Consumers Accept Declining Privacy
May 29, 2014
by Tanya Gazdik Irwin
Most consumers (80%) believe that total privacy is a thing of the past and about half are willing to give up some personal information in exchange for more targeted offers from companies, according to research from Accenture Interactive.
However, they also feel that adequate safeguards are not in place to protect their personal information.
Sixty-four percent of consumers are concerned about Web sites tracking their behavior and 56% of consumers still input their credit card information on a purchase-by-purchase basis as opposed to having the details stored online to safeguard their information.
Consumers recognize the benefits of personalization, with 64% of consumers welcoming text messages from retailers when they are shopping in-store to alert them to offers matching their buying preferences. In addition, 49% say they wouldn’t object to having their buying behavior tracked in order to receive relevant offers from brands.
Customer experience and relevant communications are key, according to Accenture Interactive. The top three factors that consumers consider when purchasing a product are: sales and competitive pricing (61%), superior products (36%) and superior customer experience -- both online and in-store (35%).
Customer loyalty programs and relevant promotions follow, at 31% and 26%, respectively -- but engaging advertising campaigns and celebrity endorsements trailed far behind, at 6% and 3%, respectively.
“Price and quality are regularly recognized as purchase drivers, but seeing that relevant and useful customer experiences trumped advertising, loyalty programs, promotions, and endorsements in influencing purchase behavior was a key survey finding,” says Glen Hartman, global managing director of Digital Transformation for Accenture Interactive. “It should be a huge wake-up call for CMOs.”
Meanwhile, 90% receive notifications of upcoming promotions or new services with varying frequency, and half say these communications help guide future purchase decisions.
Accenture Interactive surveyed 2,012 consumers in March and April 2014 in the U.S. and United Kingdom. Participants were split equally between males and females between 20 and 40 years of age, and the survey recorded income, ethnicity and socio-demographics.
Forty percent of those surveyed believe only 10% of their personal data is actually private. Although 42% believe vendors and suppliers are using their personal data in order to provide them with more relevant offers, 39% believe their data is being sold.
Since consumers are connected and empowered and data is abundant, businesses must align their organizations, technology and strategies to deliver relevant and loyalty-enabling experiences to their consumers, Hartman says.
“As the business leader who typically owns the customer experience for most organizations, the chief marketing officer should be in the driver’s seat to encourage a customer-centric digital transformation that generates experiences to meet consumer needs,” Hartman says in a release.
Businesses should align their marketing strategies using advanced analytics to drive real-time recommendations with the needs and interests of today’s consumers who demand a seamless omni-channel experience whether they choose to shop online or in a store, he adds.
“When pursuing that seamless customer experience, businesses must balance the need for security and data privacy with the desire to provide an exceptional customer experience,” he says. “And it goes beyond marketing or shopping transactions.”
According to the survey, businesses appear to be making a good effort to reach these customers: Nearly all respondents (90%) said they receive notifications of upcoming promotions or new services with varying frequency and half say these communications help guide future purchase decisions.
However, there is also a clear pecking order among the types of communications that consumers prefer to receive from companies: Email was the top choice for 93% of respondents, followed by social media (57%) and text (44%). Only 25% of survey respondents said they are comfortable receiving phone calls.
"Consumers Accept Declining Privacy." MediaPost, 2014.
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