NEW YORK ― Welcome to the era of the candid consumer.
From their food allergies to home addresses, shoppers around the world are becoming increasingly willing to share more personal information with their favorite merchants, as they look for a more personalized and efficient shopping experience, an IBM survey of more than 28,000 people in 15 countries showed.
That is good news for retailers on both sides of the Atlantic as they look for ways to target the right demographic of shoppers with new products.
“They are willing to share information if there is perceived benefit,” said Jill Puleri, global retail leader of IBM’s global business services. “It doesn’t have to be monetary benefit.”While consumers around the world still have reservations about sharing financial details such as how much they earn, they are less worried about divulging other private information.
For instance, about three-quarters of the people surveyed were willing to dish out details about their media usage such as the TV shows they watch, while 73 percent of the group were fine with disclosing demographic information such as their ethnicity.
About 61 percent of people were comfortable sharing their names and addresses with retailers, while about 59 percent of those surveyed said they were OK with disclosing lifestyle-related information such as whether they owned more than one car, or had moved into a new home, or had a child recently.
“These are things that I think are pretty important to a retailer,” Puleri said, adding that the change in shopper behavior was phenomenal.
“We have always thought the consumer was pretty guarded with their information,” Puleri told Reuters.
More than half of the people surveyed were even willing to disclose their exact location and related information, hoping for a more targeted and smarter shopping experience.
“What it tells us is that they really want a personal experience,” she said. “They don’t want to find advertising in their mailbox or in their email about things they are never going to buy.”
Shoppers in emerging markets such as Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, South Africa and China were more willing to share private information versus their counterparts in mature markets such as Europe, Australia, Japan, Canada and the United States, Puleri said.