Brands Failing to Orchestrate Customer Journeys at Scale; EU Retailers Are Sending Half as Many Marketing Emails After GDPR

RetailTechNews’ weekly roundup brings you up-to-date research findings from around the world. In this week’s edition: Brands Failing to Orchestrate Customer Journeys at Scale; EU Retailers Are Sending Half as Many Marketing Emails After GDPR; Spend on Instagram Ads Soaring.

Brands Failing to Orchestrate Customer Journeys at Scale

Only 13% of businesses have the ability to orchestrate customer journeys at scale, finds data from Forrester and Thunderhead. Brands cannot optimise experiences in real time and struggle to use customer data to deliver connected and seamless experiences; and a significant 63% of brands are unable to take immediate action on available customer data.

However, the study does show that 89% of firms are expecting to increase spending on customer journey analytics and orchestration in the next year, highlighting the critical importance of these key capabilities to more intelligent marketing and enhanced customer experience.

While brands recognise they must focus on customer journey analytics to connect with customers, they are hampered by very real problems: 63% of those surveyed identified the inability to take immediate action on available data; 56% identified the inability to optimise across silos; and 55% identified a lack of consistency across channels.

Ultimately, brands understand the need to act quickly and focus on improving their knowledge of the customer, with 50% of those surveyed expected to increase spend in journey analytics and orchestration by more than 10% over the next year.

Priorities include: improving customer data quality and gaining better insights from existing data (59%); focusing on customer journey research, design, and measurement to drive engagement (48%); and improving their ability to act on customer intent in real time (46%). Some 61% of brands expect to increase customer loyalty and 53% expect increased overall revenues as important outcomes of these initiatives.

EU Retailers Are Sending Half as Many Marketing Emails After GDPR

Retailers across the EU have halved the number of automated marketing emails they send to consumers since 25 May, when GDPR came into force. But those emails are now 30% more likely to be opened and produce 2x more value in terms of purchases, according to a new study by Nosto.

GDPR forced many retailers to drastically cut the number of contacts in their email databases, as they had to abide by stricter rules for gaining consent to store and use people’s personal information. But the new data privacy rules also presented a golden opportunity for retailers according to Nosto: automated emails (such as ‘cart abandonment’, ‘order follow- up’, and ‘we miss you’ emails that are automatically sent out to consumers) are much more effective in the wake of GDPR.

According to the report, the monthly number of automated emails sent through its platform from EU-based retailers dropped by roughly half year-on-year, when comparing June 2018 (just after GDPR came into force) with June 2017. However, open rates for emails increased by 30% between 1 May and 1 August, as the impact of fewer emails landing in consumers’ inboxes took effect. And over the same period, Nosto has noticed the value of purchases generated by those emails has roughly doubled.

Spend on Instagram Ads Soaring

Spend on Instagram ads from retailers and other brands increased 94% year-on-year (YoY), faster than spend on core Facebook ads (37% YoY) in the third quarter of 2018, according to the latest global quarterly social and search advertising data from Kenshoo.

Instagram and video ads were the biggest drivers of YoY growth for Q3, while ads on smartphones made up 81% of all social ad spending, suggests the research.

Dynamic Ads for Products, which are available on both Facebook and Instagram (to automatically promote products to people who have expressed interest in an online retailer’s website, for example) showed steady growth over the past three quarters, in advance of an expected bigger jump in Q4. And Pinterest spending across all Kenshoo advertisers in Q3 exceeded its previous high in Q4 of last year, setting the stage for another strong increase in the holiday shopping season.

Paid search spending on the likes of Google and Bing continues to grow at a steady +10% YoY, with clicks on paid search increasing 28% YoY, while impressions increased 38%. Mobile paid search shopping campaigns have grown considerably in volume with no degradation of performance, providing a clear opportunity for e-commerce marketers in the upcoming holiday season. Pinterest spending across all Kenshoo advertisers in Q3 exceeded its previous high in Q4 of last year, setting the stage for another strong seasonal increase.