Loose-Lipped Consumers Bring Joy to Retailers

Consumers will share personal information for a better shopping experience

The results of a survey conducted by IBM on 28,000 people in 15 countries showed that people are much more willing to share personal information if they believe in return they will get a more personalized shopping experience.

People are willing to divulge more about themselves with their favorite merchants, from their food allergies to their home addresses. This survey’s conclusions were met with pleasure by the business world as companies are constantly looking for ways to target the perfect demographic of shoppers with their latest creations.

“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.”

There is still a certain hesitation from consumers all over the world about giving their personal financial information, like their incomes; but other private information is almost there for the asking.

One example is that about 75% of the people in the survey were ready to reveal details about how they use media such as television, like which TV shows that watch. A similar number had no problems telling what ethnic group they were members of.

A somewhat smaller group, 61% were comfortable sharing their names and addresses with retailers. For 59% of the people questioned it was not a problem to describe lifestyle-related information such as how many cars they own, if they live in a new home, or if they had just had a child.

“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 added.

James Cannon

About James Cannon

James Cannon is an experienced hedge fund analyst. He has served on the advisory boards for various different Fortune 500 companies as well as serving as an adjunct professor of finance. James Cannon has written for a variety of Financial Magazines both on and off line. Contact James at james[at]businessdistrict.com