Avoiding the Creepy Factor In Hyperpersonalization
Is hyper-personalization creepy or cool? A recently released Accenture study, “Retail Hyperpersonalization, Creepy versus Cool,” finds that the answer largely depends on which demographic you’re asking.
By and large, Millennials seem more into with retailers personalizing messaging. Boomers less so. For example, nearly three times more Millennials (17.2 percent) than Boomers (6.2 percent) think being reminded while shopping about needed items is “cool.” Also, 41 percent of Millennials say they’d welcome retailers stopping them from buying electronics that are not right or are outside their budgets.
Gender influences the perception of what constitutes acceptable personalization as well. Accenture reports that 34% of male respondents think receiving suggestions personalized to account for their families’ food preferences is “creepy.” However, 40% of female respondents consider that type of personalization “cool.”
Some forms of personalization are generally welcomed, though not universally. For example, these implementations are widely considered “cool”:
- 82% enjoy discounts or loyalty coupons;
- 59% welcome promotional offers based on items that the customer may be considering or lingering over;
- 54% like receiving suggestions for items that complement merchandise that the customer is currently browsing.
Conversely, there are personalization efforts that customers find “creepy.”:
- 36% of shoppers do not want to be greeted by name when walking into a store;
- 42% don’t want recommendations based on their health issues;
- 46% don’t want to be dissuaded from a purchase by a sales associate with preexisting knowledge about what the customer currently owns.
That leaves retailers with some specific rules of engagement:
First, they must keep the value proposition from the customer standpoint in mind. There needs to be significant value for shoppers in order for them to be motivated to engage.
Second, it’s important that the customer doesn’t feel overwhelmed. Too many messages or promotions can easily backfire for the retailer.
Third, retailers must be transparent about how any information gathered will be stored and used. Opt-in policies let customers play an active role in the process.
Fourth, retailers should have a system in place to capture and safeguard customer information. There should also be a plan in place detailing how a retailer’s information is to be used and how it will improve business.
Fifth, and finally, building trust is key to success; retailers must work at establishing and maintaining a bond. It’s difficult to establish, yet easily destroyed.
The Accenture study notes that there are three components for implementing a hyperpersonalization solution properly: make it expected, secure and data driven. Doing so provides a foundation for success that will drive profits as well as customer loyalty.