Annual ChoiceStream Survey Finds Personalized Ads Attract High-Value Customers

Biggest Spenders and Most Frequent Shoppers Are More Willing To Click on Ads if Personalized Based on their Tastes and Interests

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – ChoiceStream, the premier recommendations service provider for the world’s largest retail and entertainment brands including Tesco,, Borders, Blockbuster, Yahoo!, and AT&T, today announced the findings of its 2008 Personalization Survey. According to the survey, retailers’ most attractive prospects–those who spend the most money and shop most frequently–are more likely to click on personalized ads than non-personalized ads. Overall, 39 percent of consumers are more likely to click on an ad if it is personalized; of those who shop online at least several times a month that number climbs to 58 percent. The survey also finds that the bigger the spender, the greater the interest in personalized ads with 50 percent of those spending more than $250 online over the past six months indicating that they are more willing to click on ads that are personalized.

“Online consumers are a savvy bunch and it’s not surprising that they’re more likely to tune in to ads personalized to their tastes and interests. What is surprising, though, is the extent to which the higher quality prospects seem to be more interested in personalized ads,” said Cheryl Kellond, senior vice president at ChoiceStream. “Advertisers that are spending premiums to target the biggest spenders and the most frequent shoppers should take note that those shoppers want intelligent ads that speak to their specific needs and shopping intent. The more personalized those ads are the better chance retailers have of connecting with those consumers.”

The survey also finds consumers surprisingly savvy about online advertising in terms of its effect on their behavior. 70 percent of consumers admit that their purchase decisions are at least sometimes influenced by having seen an ad for an item. A smaller, but still significant percent of consumers admit that they are influenced by brand advertising as well, with 39% admitting that they are more likely to buy from vendors or retailers that they have seen advertised than from unrecognized sources. In both cases, the bigger the spender, the more likely they are to admit to being influenced by advertising.

Consumers are also aware of how shopping sites use data to target ads to them. A full 60 percent of shoppers are aware that retailers use information about their online shopping behavior to target advertising to them.

“The results of the 2008 survey clearly show that today’s online consumers are smarter and more sophisticated than ever before. They understand the value of online advertising and know retailers have information about their shopping behavior that can make their experience more relevant,” said Steve Johnson, president and CEO of ChoiceStream. “Especially in these tough economic times, advertisers should be investing in more personalized forms of advertising that attracts high-quality prospects and repeat customers to shop in their stores.”

For information on how ChoiceStream personalization can create measurable results for online retailers, visit our website.

About the ChoiceStream Personalization Survey

The ChoiceStream Personalization Survey provides insight into consumers’ interest in, and perceptions of, personalization. The survey was first fielded in May, 2004. Each year the Survey is re-evaluated and, where appropriate, new questions are added to ensure that the survey stays relevant and addresses the current issues of the day. This year, new questions address advertising and online privacy. Specifically, the Survey delves into the value of personalized advertising; how aware consumers are of advertising’s affect on their purchase decisions; and what types of concerns consumers have about their online privacy with respect to personalized advertising.

The Survey brief provides detailed findings of the study and is available for download.

About ChoiceStream, Inc.

ChoiceStream delivers dynamic, personalized product recommendations and display ads that increase purchases and customer engagement for today’s biggest brands, including, Tesco, Borders, Blockbuster, AT&T, and Yahoo!. Recently named the company with the “deepest experience” of the ‘pure-play’ personalization engines” by a leading independent research firm, ChoiceStream enables retailers to put the right content and products in front of the right people at the right time to maximize the value of every interaction with consumers.