Retail Personalization: Building Customer Trust

Sep 01, 2016

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U.S. consumers can be complicated—they want a highly personalized retail experience, but they're conflicted about how much personal information to give to retailers. A recent Accenture Personalization Survey examined customer expectations around a personalized shopping experience and insights into how comfortable consumers are with certain personalization tactics. According to the survey:

Shoppers Want It Personal....

  • Nearly 60% of consumers want real-time promotions and offers.
  • The most popular/welcome in-store personalization options include:
    • Automatic discounts at checkout for loyalty points/coupons (82%)
    • Real-time promotions (57%)
    • Complementary item suggestions (54%)
  • Online, they like these approaches:
    • Website experience optimized by device
    • Promotions for items a consumer has shown an interest in
    • The ability to compare prices
  • Here's what they like about personalization:
    • 64% like access to exclusive deals and 
    • 51% like "one-click" checkout. They also like it when retailers know their preferred method of payment and shipping.
    • 48% are open to online reminders for items they purchase on a regular basis and may need to be replenished.

But They Don't Want It Too Personal....

  • Only 20% want retailers to know their current location.
  • Only 14% want to share their browsing history.
  • 42% are uncomfortable when store associates offer in-store recommendations based on family health issues.
  • 40% don't like it when mass retailers advise them not to buy items online outside of their dietary restrictions.
  • 90% would limit access to certain types of personal data.
  • 88% would prefer to determine how the data can be used.

Generational Differences

There are some generational differences when it comes to which consumers are willing to share information with retailers.

  • Generally, Millennials reported the highest response when it comes to sharing information and being receptive to advice and recommendations regarding their purchases.
  • Baby Boomers tend to be more demanding and have higher expectations when it comes to being rewarded in exchange for their data. According to the study, 74% expect to get automatic crediting for coupons and loyalty points and 70% expect special offers, as compared to 58% and 61% of Millennials, respectively.

Personalization can be a powerful tool, but in order to succeed, retailers must take the time to understand their customer preferences—both broadly and individually—in order to develop and maintain their trust.