Accenture Study: How Much Information Will Customers Share With Retailers?
Retailers are ready to embrace personalization in an effort to boost their bottom lines, and consumers say they want — and welcome — such efforts from their favorite brands. The irony, however, lies in the reality that most shoppers don’t want to share personal information, unless they are assured they will get something of value in return.
A recent study by Accenture found that nearly 60% of consumers want real-time promotions and offers but very few — just 20% — want retailers to know their current location and even fewer 14% care to share their browsing history. The Accenture Personalization Survey reported that an overwhelming majority, 82%, of surveyed consumers said they would welcome automatic discounts at checkout for loyalty points or coupons. Real-time promotions were also popular at 57%.
The takeaway seems to be that consumers feel as though their patronage should be rewarded. And why not? Repeat customers are the bread-and-butter of any retailer. Customers are wise to realize that their sales dollars are worth more than just what they are paying for merchandise.
Retailers are now more than ever realizing that they are in a two-way business. Retailers, which were hesitant previously to offer discounts and coupons and other “cents-off” enticements but are now turning the corner, are learning that consumers need to be persuaded that sharing information can tangibly benefit them. After all, for every loyalty program that does provide value, there are dozens that simply collect information with no return — and customers are keenly aware of that.
“Personalization is a critical capability for retailers to master, but as our survey shows, addressing the complex requirements of U.S. consumers is challenging because they are conflicted on the issue,” said Dave Richards, global managing director of Accenture’s Retail practice. “If retailers approach and market personalization as a value exchange, and are transparent in how the data will be used, consumers will likely be more willing to engage and trade their personal data.”
The study also noted that as part of the information exchange for a more personalized retail experience, consumers expect to get something in return. After all, they are anticipating having a more unique shopping trip, catering to their preferences. The key benefits cited included: access to exclusive deals (64 percent), automatic crediting for coupons and loyalty points (64 percent), a one-time discount (61 percent) or special offers (61 percent).
Increasingly, shoppers are willing to give retailers their personal information, but businesses must be willing — and able — to provide benefits in return. Smart retailers will find that the exchange will be worth their while.
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