Consumers are willing to share personal information in exchange for discounts and free content

By December 10, 2011

More and more consumers are willing to be tracked and share personal information with advertisers and retailers in order to get discounts and free content.

Data analysis has been a major opportunity for digital commerce companies to provide a tailor-made experience to their consumers, leveraging personal information and tracked behaviors. Yet, most of them were reluctant to share their information with retailers and advertisers, be it for privacy or security concerns. KPMG Consumers and Convergence is now providing new insights, revealing customers might actually change their mind if they were rewarded with coupons or free online content.

Consumers are more comfortable with sharing personal information

According to KPMG, 53% of consumers using Internet, phone or cable would agree to be tracked and share personal information with retailers and advertisers if they were rewarded with lower costs or free online content. Moreover, 43% would be ready to be subjected to targeted advertising if it was to get lower priced services. The study shows a dichotomy between 16-34 and over 34 years old consumers: young people are more inclined to be tracked and share behavioral information while older are still reluctant to do so. Also, “old adults” (above 35) are more inclined to permit data in exchange for retail discounts, while young adults would rather do so for entertainment content. On mobile, only 28% of consumers would be ready to receive targeted advertising in exchange for lower fees, this mostly being the case among the 16-34 years olds (35% versus 21% for over 34).

As concerns remain, companies need to offer secure shopping environments

However, numerous concerns are still deeply rooted in consumers’ mind according to KPMG Consumers and Convergence: the possibility of credit card information being intercepted (43%), personal information being accessed by third parties (41%) or unsolicited advertising (40%) are major threats for consumers. To be trusted, companies need to understand these concerns and address them, in order to show consumers respect and consideration. This implies using consumers’ data only for the purpose they were collected for – offering a tailor-made and enriched experience providing real value to the consumers, in a secure environment. Companies that will be able to offer valuable rewards for personal information sharing will earn a major advantage over competitors.

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