Consumers Find Personalization Creepy, Study Says

Most consumers think personalization is creepy. And even many brands admit that it is, according to a study by InMoment.

The company surveyed 2,000 U.S. consumers and 1,000 brands, and found that 75% of consumers feel most forms of personalization are at least somewhat creepy. And 22% will dump a brand after being creeped out, although 50% will stay.

In addition, 20% will tell their networks about it and 10% will report the experience on social media.

Naturally, a majority of brands don’t think they’re ever creepy. But 40% admit they are.

That’s not the only disconnect between shoppers and brands. Of the consumers polled, 32% say they did not have a “positive memorable experience” with a brand in the past year. For their part, only 16% of brand acknowledge that they underperformed.

Not that this had anything to do with email personalization. Poor staff experiences were the main contributing factor to negative sentiment for 74% of the consumers. Yet 65% felt that good staff interaction led to warm feelings.

One finding that may be surprising is that millennials are the most sensitive group when it comes to personal data. And they value in-person experiences.

In addition, the study reveals that more than price, emotion plays a role in driving future behavior. That includes both positive emotions — like feeling special — and negative ones such as anger.

The conclusion?  “Whether it’s how brands are using personal information or the impact of missed expectations, companies continue to underestimate their customers,” states Brennan Wilkie, SVP of CX strategy at InMoment.

Wilkie adds: “Today’s consumers are savvy, they want to be included in decisions, they want transparency, and they want real value in exchange for sharing personal information or spending their money.”


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