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When shopping online, easy search functions trump fast websites and easy checkout as the most important factor in a great digital user experience, according to [download page] a survey from Episerver. Personalized content, meanwhile, is the least important of 5 factors ranked by the most than 1,100 US online shoppers surveyed.

The importance of easy site search brings to mind recent research from RichRelevance, in which almost three-quarters of US consumers reported being likely to leave a retail site that doesn’t provide good search results, with fewer than 1 in 5 likely to return to such a site.

The relative unimportance placed on tailored content is also supported by studies from Limelight Networks: one such report found consumers valuing website performance far more than personalized content.

Nevertheless, there appears to be some appetite for tailored content, as evidence by the more than one-quarter of Episerver respondents who placed this among their top-3 factors. When asked for which categories then expect to see adapted online content based on interests, purchase history and demographics, respondents pointed first to personal entertainment and apparel (each by 50% of respondents) and also to travel and digital products (each by 40%).

Online shoppers are most likely to prefer to see shipping information (43%) and product recommendations (38%) adapted to their interests without their inputting information, and are least likely to want to see advertising (12%) tailored to their interests.

In order to best personalize their online shopping experiences, respondents felt that purchase history (38%) and personal interests (25%) were the data that brands should know about them, though it’s unclear how much appetite there is for sharing those types of information.

About the Data: The Episerver study is based on an October 2016 survey of 1,112 US consumers who had shopped online within the prior year.

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