Study: Shoppers will share personal data if it benefits them
Despite privacy concerns, consumers 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 |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, 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.”
Environmentalism makes a stand
As building product companies prepare to celebrate Earth Day, and at a time when U.S. environmental policy is under increased scrutiny, a survey of American consumers shows a willingness among them to pay more for green products.
More than half (56%) of consumers here still say they are willing to pay more to use environment-friendly ( or “green”) products – an uptick of three percentage points from the 2010 level (53%), according to findings from GfK MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer.
The data also show that half (50%) of adults say (agree “somewhat” or “mostly”) that they are willing to give up convenience in return for a product that is environmentally safe – an increase of three points from 2010 (47%).
Consumer interest in a company’s “green” scorecard has held steady in recent years. According to the latest GfK MRI research, 49% agree at least partly with the statement, “A company’s environmental record is important to me in my purchasing decisions.”
That represents a one-point increase versus 2010 (48%). GfK MRI’s studies show that almost seven in 10 (69%) US consumers agree “somewhat” or “completely” with the statement, “Global warming is a serious threat,” a jump of five points from the 2010 level (64%).
Meanwhile, companies are taking part in the Earth Day celebration in a variety of ways.
AZEK Building Products, maker of decking, railing, trim, moulding, porch and pavers, is celebrating what it calls its “year-round commitment to sustainability” by supporting the National Forest Foundation. The goal is collect $5,000 to plant 5,000 trees.
During the month of April, AZEK Building Products will donate one dollar for every Facebook share it receives on special Earth Dayposts. The objective is to reach up to 5,000 shares, or the equivalent of a $5,000 donation to the National Forest Foundation.
At DaVinci Roofscapes, a manufacturer of synthetic slate and shake roofing tiles, the Earth Day story is conservation.
Says Bryan Ward, vice president of operations at DaVinci Roofscapes in Lenexa, Kan.: "We view Earth Day as a time to evaluate the progress of our recycling operations and share the good news about our enhanced efforts," says Ward.
The company has kept more than 1.2 million pounds of polymer scrap out of landfills in 2016. The record-setting recycling effort includes the remolding of more than 696,000 pounds of grinded scrap into starter tiles and the transfer of 567,000 pounds of scrap to an end-user who makes pallets, crates and totes.
"Our goal is zero percentage of scrap going into a landfill," Ward said. "We are always looking for ways to recycle and reuse every single piece of waste in our planet.”