to continued consumer caution; MoEngage’s 2023 Global Consumer Trends Report showed that, as cost-of-living pressures continue to squeeze household budgets, 59% of consumers will visit retailers’ digital platforms up to five times before making a purchase.  A further 38% said they would make more than five visits to E-commerce platforms before parting with their cash.  This means each conversion takes longer and requires repeated engagement touchpoints to move shoppers along their path to purchase as consumer consideration phases lengthen.

Both behavioural and journey-based personalisation were also seen to significantly reduce unsubscribe rates, helping brands and retailers ensure that they retain customers within their owned channels. This is becoming more critical as ‘rented’ 3rd party channels become more expensive and less effective in returning ROI and ROAS (Return on Ad Spend).  Unsubscribe rates fell on average by 73% and 78%, respectively when using behavioural or journey-based interactions.

Jason Smith, VP UK & Europe at MoEngage, commented: “Intensifying competition online, depreciating cookies and 3rd party paid for channels becoming less effective and more expensive is putting the onus squarely on brands and retailers being able to own and optimise their 1st party channels.  Only then will they be able to serve up the meaningful and relevant insights that power personalisation at scale and support shoppers on their path to purchase to win both spend and loyalty.”

To find out more about how shoppers’ buying behaviours are evolving, download the 2023 Email Marketing Benchmarks Report.