Americans Will Allow Access to Personal Data for Clear Benefits

Consumers worldwide overwhelmingly will share personal information to get better service from retailers. However, they are very discerning about how they share, according to a global independent survey of consumers around the world commissioned by New York-based Infosys.

U.S. consumers feel comfortable sharing data with doctors (95 percent), banks (89 percent) and retailers (82 percent); however, the research shows contrasting nuances. They say they want targeted ads from retailers yet are wary of sharing the information to enable this. The study shows consumers understand the benefits of sharing data but remain cautious of data mining by organizations: 45 percent say data-mining can be helpful yet at the same time 30 percent still feel it is invasive.

“This study is a wake-up call to companies about the enormous untapped opportunity to gain greater access to data by clearly communicating ‘what’s in it for me’ to the customer,” said Stephen Pratt, managing partner, worldwide consulting and systems integration and executive council member at Infosys. “Our research shows that people will certainly share though they’re very savvy about how they give up their personal information. Companies need to crack the code in mining data effectively to gain consumer trust and clearly articulate the benefit to their customers.”

The global research polled 5,000 digitally savvy consumers in five countries (including 1,000 in United States) about how they trade private data in the retail, banking and healthcare sectors. The study shows the key challenge facing business is to navigate the complex behaviors consumers display when sharing their personal information.

Key retail findings from the United States include:

  • To know me is to sell to me. Seventy-one percent of consumers believe retailers currently miss the mark in targeting them with ads on mobile apps, and 66 percent do not feel that online ads or emails they receive resonate with their personal interests and needs.
  • To really know me is to sell me even more: U.S. consumers overwhelming agree (85 percent) that they would be more likely to purchase from a retailer again if they provided offers targeted to their interests, wants or needs, and 81 percent feel similarly if offered incentives based on location.
  • Catch 22 for retailers? While in principle shoppers say they want to receive ads or promotions targeted to their interests, just 26 percent will share social media profile information. Lacking these details could make it difficult for retailers to deliver tailored digital offers.

The comprehensive global research project studied consumer sentiment on big data issues in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Australia. Independent research firms KRC and Vanson Bourne conducted the study.

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