Consumers are Very Concerned About Retailers' Data Collection

October 27, 2015, Written By Natalie Rutledge
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A new report reveals an overwhelming majority of consumers do not like retailers’ data privacy and personalization initiatives.

The Capgemini Consulting report found that 93% of consumers are suspicious of retailers’ privacy initiatives. The main two concerns were data security (76%) and the intrusive behavior of retailers (51%).

Consumers often feel as if certain data collection efforts are infringing on privacy. Those perceived as most intrusive were in-store traffic monitoring (84% viewed this negatively) and facial recognition (81% viewed this negatively).

The report, “Privacy Please: Why Retailers Need to Rethink Personalization,” was based on social media sentiment analysis that stretched over six months, examined over 220,000 conversations and covered 65 global retailers, which collectively make trillions of dollars in revenue each year.

Personalized ads and other initiatives were viewed positively overall, with 80% of people enjoying them. There are some differences regionally, though. North Americans tended to view these initiatives more positively than those in Europe.

Worldwide, there is a discrepancy between what consumers want out of personalized ads and what they are actually receiving. Consumers only view 14% of retailers positively when it comes to personalization. Further, 29% of customers were dissatisfied with loyalty programs, as they received excessive mail and poor in-store service. Many also seem to think programs are too intrusive, and they’re confused as to how to opt in and out.

“The deluge of hacks on retailers’ data and misdirected personalisation initiatives are having a dramatic effect on consumers’ trust.” said Kees Jacobs, global consumer products and retail consumer engagement lead for Capgemini. “The advent of digital shopping and big data analytics promised a golden age for retailers, but many of the world’s largest brands are finding the reality of safeguarding and properly utilising this precious information very challenging.”

This research can help retailers better understand how they can address privacy and personalization initiatives. The report suggested companies need to be transparent about how they will use customer data.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of October 27, 2015. For up-to-date
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About Natalie Rutledge

Natalie Rutledge majored in Communications at Mississippi State University. She was in sales for a number of businesses and spent nine years working as a communications advisor to various entities. Natalie can be contacted directly at [email protected]
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