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Survey: Customers notify retailers – leave us alone

BY Dan Berthiaume

Marketing experts routinely advise retailers to send customers notifications, such as emails and texts, informing them of discounts or following up on purchases and site visits. But such notifications may be doing more harm than good.

According to a new survey of 1,000 consumers from customer experience platform provider Genesys, such notifications often be a counterproductive tactic. The survey finds that 30% of customers find in-store smartphone notifications of coupons for nearby products (i.e., beacon notifications) to be annoying, the largest response for the overall respondent base.

However, broken down by age, the majority of people between18-44 say this is very helpful, while the majority of people 45 years old and up say this is very annoying. Therefore, retailers considering a beacon implementation may want to examine how old their core shoppers are.

In terms of income level, the majority of people who make less than $25,000 said this is very helpful. People who made $25,000-$50,000 say it’s very annoying. People who make $50,000-$75,000 were neutral. People who make above $75,000 say this is very helpful.

Parents find in-store smartphone notifications very annoying, whereas non-parents find it very helpful.

Feelings of annoyance at emails sent an hour after an online shopping cart is abandoned, asking if you want to complete your purchase, are much more universal. Overall, 38% of respondents say this was very annoying. Every demographic, by age, gender, parent status, income level and urban/suburban dweller, found these emails annoying except for age 18-24, who were neutral.

Online retailers may also want to hold back on the politeness. A majority of people say getting a follow-up email thanking them for visiting a site this is very annoying (42%). Among people in urban areas, those aged 18-24 were more likely to say this was helpful than those aged 45-54. But overall, the majority of every age group found this very annoying.

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