Survey: Consumers more trusting of sharing information with retailers than social networks

San Mateo, Calif. -- A survey by The E-tailing Group and MyBuys found that consumers are more comfortable sharing data with retailers than they are with social networks, especially if it enhances the shopping experience.

While many consumer advocates stress the need for tighter regulation in regard to consumer privacy and the use of consumer data, the majority of survey respondents (55%) responded that they are “mostly willing” to provide shopping preferences to trusted retailers in exchange for an enhanced shopping experience. In contrast, 52% of consumers responded that they are “much more concerned” or “somewhat more concerned” about sharing the same data on social networks.

“Today’s consumer is a savvy operator who expects a tailored online experience. The irony is that they’re more comfortable sharing shopping preference information with retailers than they are with social networks, which were designed for this type of exchange,” said Robert Cell, CEO of MyBuys. “The onus is clearly on retailers to leverage this privilege responsibly to deliver on the promise of a better experience. The data strongly shows that doing so results in a better shopping experience for the consumer, increases brand loyalty, and makes it a win-win for both consumers and retailers.”

When asked about specific types of information they would share, 63% of respondents said they would share the types of offers they prefer; 61% said they would share the brands they buy; and 60% would share the products they purchase.

On the mobile front, consumers remain more cautious. In fact, 76% of consumers indicated they have mixed feelings or find it somewhat undesirable to be geo-targeted on their mobile device.

“Online privacy is a complex issue and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer, but consumers are willing to share data when there is an equitable value exchange," Cell added.

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