SAN MATEO, Calif. — Consumers are more comfortable sharing data with retailers than they are with social networks, especially if it enhances the shopping experience, according to a recent survey conducted by the E-tailing Group and MyBuys.
Examining the evolving relationship between consumers, retailers and social media, the companies surveyed 1,000 consumers online and determined that more than half are "mostly willing" to provide shopping preferences to trusted retailers in exchange for an enhanced shopping experience (55%), while 52% of consumers responded that they are "much more concerned" or "somewhat more concerned" about sharing the same data on social networks. When asked about specific types of information they would share, 63% of respondents said they would share the types of offers they prefer; 61% said they would share the brands they buy; and 60% would share the products they purchase. On the mobile frontier, consumers remained more cautious: three-quarters of consumers indicated they have mixed feelings or find it somewhat undesirable to be geo-targeted on their mobile device (76%).
"Today's consumer is a savvy operator who expects a tailored online experience. The irony is that they're more comfortable sharing shopping preference information with retailers than they are with social networks, which were designed for this type of exchange," MyBuys CEO Robert Cell said. "The onus is clearly on retailers to leverage this privilege responsibly to deliver on the promise of a better experience. The data strongly shows that doing so results in a better shopping experience for the consumer, increases brand loyalty and makes it a win-win for both consumers and retailers. Online privacy is a complex issue and there is no 'one-size-fits-all' answer, but consumers are willing to share data when there is an equitable value exchange."