In search of a more personalized and efficient shopping experience, consumers are increasingly willing to share more personal information with retailers, according to a recent IBM survey of more than 28,000 people in 15 countries.
“They are willing to share information if there is perceived benefit,” Jill Puleri, global retail leader of IBM’s global business services, told Reuters. “It doesn’t have to be monetary benefit.”
More than half of the people surveyed said they are willing to disclose their exact location and related information in exchange for a more targeted shopping experience. Although consumers are still wary of sharing financial information, such as how much they earn, they are less worried about other personal details. About three-quarters of the people surveyed were willing to talk about their media usage, including the TV shows they watch, and 73 percent of the group didn’t mind disclosing demographic information to retailers.
In addition, 61 percent of people were willing to share their names and addresses, while about 59 percent said they would disclose lifestyle-related information such as whether they owned more than one car, or had moved into a new home, or had a child recently.
The change in shopper behavior has been remarkable, as consumers historically have been fairly guarded with their information, according to the Reuters article.
Contrary to popular perception, shoppers said they want to receive more communication from merchants, according to the survey. This indicates many retailers have not been reaching out to their real target audience.
Shoppers also want information from merchants delivered through channels relevant to them. For example, fewer shoppers rely on email to find out about new products.
Meanwhile, 85 percent of consumers believe social networks will save them time, Puleri added.