U.S. consumers are torn between a desire for a personalized retail experience and a hesitance to disclose too much personal information. According to a new survey from Accenture, 60 percent of shoppers want real-time promotions, yet only 20 percent want retailers to know their location and just 14 percent are comfortable sharing their browsing history.
The study, which examined the expectations built around personalized shopping, found that trust was a big issue for many shoppers when it came to providing retailers with personal information digitally.
Nearly 90 percent of respondents said they would limit the access of certain types of personal data collected from retailers and would stop retailers from selling this information to third parties. In addition, 88 percent would prefer to determine how the data can be used and 84 percent want the right to review and correct this information.
"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."
According to the survey, 82 percent of respondents were most open to retail communications and offerings that lead to discounts at checkout for loyalty points or coupons, while 57 percent were most open to real-time promotions. And as for online, 64 percent of those surveyed welcomed personalized experiences leading to website optimization by device, 64 percent, and promotional offers for items the consumer is strongly considering, 59 percent.
"Personalization can be a powerful method for retailers to differentiate from competitors, increase basket size and build customer loyalty," Richards said. "To effectively implement personalization across all channels, retailers would benefit from understanding customers at a broad level as well as individually—determining where personalization strategies can best drive business results, and giving key subsets of customers the choice on how they wish to participate."
Many retailers are attempting to become more personalized in their offers to shoppers, especially through digital loyalty programs. For example, Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) recently announced a $1.2 billion investment, which will include sending out more personalized offers through its awards program. And Target (NYSE:TGT) announced during a quarterly earnings call that the company would work on offering a more personalized digital interaction with guests in 2015.
-See this Accenture press release
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