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An Insight on Global Consumer Personal Data Sharing

Retailers have attended to the personalization needs of the consumers in a more than credible way for quite some time now. The advancement of big data analytics has powered retailers to enhance the customer shopping experience and elevate it to a new level. But every retailer will agree that the consumers have more than played their part in it. The bulk of information that the retailer is entitled to, is basically due to the personal data sharing that the consumers allow, irrespective of whether it's out of reluctance or will.

personal data sharing

Let's have a look at some Global numbers to better understand what the consumers all over the world actually feel about sharing their personal data. The European Connected Consumer Report States that:

  • Despite of the prevalence of the recent cyber attacks, 61% of shoppers in the U.K don't mind sharing their personal data online.


  • A massive 66% of Italians and 55% of French & Spanish shoppers find data sharing comfortable.


  • According to a 2015 survey by Columbia Business School consisting of above 8000 respondents from countries like U.K, U.S.A, India, Mexico & Canada, 75% of the respondents are willing to share personal data for a product/service that they value or with a brand they trust.

Consumers overcoming the 'Reluctance Factor'


Consumers might appear to be savvy and easily cooperative with regards to lending their personal information. But that is not the case. Consumers globally are sensitive about 'personal identifying information'. The following graph taken from the survey by Columbia Business School (CBS) shows that Address (58%), Mobile Phone (46%) and Name (45%) among others are the data that consumers think to be most sensitive across all industries.


Despite these reservations in the mind, consumers do understand the convenience of an enhanced and more personalized shopping experience. They realise that they need to cooperate with the retailers in order to reap the benefits of a better shopping experience. They recognize that sharing data, especially personal-identifying information (PII) will enable businesses to create the utmost value for them. The following graph indicates that how consumers despite of finding PII sensitive, are still willing to share them.



Personalized Offers & Brand Trust encourage PII Sharing


Consumers are willing to share personal data with the consumers, but obviously in return for things that are absolutely beneficial for them. The following numbers provide an accurate indication.


  • According to a report by the European Connected Consumer, that main services that shoppers in the U.K expect in return for data sharing include (84%) for personalized offers based on the search & the purchase history, (81%) for personalized pricing and (52%) for personalized emails.

  • According to the survey by CBS, 80% of respondents are willing to share personal data with companies across different industries on receiving special offers and data enabled benefits like recommendation of products & reward points.


  • The CBS 2015 Survey also claims that 75% of the consumers share personal data in exchange for a valued product/service and with their trusted brand.



  • The respondents of the CBS survey were divided into 4 categories based on their birth year. Millenials (1984-2002), Generation-X (1964-1983), Baby Boomers (1943-1963) and Silent Generation (1925-1942). The above graph gives a clear indication that brand trust mattered more for the older generations in the retail industry with silent generation accounting for 48% and boomers 40%. But with E-commerce, brand trust mattered more for both the old and new generations with the millenials and the silent generation accounting for 44% and 40% respectively.

Indian Consumers – Not shy in sharing Personal Data


Globally, consumers might end up sharing data eventually, but they also have their fair share of discomforts in doing so. For instance, Columbia Business School survey suggests that 85% of people want to know more about the data that companies collect and 86% of the people wish to exercise greater control over them. But Indian consumers are quite comfortable in sharing data in comparison to countries like U.K, U.S.A, Canada among others. The following illustration certainly validates this fact.


The willingness of Indian Consumers to share personal data can be recognized from the following statistics.

  • A survey by Intel Security reveals that 84% of Indians, not only stay connected to the Internet when on a vacation, but also don't mind sharing sensitive personal information on unsecured public Wi-Fi, overlooking the potential cyber threats.

  • One out of three persons in India (36%) don't mind sharing personal data (credit card number, log in details, etc) even when they know that this can make them vulnerable.


  • The above diagram provides a comparison as to how comfortable consumers are in sharing data in the retail and the e-commerce industry, taking into account countries like U.S, Canada and others. The Indian consumers are evidently the most comfortable in the retail (59%) as well as in the e-commerce (58%) industry, distinctly higher than the other countries.


About Abhishek Mitra

Content is King and Abhishek Mitra firmly lives by it. He is highly committed & passionate in what he does and it's evident through the content that he produces. An MBA Graduate in Media & Entertainment from Whistling Woods International (Mumbai), Abhishek has acquired expertise on developing content pertaining to various verticals overtime due to the sheer knack for it. Apart from being an inspirational scriptwriter in his teenage days, he has worked as an academic research writer in the past. Presently, he handles the content for Tickto.

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