As the years have rolled on, customers have slowly but surely grown less reluctant to share their personal details online. The emphasis for them was being able to receive personalized offers. As a result, brands and retailers have also been able to improvise with their retail marketing initiatives. Amidst all of this, there has always been this insecurity among customers regarding personal data sharing which appeared to retreat with time. But probably, the insecurity was never completely gone. And for good reason.
Brands have always encouraged customers to share their personal data. This would help them establish customer loyalty by sending across pertinent deals and personalized offers to the customers. However, customers off late are starting to get a little skeptical about this entire concept of data sharing. Controversies surrounding the data breach by big brands like Uber, Yahoo, etc. are not helping either. According to the State of Consumer Privacy and Trust Survey (2017), around 68% of people are worried about how their data is handled by brands. They are also concerned about the security measures that these brands have in place in case there is a breach.
The Lack of trust among all age of consumers
There has been a definite rise in fear among consumers towards how their shared data is handled. As per a study conducted by Gigya, 69% of people associate risks with data generated by fitness trackers and connected cars. Consumers are plain, simple concerned. The study conducted also claims that more the age of consumers, more the levels of concern. However, it’s not as if the younger generation is at ease.
The study by Gigya also considered the (18-24-year-old) tech savvy consumers. 60% of them expressed genuine concern over how brands handle their personal data. As per another report by Anatomy Media that surveyed around 2700 adults of the same age group from the US, 46% of them admitted that they use ad-blockers on their desktop. While 31% of them have one on their mobile. Yet another research by LexisNexis Risk Solutions revealed that around 52% of millennials from the UK are worried about identity theft online or on mobile apps. Thus, the concern does not only lie among the older consumers.
Customers want control over their personal data
There is no denying that customers have benefitted from the personalized offers and customized deals that brands have provided them. Brands have also been able to establish customer loyalty as a result. But a major expectation of customers also lies in the security of their information. Personalization at the expense of identity theft is not exactly what customers want. Many of them don’t even know what happens to the data after they share it. This is validated by the latest findings by CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing). As per the study, nine in ten people have no clue what companies do with their data. 57% of them don’t trust companies to use their data responsibly.
What customers expect is complete transparency and control over their data. Customers want to manage their own data and have complete knowledge of what’s happening. An example can be taken of Facebook which keeps customers in the loop and allows them to opt in and out of settings. As per Pew research, 74% of people feel it’s very important that they have control over who can get their information. Another thing customers hate is their information being passed on to third parties. They are willing to pay a price to avoid data from being leaked to third parties. Findings from the 2016 Global Consumer Trust Report reveals that 47% of customers were willing to pay extra for apps that would ensure them that their data would not be shared with third parties. 17% of them were even willing to pay a premium for the same.
Thus, the concern of customers with regards to their personal data is quite evident. Brands that will allow customers to have control over their data to ensure privacy will stand the best chance of establishing long term customer loyalty.