Accenture: Most Consumers Want Control Of Custom Deals

Privacy-Keyboard-AA2Misconceptions about personalization and privacy contributed to the slow start in online shopping and fast momentum toward showrooming, but custom content and coupons even momentum and help seal the deal, according to a recent study.

Some 36% of consumers participating in an Accenture Interactive survey want companies to stop tracking their online Web site activity, but another 64% said they would rather control the information to get served personalized information.

Custom content and coupons will help seal the deal. About 88% agree companies should give consumers the ability to control how their personal information is used to tailor their shopping experience. While 82% of U.S. consumers are concerned about Web sites tracking their behavior, 80% are aware of online tracking, but understand the necessity to receive deals.

The findings from the Accenture Interactive survey results highlight the importance of social media and personalized content vs. privacy, with 73% agreeing or strongly agreeing to do business with brands and companies that use personal information about consumers to make their experience more efficient as they go through the buying process.

The results from survey participants in the U.S. suggest that ads on smartphones are acceptable if the consumer opts in and the ads served are relevant. Some 57% of U.S. consumers agree strongly that ads serve on their smartphone are OK, as long as they opt into them. About 39% agree strongly that those ads are likely to increase their spending habits. And 39% agree strongly that the ads are a better form of communication between consumer and brand.

In the United Kingdom, the sentiment between personalization and privacy on smartphones remain a bit more relaxed. Some 64% of U.K. survey participants are "okay" with receiving ad on their smartphone, as long as they opt into the service. About 32% agree strongly that the ads are likely to increase, compared with 44% who agree.

Forty-one percent of U.K. survey participants also agree strongly that ads are an obvious step in better communicating offerings between brands and consumers. Only 29% agree strongly that the ads are intrusive, and 23% said they don't mind them provided they are relevant.

The survey reveals that showrooming using smartphones evolved from the high percentage of consumers thinking prices are higher in retail stores compared with online. Interestingly, 52% of the 2,000 consumers surveyed in each country believe in-store prices are higher than online prices.

While 60% said online prices entice them to visit a store where they can compare prices and view merchandise in person, 48% still go home to buy the products from that retailer online, but 32% buy products online from a different retailer. Only 20% make their final purchase in-store.

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