Study: Customers (Especially Millennials) Hate When You Fail to Deliver Cross-Device Experiences

With so many touchpoints, personalization can be a monumental task. Still, consumers want a personalized experience regardless of device.

Today’s consumers have a high bar of expectation. They want the experience from desktop to mobile to tablet to flow smoothly, and they definitely notice when this fails.

A new study released Tuesday by Adobe explores the cross-device preferences of consumers, finding that 66 percent of device owners get frustrated when content is not synchronized across devices.

The biggest cross-device group? Millennials. Adobe found that 90 percent of Millennials polled switch devices mid-activity—higher than Gen X (76 percent) and those 55-and-older (58 percent). Altogether, 79 percent of those polled by Adobe move from one device to another during an activity.

When shopping, 20 percent of consumers in another new Adobe study said they switch devices (this figure is 34 percent among Millennials).


Ryan Dietzen, a senior market insight analyst at Adobe Digital Index, explained the challenge faced by today’s marketers trying to keep up:

That means digital marketers have a unique challenge of being able to really understand that a Web visitor who shows up on a smartphone is the same customer four hours later on a tablet, or seven hours later on a desktop. They have to piece that experience together in order to craft a consistent message to that one consumer, regardless of which device they use.

Consumers, on average, use 3.1 devices (of their total 7.2 devices) daily. Millennials have 7.7 devices, using an average of 3.3 daily. Smartphone ownership was the highest, at 92 percent; 26 percent told Adobe that they own two or more smartphones.

With so many touchpoints, personalization can be a monumental task. Still, consumers want a personalized experience regardless of device.

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In exchange for a more personalized experience, Adobe found that customers are more willing to part with personal data. a whopping 90 percent of device owners polled said they’d be comfortable sharing at least one piece of information about themselves to improve their experience. Demographically, 94 percent of Millennials would do this, 98 percent of Gen X and 86 percent of those 55-or-older.

Here’s a look at the information that consumers are comfortable with giving up for benefits such as a birthday gift or coupon or a personalized experience.

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However, people aren’t too confident in the future of personalization. While 9 of 10 marketers polled by Adobe said personalization will be critical in the next year, 60 percent of them said that the biggest hurdle is that customers are scared to have personal information exposed.

Currently, only 28 percent of marketers polled have ever used cross-device identification.

There’s a disconnect in how marketers feel about their personalization efforts vs. how consumers see it. Adobe’s study shows that 93 percent of marketers feel their company is effective in personalization, but 63 percent of device owners polled believe they’re getting relevant ads.

Readers: How can marketers provide a more personalized experience? Do you want a more personalized experience?

Adobe Get Personal Infographic