The Personalization Gap: 5 Challenges That Leading Retailers are Overcoming

When a consumer shops online, they expect to be delighted with apparel and footwear styles that match their individual preferences. Disconnect between retailers and consumers happens when the consumer’s expectations are unfulfilled or ignored.

This divergence between consumer expectations for the shopping experience and the retail reality is what we call The Personalization Gap. In order to reduce these instances, many retailers are prioritizing true 1-to-1 personalization so consumers can find the products they’ll love and keep, when they want them, and without friction.

Watch the original keynote address presented by True Fit's Managing Director, EMEA, Lars Rabe:

Personalization as the Industry Standard

A truly personalized shopping experience is one where each consumer’s preferences are taken into account and they are presented with the best products for their individual wants and needs. Retailers have one opportunity to get the right product in front of the right consumer at the right time.

According to Amazon’s own data,  70% of consumers rarely browse past the first page of products when shopping online. This means if a retailer doesn’t incorporate personalization technologies, they may lose the consumer if the product results aren’t customized.

Why is There a Gap?

Personalization is a  difficult feat, and understanding each aspect of the consumer’s journey is hard to do without the right data.

Retailers may try and blanket a one-size-fits-all approach to personalization, which is insufficient in providing truly unique experiences to each consumer.


Providing hyper-personalized experiences are made possible through consumer and product data. This enables retailers to drive key areas of garment production and promotion with increased accuracy and true 1-to-1 offerings.

The endless options available through online shopping will drive consumers to the retailers who successfully provide these unique experiences, as personalization is key in maintaining consumer loyalty and satisfaction.

The Current Retail Reality

There are five challenges that leading retailers are overcoming to provide truly personalized shopping experiences to each and every customer.

1. Data is available and disparate

A retailer might have lots of data about their consumers, products and transaction history, but fail to connect all of the different data together. This prevents retailer’s from learning more about their consumers on a 1-to-1 basis. Data that is not connected is unable to be used to its fullest potential in creating uniquely personalized shopping experiences.

2. Data is not available

Despite the necessity of data in today’s retail landscape, some retailers may not have the capabilities in place to track key insights related to consumers, products, and more. Until systems are in place to collect and analyze data, retailers are unable to provide true personalization.

3. Legacy systems are not connected

If a retailer does have the technology in place to collect data, the systems used may be out-of-date or incapable of performing at a high-quality standard. Additionally, data collecting systems and processes may remain unconnected and independent of one another. Data must be unified in order to create the most accurate recommendations.

4. Lack of ownership

Retailers that do have systems in place to collect data, may not have a designated person or team to continually track this data. Without an allocated person, data collection and analysis may not be completed to its fullest potential.  

5. No Time, Resources, Budget

The main reason retailers may encounter challenges around offering truly personalized experiences is that they lack the time, resources, or budget. Retailers need an AI platform to be able to make use of this data and improve processes across all touchpoints of the shopping experience.

Stay tuned for part 2 of The Personalization Gap series, where we explain how your brand can improve data analysis and recommendation context to deliver personalized recommendations to each and every consumer. 

To learn more about delivering true 1-to-1 personalization to each and every consumer, download  The Flaw of Averages.