The portability of privacy and personal profiles in retail and beyond

 
 

In a previous post, we mentioned Cap Gemini's recent report on the digital shoppers and how retailers can be more relevant for them. Based on the report and data from IDC, MarketingCharts published an interesting overview of the most "appealing and extremely appealing transaction criteria". Or in other words: what do consumers value when actually buying?

The most appealing seems to be the ability to choose from several payment options (73% of respondents).

Choice of payment is followed by the ability to easily access and update personal information (62%), and the fact that the online store remembers the personal information and payment methods of the buyer (61%).

However, there are two caveats. Firstly, consumers don't always want to create an account while buying online. Recent surveys show that forced registration is an important hurdle that is often ignored. Secondly, the degree in which the ability to store and update personal information matters, obviously depends on where the transaction happens (e.g. websites versus other channels).

Online data in a physical environment

The report also looked at the way consumers feel about using their personal data in a specific multi-touchpoint context, namely that of digital devices (mainly mobile) in a physical store.

While most consumers want online stores to remember their personal information and payment preferences, as mentioned above, only 41% want to be identified through digital devices when entering a physical store, MarketingCharts writes.

The authors conclude that, despite regional differences, in general consumers like to have what they call a "shield of anonymity" when sharing personal information online.

This is important for retailers and brands looking to use consumer data beyond the digital environment. As retail is increasingly becoming a multi-touchpoint experience, it shows how businesses must take into account the specificity of all touchpoints when outlining a strategy for such an experience.

What goes for online transactions, undoubtedly also goes for other kinds of interactions where the link between digital channels and the physical world is made.

Permission, preferences and privacy should be treated depending on the context and are not "portable" across touchpoints and media, an issue that will probably become more important as channels get increasingly integrated.

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