Exclusive Offers Make The Sale

Consumers, by a 2:1 margin, want brands to require consent before using personal data for targeted marketing. In addition, 94% of Americans reported they would take advantage of an exclusive offer ahead of other popular retail programs like price-match guarantee or VIP service.

A new survey of 1,023 adults representing the online shopping and purchase habits of the U.S population, underscores Americans’ concerns around data privacy that are at odds with the prevailing approach the majority of marketers use to deliver personalized offers and promotions. The ResearchBrief reports, as closely as possible, the just published consumer shopping report “Privacy, Personalization, and Promotions”, published by Kelton Research and SheerID, showing the conflict that marketers face when using consumer information to personalize offers without explicit buyer consent.

Privacy concerns spur the need for consent-driven marketing, says the report, as only 8% of consumers want brands to use social media likes, and clickstream behavior, when identifying them to receive a promotion or exclusive offer. 13% want brands to use social information they willingly provide (e.g. birth date), and 17% want brands to use clickstream behavior from the brand’s website. In comparison, 40% prefer that information be collected at the time of a form submission on the brand’s website. 

While millennials are less sensitive to brands collecting personal data from social and clickstream behavior, 30% still prefer an opt-in form, the most popular type of data collection, though, according to the survey, 73% of shoppers believe that when they’re redeeming an offer, brands use personal information without their consent. 

Despite data privacy concerns, 47% of millennials said exclusive offers would make them highly likely to make a purchase. Americans are just as likely to say an exclusive offer (84%) would make them likely to shop with a brand as a price-match guarantee (86%) or VIP access (80%), according to the report.

The survey report emphasized that exclusive offers are rising to the top as a preferred way to influence shopping habits and purchase behavior, including:

  • 58% of those who would use an exclusive offer say it would increase their likelihood to purchase, while,
  • 41% say they would likely seek out something to buy so they could use the offer
  • 40% say they’d spend more overall and/or 28% purchase a more expensive product with an exclusive offer
  • 48% say an exclusive offer would make them purchase sooner
  • 82% say an exclusive offer would increase how often they shopped with the brand

This increased willingness to shop may be due in part to the emotional lift an exclusive offer can provide, opines the report. 47% of Americans say qualifying for an exclusive offer would make them feel excited, while 36% would feel special, or honored (34%), hallmarks of generating customer loyalty. 

Consumers, however, insist retailers wield this power responsibly: 

  • Over 46 million (19%) say knowing that a brand didn’t maintain the exclusivity of an offer would negatively impact how they interact with a brand
  • Not only would 80% lose trust, but 53% would shop with a brand less often, and 33% would recommend their friends and family shop elsewhere

Further reflecting Americans’ desire for data privacy, 92% said knowing their personal information wouldn’t be shared if they redeemed an exclusive offer is important to them. And to increase their trust in brands and exclusive offers, 57% of consumers would like companies to use a third-party verification system, an approach that can instantly verify customers with minimal data use, notes the report. 

Jake Weatherly, CEO of SheerID, concludes “… based on the findings, brands have… much to be excited about… only if they can earn and hold their customers’ trust… Americans insist on more transparency into how their data is used… brands (must) get the privacy piece right and establish more integrity in customer relationships, particularly when delivering highly personalized offers…” 

Survey responses were collected from more than 1,000 nationally representative Americans 18 years and older, between April 23-26, 2018, and the full reportmay be viewed here.



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