Retailers are falling behind in online personalization | Acro Media
Laura Meshen


Laura Meshen

, Content Marketing Specialist

Posted in Personalization

August 17, 2021

Retailers are falling behind in online personalization

Even though recent studies, like the 2021 Aki Technologies Receptivity Report, show that personalized ads drive up to 110% more engagement, many online brands are still not using personalization in their toolkit. In this article, we look at why that could be and how a digital agency can help ecommerce businesses get ahead of the competition.

Consumer demand for personalization has never been higher. The desire to “feel” a connection to the brands we choose to purchase is a psychological desire we all share. For marketers, it manifests as brand loyalty. That connection breeds higher sales and better customer lifetime value for sales managers. Aki Technologies asserts that personalization increases purchase intent by 36% on the customer end. So it begs the question:

Why aren’t online retailers keeping up with the demand for personalized content?

Lack of stakeholder buy-in for personalization

While it is hard to pin down the exact reasons for not getting personalization tech in place, one of the most common reasons for not getting a digital project off the ground is the lack of buy-in from C-level executives.

What are the top ecommerce trends for retail & B2C?

“31% of retailers report lack of active top-level support as the reason that personalization strategies do not get implemented.” - Redpoint Global, from the infographic “Captivating the Connected Consumer Throughout the Shopper Journey”.


The way to improve buy-in company-wide is to be prepared with the right kind of information and present it concisely. When bringing a new personalization strategy to your stakeholders or team member, we have three areas that you should consider:

  • What do the experts say? Spend a bit of time looking around online to find out what the industry experts are saying on the topic of personalization and evolving your ecomm advertising capabilities.
  • Understand what motivates your company. Take inventory of your “why.” Is this plan to transform the company’s online channels making improvements for only your marketing department, or does it support other team’s goals and needs?
  • Show the return on investment. When developing a plan to share with your stakeholders, be sure to show the return on investment or ROI. This ROI needs to look at more than just earning back revenue; show other areas for potential gains such as time saved, money saved (not just earned), customer satisfaction and competitive advantage if possible. Use industry benchmarks early; there is no need to dig deep into budgets and planning yet. You’re still in the thinking step.

From here, work with each department, conducting stakeholder interviews to ensure that the buy-in is universal and that everyone is invested in the personalization project. For more information on getting stakeholder buy-in, check out this article, or contact one of our ecommerce consultants.

Limited personalization capabilities

Research shows that for the B2C segment, only 21% of retailers have up-to-date personalization tech in place, while 55% expect to have the tech in place in two years. 

For the 45% of online businesses that do not have personalization capabilities on their radar, it may be a good time to look at their digital readiness for adding personalization tools to their digital ecosystem.


Online retailers need to leverage data from all channels to build comprehensive customer profiles to curate the personalized, individual shopping experience that consumers want. The biggest challenge for companies is a lack of integrations between data channels and information being siloed and inaccessible. To get the ball rolling, one of the first steps you need to take is to assess the digital readiness of your organization to be able to drive personalized ecommerce.

Acro Media offers a free 3-step digital readiness assessment that includes expert analysis of your current state, identifies optimal data connectivity points and shows your company how to leverage that data for personalization. Note: this is a limited-time offer worth $10,000 USD, so apply soon.


The retailers that implement comprehensive personalization strategies the fastest will gain a competitive advantage.

“Highly personalized customer experiences, when offered to millions of customers by using proprietary data, are difficult for competitors to imitate.” -  McKinsey & Company, “Personalizing the Customer Experience: Driving Differentiation in Retail” 

The longer a company puts off creating robust personalization strategies and building a technology ecosystem to support those strategies, the further behind they will lag behind their competitors.

If your ecommerce business is ready to start exploring the cutting edge of personalization technology but not sure if it is the right time or fit, our ecommerce consultants are always here to help and offer unbiased advice, at no obligation.

Reach out to our team today to get the conversation started.

New call-to-action