Sharing, With a Twist

Online consumer privacy survey

It might be a difficult idea to comprehend, but believe it or not, consumers are more trusting of sharing their information with retailers instead of social-media networks—especially if it enhances the shopping experience.

That's according to the the e-tailing group and MyBuys. Recently, they jointly conducted an online survey of 1,000 consumers that examined the evolving relationship between consumers, retailers and social media. Notable findings:

  • 55% said that they were “mostly willing” to provide shopping preferences to trusted retailers in exchange for an enhanced shopping experience
  • 52% responded that they were “much more concerned” or “somewhat more concerned” about sharing the same data on social networks
  • 63% said they would share the types of offers they prefer
  • 61% said they would share the brands they buy
  • 60% would share the products they purchase
  • 76% indicated they had mixed feelings/found it somewhat undesirable to be geo-targeted on their mobile devices

“Today’s consumer is a savvy operator who expects a tailored online experience," says Robert Cell, MyBuys CEO. "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. The onus is clearly on retailers to leverage this privilege responsibly to deliver on the promise of a better experience. The data strongly show 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," adds Cell.

—Shelley Moench-Kelly

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