Alegria Adedeji
Alegria Adedeji
Posted 10 October 2018

5 interesting findings from talking to 1000 consumers about retailers’ marketing messages

There has been constant talk about ‘rising customer expectations’ and the need for retailers to match Banner and social ads 2018_Organic social-min-1those if they want to be as successful as brands like ASOS and Farfetch. But ‘customer expectations’ is quite a broad term – what do we actually mean when we talk about it? What are those expectations? Luckily for you, we spoke to 1000 consumers to find out exactly what those expectations are, as well as the things retailers do that frustrate them and make them feel undervalued.

We’ve deep-dived into our findings and discovered there’s a lot that consumers want and specific ways they’d like to receive them. Below, we’ve picked out five interesting takeaways that may make you reassess your current strategy. But we sure to download the census for more on your customer’s expectations.

#1: Customers want and expect more than F|NAME

A common way of adding a ‘personal touch’ is including a customer’s first name in the subject line or copy of an email. Great personalisation, right? Maybe a few years ago. Our census found that nearly half of customers (46%) are unmoved by it.

This means that customer expectations and the bar for personalised customer experiences has been set much higher. First names are great, but that’s only the start. Customers now want experiences that truly resonate with them on an individual level and this can be achieved by incorporating different ways of personalising content such as:

  • dynamic content (such as personalised offers, taste profiling, loyalty recognition)
  • product recommendations
  • timely automated emails

#2: Customers have lots of email subscriptions (but interact with few)

Our research highlighted that nearly half of consumers (45%) are signed up to more than five retailers’ emails and a fifth to more than 10(!), but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are engaging with them.

Less than half of customers open more than five. Shoppers are signing up to emails but not opening them, this means that not only are they inundated with emails, you have to pretty special to capture their attention. Are you sending them relevant emails that truly connect on a personal level? Do you know what you customers want to receive from you?

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#3: The North-South divide exists in inboxes too

Four of the top five cities for email subscriptions are based in the Midlands and further up north. It seems like there may be some truth in the humour about those in the North being more welcoming (to emails in their inboxes).

With 11% of Mancunians having over twenty email subscriptions, and 10% of Liverpool- and Leeds- based respondents and Birmingham at 9% following their lead – it appears that the further away from the capital you venture, the more receptive to email marketing customers may be.

#4:Your female shoppers really want to feel valued 

Around 72% of women shop online each month, and our census revealed some interesting stats about keeping this demographic happy as customers.

Understandably, women want to feel that their loyalty to your brand is appreciated and that your marketing messages reflect this. In fact, our census found that 63% aren’t happy that their chosen brands don’t recognise their loyalty and a further 41% of women shoppers are ‘bothered’ when you promote ‘out of stock’ products to them. Are you creating retail experiences that foster appreciation and keep shoppers happy? 

#5: Customers are coming to terms with AI

Although we have discussed how AI can work to make the marketer’s life easier, customers are also open to the idea of AI as a part of their shopping experience.

62% of the customers we surveyed aren’t uncomfortable with brands using AI to make the overall marketing experience better. How comfortable customers are, however, correlates with age as only 3% of Boomers would want to share more about themselves to create more impactful algorithms.


This census has been put together with the sole purpose of helping marketers truly understand what their customers want from the emails they receive . Download it to learn:

  • Consumers’ biggest frustrations with retailers that market to them
  • How to make customers feel valued
  • The key channels for engaging with customers, according to them
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