March 21, 2013, 11:27 AM

Shoppers want a personal touch

40% of consumers say they prefer buying from retailers that cater to their preferences.

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Shoppers increasingly want and expect to be treated as individuals—both on retailers’ web sites and in their marketing efforts. The retailers that offer personalized shopping can expect consumers—at least avid web shoppers—to buy more often, according to a new report and survey from personalization technology vendor MyBuys Inc. and research firm The E-tailing Group Inc.

In a December survey of 1,108 consumers who have shopped online four or more times in the previous year and spent more than $250 online, 44% of respondents said they find it valuable if the retailer offers product recommendations tailored to their personal tastes and shopping histories, up from 37% eight months earlier.

Moreover, 41% said they purchase more often when retailers send e-mails that are personalized based on a shopper’s past interactions with the retailer, up from 34% in April. And 39% said they buy more from retailers that present personalized product recommendations based on their on-site browsing and past purchases, up from 35% eight months earlier.

“We’ve been following consumer attitudes and behavior regarding personalization for over a decade and the latest surge in awareness, value and purchase intent shows that consumers’ desire for consumer-centric marketing has hit the mainstream,” says Lauren Freedman, president of the E-tailing Group.

The higher value consumers place on tailored offers reflects their desire for online shopping to be easy, the report says. 59% of shoppers said that it is easier to find what they’re looking for when retailers personalize the shopping experience.

Easy translates into more sales. 40% of consumers said they buy more from retailers that personalize shopping across all channels.

“Retailers that remember the shopping behavior of individual consumers and use it to personalize future experiences are being rewarded—consumers are more engaged and purchasing more,” MyBuys and the E-tailing Group say in the report.

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