New report exposes the Grocery industry’s personalisation paradox: Anticipation vs. implementation

In an era where consumers expect personalised digital shopping experiences, a report launched from Dynamic Yield, by Mastercard, sheds light on the evolving landscape of grocery retailing.

Titled “The State of Personalisation Maturity/CPG” the report unveils critical insights derived from a comprehensive survey conducted across 12 countries and four global regions with responses from personalisation stakeholders in the c-suite and senior and middle management, covering marketing, business development, and growth functions.

The research reflects the growing anticipation within the grocery industry as 76.5% of customers express frustration when deprived of tailored digital shopping experiences. Moreover, with industry analysts forecasting a doubling of grocery eCommerce penetration from 11% to 23% in the next five years, brands are increasingly turning to personalisation to meet consumer demands, boost margins, elevate basket sizes, and foster customer loyalty.

However, amidst this optimism, the report exposes a disparity between recognition and action in implementing robust personalisation strategies. Despite acknowledging its potential, grocery and CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) brands struggle to make necessary investments in cultural shifts and evolved mindsets necessary for successful execution.


Key findings from the report include:

  • Recognition of the potential of personalisation programs, yet inadequate investments in cultural evolution and mindset shifts.
  • Diverse expertise incorporation but a lack of dedicated primary business resources hindering synchronisation in executing personalised strategies.
  • Challenges in implementing a scalable personalisation framework due to limitations in comprehensive testing and inadequate communication of testing outcomes.
  • Reliance on anecdotal decision-making hampering the development of a clear audience strategy for a competitive edge.


The report categorises companies into four maturity levels—Absent, Basic, Advanced, and Pioneer—based on signals such as culture, resources, processes, and effectiveness. It emphasises the criticality of a unified approach encompassing quantifiable business goals, talent allocation, streamlined processes, and data-driven strategies for optimal personalisation maturity.

Further analysis unveils insights specific to each signal:


Signal 1: Culture

  • Brands struggle to bridge the gap between recognising the value of personalisation and effectively implementing it. 80% view personalisation as a priority, yet significant portions have yet to allocate necessary resources. 
  • Two thirds of companies plan to invest further in this field, however previous approaches need to evolve in order to drive tangible testing and personalisation efforts.


Signal 2: Resources

  • Lack of dedicated business operators hampers strategic cross-departmental deployment, impeding the scaling of personalisation teams across business units. However 88% of surveyed businesses have built cross functional teams, so now is the time to scale these up!


Signal 3: Processes

  • Organisational approaches hinder a scalable framework, with limitations in comprehensive testing and the age-old issue of data utilisation posing challenges in optimising strategies. According to the report although 86% use different data sources to fuel personalisation strategy, 52% have identified sources but have yet to fully action them. 


Signal 4: Effectiveness

  • Brands often implement projects without a clear strategic direction, favouring short-term wins over long-term effectiveness (59% of respondents said they set campaign specific KPIs without informing the long term strategy).
  • Despite recognising the importance of audience strategies, alignment with broader business strategies remains a challenge for many, with a fifth (21%) failing to align personalisation strategies with the overall business strategy. 

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