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E-Commerce Platforms Are on Track for Growth, but Companies Are Not Leveraging First-Party Data

  • Brands with an e-commerce platform increased sales last year despite the pandemic
  • Under a third are able to identify over 21% of visitors on the homepage
  • Only 28% of marketers surveyed have a post-cookie strategy
  • Half of the respondents say that lack of resources hinders them

Mapp, the international provider of insight-based customer experience, has surveyed marketing priorities and industry trends for the current year, as it did in 2021. Around 700 companies from industries such as finance, media, telecommunications and retail took part in the survey in January 2022 in Germany, the UK and Italy. The below summarises the findings for the UK:

Brief look back at 2021: Growth despite continuing difficult conditions

The pandemic has led to a change in consumer behaviour in 2021 and brands with e-commerce platforms were able to benefit from this: 78% of the marketers surveyed said they were able to increase sales, with 36% saying this growth exceeded their expectations.
Almost half (46%) attributed the increase in growth to more demand for their products, although a third also cited better marketing strategies. A quarter attribute growth to new marketing technologies or automation.

Businesses still struggle to identify their website users

The potential for personalised targeting on e-commerce platforms still offers considerable growth potential but to date, less than a third (29%) of e-commerce companies can identify more than 21% of their visitors on the homepage. For 34% of respondents, the figure is as low as 10%.
There is also still untapped potential in the area of personalised customer experience: Half of the companies surveyed do not yet offer this to their customers although 29% plan to do so in 2022.

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Dynamic content has high priority

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The majority of marketing professionals have recognised the importance of dynamic content and almost three quarters (72%) of companies use it on their websites. Two-thirds (69%) also plan to implement other types of dynamic content such as localisation, banners, and personalised images and pop-ups.

Apps are becoming increasingly important

Just one quarter (25%) of UK companies surveyed have an app and, of these, only 8% have the full functionality that can be accessed via the company website. Looking forwards, however, 14% of companies are looking to develop an app in future.

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Many companies lack a strategy for a world without third-party cookies

In a marketing world without “cookies,” relationships with one’s own customers and the valid first-party data that comes with them play a crucial role. But only a few companies have prepared themselves for this post-cookie world: Only 28% say they already have an alternative strategy in place. 71% have no strategy in place, although 61% are in the process of developing a strategy. When it comes to implementing more marketing activities, almost half (48%) of UK companies surveyed say they would do more, but a lack of resources prevents this from happening.

Patrick Guidi, Director of Sales for UK & Northern Europe, comments: “In future, companies will need to develop a deeper understanding of their customers. This cannot be achieved without first-party data. This is the only way marketers can offer relevant and personalised customer engagement. So far, only a few companies have used their knowledge of their customers to provide them with offers that are tailored to their needs in real time, but there is considerable potential here. Companies should adapt their marketing strategy and focus on one of the most valuable assets they have: smart first-party data.”

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