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01/24/2022

Survey reveals customer engagement habits of top-performing retailers

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Top retailer performers pay close attention to customer engagement.

Top-performing retailers have a different way of engaging customers.

The “2022 Global Customer Engagement Review” from customer engagement platform Braze, which combines data from the Braze platform with the results from a global survey of over 1,500 marketing executives, examines how “Ace” (top performing) retailers approach customer engagement. At Ace retailers, customer engagement is lifecycle-centric, owned by cross-functional teams, and built on streaming data.

Braze finds these retailers are 97% more likely than other retailers to actively experiment with marketing campaigns and customer journeys, 42% more likely to have employees trained on customer engagement tech and approaches, and 41% more likely to assess the results from customer engagement activities.

On the technology side, Ace retailers are 48% more likely to individually personalize messages at send time, 33% more likely to continuously export user behavior and engagement data for analysis, and 18% more likely to use a single solution to orchestrate cross-channel campaigns.

Business results for these retailers include a 38% increase in repeat buyer conversion rate, as well as an 8.8x increase in user-to-buyer conversion rate and 8.6x increase in purchases per user.

Other notable findings among all brands surveyed include:

Continued shift toward zero- and first-party data
Almost all (96%) of surveyed brands plan to increase their marketing budgets, while 42% plan to boost how many channels they use. In addition, 38% of companies plan to place a heavier emphasis on zero-party (shared by users) and first-party data (gathered with consumer consent) in order to continue to target and engage audiences.

[Read more: Why first-party data is a direct retailer’s most valuable asset]

One-third (32%) of surveyed brands ranking collecting, integrating, and managing data as their top concern for 2022.

Brand confidence in customer engagement abilities grows
Braze has seen an increase in company confidence for customer engagement, with 94% of surveyed companies ranking their customer engagement as “excellent/good,” compared to 88% in the 2021 version of the report. The survey also shows there continues to be a correlation between the level of customer engagement a brand provides and revenue. Of the companies that ranked their customer engagement as “excellent/good,” 98% exceeded their revenue targets. Of those that didn’t, only 65% met their revenue goals.

“The events of the past two years have fundamentally altered the way customers approach brand relationships. The bar for consumer expectations is at an all-time high,” said Bill Magnuson, co-founder and CEO of Braze. “For brands to rise to the occasion, they must focus on establishing a personal connection through customer engagement, and provide seamless communication across their preferred channels and platforms. Companies that fail to provide coordinated, cross-channel customer engagement strategies risk falling behind on business outcomes and revenue goals.”

The Braze Customer Engagement Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,500 marketing executives in markets with a minimum title of VP, working at business-to-consumer companies with an annual revenue of more than $10 million across Australia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, UAE/Dubai, U.K., and the U.S.