Retailers could drive more conversions by targeting their customers with personalised content, new research suggests.

According to a study commissioned by Engage Hub, 90 per cent of consumers have opted out of communications with retailers during the last year.

Almost half of these said it was because they felt they received too many messages from brands.

However, 46 per cent said they would be more encouraged to click through to purchase if promotional offers were tailored to their tastes and preferences.

The timing of a communication was also a decisive factor for 18 per cent, while a similar proportion said sending offers via their preferred means of communication could make a positive difference.

Despite this, only 21 per cent said retailers contact customers via their first-choice method, which for 62 per cent of people is email.

Social media is the second most popular choice, with 17 per cent saying this is their preferred means of being contacted.

However, there were variations among different age groups. For instance, just 11 per cent of over-65s said they prefer to be contacted via social media, compared with 26 per cent of 18 to 50-year-olds.

Some 24 per cent of people said they had unsubscribed from a retailer simply because they received too many irrelevant messages.

Similarly, 15 per cent said they had never at all been sent offers or updates that suited their likes and dislikes.

Others objected to being contacted too frequently, as 24 per cent said some retailers get in touch with them at least once a day.

Simon Brennan, Vice President of Sales in Europe at Engage Hub, commented: “Poorly targeted, spray and pray-style marketing campaigns generate the most spam complaints, and the majority of such communications remain unopened.

“This not only undermines a retailer’s spend on direct marketing ROI, but it also turns customers away, as they quickly become disengaged with a brand that doesn’t treat them as an individual.”

Mr Brennan insisted that modern marketing increasingly depends on harnessing real-time data to drive more meaningful, effective and memorable conversations with customers.

This, he stated, means retailers should be focusing on crafting highly personalised and contextual content that draws people in.

Mr Brennan went on to state that leveraging data from previous customer interactions and transactions can be “invaluable” to marketers.

Indeed, he said consolidating CRM data and marketing activity across multiple channels can help firms build a holistic view of subscribers, which will make sure people aren’t “bombarded” with irrelevant messaging.

“Messages tailored to a customer’s location alone isn’t enough,” he continued.

“Personalisation based on the whole customer profile is essential to maximise real time location-based customer engagement and marketing messages.”

Mr Brennan added that email is still the most popular method among consumers for receiving brand communications.

However, he noted that this pattern might shift, as younger people are shifting their preferences to less traditional means of communications.

He argued that this makes identifying the right channel to engage with consumers just as important as the actual content of the message.

Mr Brennan said by spotting and responding to customer preferences, brands can significantly help to build and reaffirm the customer-brand relationship “in an age when loyalty is not guaranteed”.

Most UK consumers have unsubscribed from retailer comms this year