Shoppers will react to personalised mobile messages if they’re done right

Around half (49%) of customers are keen to sign up for personalised communication offers via mobile, social media and email, but they will not tolerate being bombarded with spam or receiving intrusive messages.

That’s according to a study among 2,590 customers in France, Germany, the UK and the US by Periscope Solutions by McKinsey, which provides marketing and sales analytics for companies.

55% of US respondents said they signed up for personalised communications, compared to 52% in the UK, 46% in Germany and 44% in France.

However, many shoppers added that the majority of messages they received still felt like mass marketing (France 47%; UK 42%; Germany 40%; US 36%).

The findings highlight a need to structure personalised offers more carefully and schedule messages to be sent during the right moments.

Around 37% of US respondents said they reacted to personalised communication, compared to 32% of French, 27% of German and 26% of UK consumers.

The majority of consumers preferred to receive messages about products and previously searched-for products.

In Germany and the UK, updates of pricing and product availability also proved popular.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of respondents tend to react to deals when receiving personalised communication.

SMS and text messages on mobile phones stimulated the highest level of engagement across all regions. However, shoppers tend to prefer email, followed by loyalty card coupons, WhatsApp and Instagram ads.

“This year’s findings represent a very clear learning point for retailers and brands – taking personalization efforts to the next level represents a significant opportunity to drive up consumer engagement,” said Lars Fiedler, Partner and Senior Solution Leader Marketing Solutions at Periscope By McKinsey. “To be successful with their personalization efforts and reap the rewards, businesses should employ advanced analytics and scalable and sustainable solutions to better understand their consumers and create the right mix of content, channel and timing to drive a change in behaviour of an individual customer.”

Whilst US consumers (41%) consider unsolicited communications from brands they don’t know the biggest breach of trust, German (40%) and UK (40%) shoppers are more concerned about location tracking messages.

Similarly, receiving messages within seconds of having made a purchase was a major creepy factor for many consumers.

It’s clear that personalisation still has a long way to go before it will attract the approval of more than half of shoppers.