Consumers want to be recognized by the online retailers they shop, but not to the point where it infringes on their privacy.
A study by CommerceNext of 1,000 consumers showed that people tend to gravitate toward stores that know them (66%), with 60% also expressing a preference for online stores that make recommendations for products they would like.
Almost half (45%) of those polled said they’d be willing to share personal information if it led to more relevant and tailored communication.
Retailers have improved in this area; at least, shoppers seem to think so, with 56% saying online stores are doing a better job of knowing their preferences and tastes. And that’s being reflected in the type of communication being sent to consumers, 56% of whom believe communication via email, text or mailings is more accurate than before.
The tricky part, however, is ensuring the data being shared to improve personalization is safe. A vast majority (87%) voiced concerns over the use of personal info and data, with 67% willing to share only if retailers and brands are storing it securely.
Older consumers (age 60-plus) were the most concerned, while the youngest cohort, which has grown up with social media and online shopping (ages 18 to 29), were the least troubled.
To address the concerns and needs of consumers, the CommerceNext study advises retailers to be judicious in what personal information they are seeking, take care in how they communicate with consumers and make the personalized customer experience a good one.
I’m Joanne Friedrick, research editor for the Home Furnishings Division. I began my career as a newspaper editor and then became a trade journalist, covering myriad industries including pension funds, supermarkets, gourmet food and security systems, just to name a few. Most recently, I entered the home furnishings category as a contributor for HFN and Home Textiles Today before transitioning into research where I now get to tell the stories behind the numbers for all of the HFD titles.