Targets Of Interest: Consumers Are Wary As Brands Adopt Advanced Personalization

Retailers are using advanced forms of personalization even as consumers fret about their privacy, according to Balancing Trust, Data Collection and Privacy, a two-part study from CM Group brands Sailthru and Liveclicker, conducted by Coresight Research. 

Of the companies polled, 50% deploy predictive personalization, 47% use email send-time optimization and 44% buyer journey based personalization.   

This is occurring as 64% of consumers are worried about privacy, and 28% are extremely worried. Another 26% are moderately concerned with the issue, with 6% who are slightly worried and 4% not concerned at all. 

Marketers and consumers disagree on some points. For instance, email is preferred as a channel by 32% of consumers -- tied with websites for first place. But 46% of marketers believe websites are in the top slot, and only 8% believe consumers like email. 

U.S. brands with $500 million or more in revenue are “quicker to embrace more advanced forms of personalization and predictive analytics,” than smaller companies. 



For instance, larger U.S. firms utilize these forms of personalization: predictive (59%), device-based (56%), channel-based personalization (53%).buyer journey-based (50%) and click-based (49%). 

But 39% of firms in the lower bracket use predictive personalization. The leading tactic is preferred by the smaller companies is targeted discounts/offers (49%). 

Meanwhile, 28% of the larger firms send segmented emails, versus 23% of the smaller ones. 

For their part, consumers seem aware that brands are using advanced means of targeting then, but not all are troubled by it, Their top issues are: 

  • Lack of control over your personal data — 27%
  • You notice news of security or privacy breaches and worry about being a victim — 22%
  • You see more ads that use your personal information or online behaviors — 15%
  • Lack of notification from brand/retailer using cookies to track your information — 7% 
  • The level of data collection by brands/retailers — 5% 
  • Difficulty in opting out — 4%
  • Brands/retailers not collecting your data ethically — 6% 
  • Brands/retailers not being transparent enough on their policy of collecting personal data — 3%

Consumers are willing to share basic information with trusted retailers, including gender (85%), name (82%), email address (81%), birth date (69%) and product preferences (68%).

In contrast, 47% will provide their home address and 42% their phone number. 

Shoppers are slightly less willing to share details with new brands or retailers, including gender (77%), name (75%), email address (74%) and birth date (59%).   

Here’s one more stat: 53% of consumers have joined a loyalty program. 

Coresight Research conducted three surveys:

  • Consumer personalization survey of 5,014 consumers in the U.S. and U.K. in October 2021, with a split reflecting the national populations (4:1). 
  • Retailer personalization survey of 260 brands that have an online presence and are based in the U.S. and U.K. with a national population split (4:1)., in October 2021.  
  • Consumer privacy survey of 1,002 U.S. and UK consumers, evenly split. 






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