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Study: Shoppers will share personal data if it benefits them

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Despite privacy concerns, consumer will share data with companies if it saves them money or resolves customer service issues faster.

This was according to a recent study conducted by YouGov on behalf of customer experience company [24]|7, which tapped 1,145 U.S. consumers.

Nearly half (43%) of consumers agreed that they would exchange personal data with companies to save money through personalized promotions, discounts or deals, followed by 39% looking for speedier issue resolution.

Off-target messages and privacy concerns proved to be the biggest deterrents for consumers receiving personalized marketing messages, the study reported.

Cost-savings are universally seen across all age groups as the top benefit to sharing personal data — information such as e-mail, age, location, interests, previous purchases, etc. — with millennials' willingness to share data for deals (49%) slightly outranking GenXers (44%) and baby boomers (38%).

Relevancy is the primary reason consumers embrace personalized marketing messages (26%). But off-target messages irritate consumers, with a similar percentage of respondents stating that irrelevancy was on par with invasion of privacy as a major cause of annoyance.

Twenty-nine percent (29%) said irrelevant messages were the leading reason they were bothered by personalized messages. Slightly more than that (32%) cited "it felt like an invasion of privacy" as the top reason they disliked a personalized message.

Privacy concerns ranked high among consumers, with 28% stating, "I don't like it when companies have my information when I don't explicitly provide it,” when asked about their overall feeling towards companies using personalized data.

Almost half of those surveyed (47%) had higher expectations about their customer experience as a direct result of sharing personal information with companies, with age proving to be a significant factor. The younger the respondent, the higher their expectations, with over half (59%) of millennials noting the more data they share the higher the expectations for a better customer experience, followed by GenX (47%) and baby boomers (38%).

While consumers are willing to share more personal data, they are particular about when and why. For example, 22% surveyed are open to sharing personal data after buying a product or service in exchange for an improved level of customer service in the future.

Likewise, 16% would share data post-purchase to receive ongoing information from the company, and 17% only want to share information if they encounter an issue that requires resolution. However, trust continues to be a deterrent to disclosing personal data, with 27% of consumers stating they would not share their information at any point.

When it comes to which industries make the best use of their information, insurance (50%) and financial services companies (48%) use of their personal data to deliver a better experience. These two industries outperformed retail, travel and hospitality, utilities and telecommunications in consumer perception, with the telecom industry receiving the lowest ranking (38%).

"If used correctly, consumer data can play a valuable role in improving the customer experience, but this information should be used wisely to avoid alienating customers," said Scott Horn, chief marketing officer, [24]7.

"The key to a great customer experience is dependent on companies' ability to understand a consumer's true intent,” he added. “If companies understand precisely what a customer is trying to do and where their interests lie, they can deliver a more personalized interaction that doesn't feel intrusive.”

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Walmart in talks to buy another online fashion retailer

BY Marianne Wilson

Walmart reportedly is about to make its fourth e-commerce acquisition in seven months as the chain continues to beef up its online arsenal and fashion offerings against Amazon.

Walmart is in advanced discussions to acquire Bonobos, an e-commerce-driven apparel company that designs and sells upscale men’s clothing, for about $300 million, reported Bloomberg. Founded in 2007, the brand is known for its hip, stylish threads and expert fit.

Most recently, Bonobos has been growing its physical footprint. It currently operates some 31 stores (which it calls “guideshops”) nationwide. It also some of its goods at Nordstrom.

Walmart has been on a buying spree of sorts under the director of Marc Lore, president and CEO of the chain’s U.S. e-commerce division, who came on board when the discounter bought Lore’s Jet.com last year.

In March, Walmart acquired online young women’s apparel and accessories site Modcloth. Prior to that, in February, the discounter acquired outdoor gear online retailer Moosejaw for $51 million. In January, it bought ShoeBuy for $70 million.

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Missguided, Westfield Stratford City, London

BY CSA STAFF
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British online fast-fashion retailer Missguided makes the leap to physical retail with a high-concept, high-impact store at Westfield Stratford City mall in London.

Featuring an “on-air” television studio concept, the 20,000-sq.-ft. space delivers a dynamic live stream of real-time content, fashion and inspiration in a bold environment. It reflects the desire of its young, Snapchat-obsessed core audience for the new by offering a constantly changing space that includes plenty of shareable moments.

Fusing the online and offline experience, the store is loaded with signage that encourage customers to download the brand’s app and follow it on Snapchat. Lightboxes boasting cheeky slogans that perfectly capture the playful, sometime outrageous voice of the brand are everywhere.

There are no traditional navigation paths in Missguided. Instead, the emphasis is on exploration and immersion. The space is fashioned as a series of lifestyle stage sets.

With social interaction at the heart of the concept, Missguided breaks from tradition and locates its fitting rooms at the front of the store, styling the area as an interactive lounge space, complete with emojis and tongue-in-cheek signage. Inspired by a glamorous Miami Beach pool party, palm trees surround the space and a swimming pool animation is projected onto the ceiling. Comfy seating areas encourage groups of friends to spend time showing off looks and exploring their personal style.

Designed by Dalziel + Pow, London, Missguided won a silver award in the softline specialty store category of the 2017 Shop! Design Awards.

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