Messaging Trumps Privacy: Most Consumers Have Interacted Directly With A Brand

Consumers are more worried about privacy than they were this time last year, judging by State of Social Conversational Commerce 2023, a study by Spectrm. 

Of those polled, 54% are more concerned than before, while 28% say there has been no change. Only 18% are less concerned. 

But that has not stopped 78% of them from messaging a brand through Facebook Messenger, Instagram or WhatsApp, or from making a purchase after doing so. 

Moreover, they are willing to trade personal data for greater personalization. Can brands feel free to use this data? Consumers say: 

  • I’m okay with it as long as I gave them permission to use my data — 46% 
  • Lack of trust about how my data is going to be used — 15% 
  • I prefer a personalized experience, but I wish it was based on my actual preferences, rather than from them tracking me online without my knowledge — 15%
  • Personalized online shopping is not important to me and I don’t want my data used — 14%
  • I prefer it: I wish more brands would personalize my shopping experience, regardless of how they get my data — 9%



People will even accept ads from companies they never interacted with (including, presumably, by email).
It makes them feel:

  • Negatively about the brand — 21%
  • Positively about the brand — 35%
  • Neutral about the brand — 44%

That said, 88% are comfortable with personalized experiences if they can communicate their preferences in a privacy-safe way.

As for messaging, 65% of consumers have hit the ‘Send Message’ button on a company profile page on Instagram or Facebook.

And they have attempted to communicate with brands through these mechanisms: 

  • Click to chat ad on Facebook Messenger or Instagram — 48%
  • Post on social media — 36%
  • Instagram story reaction — 30%
  • Contact us page on company website — 28%
  • Link in an email — 23%
  • QR code — 10%
  • Other  —3%

Given the relatively low rate of messaging via a link in an email, there may be an opportunity here.   

It’s not that Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp are universally popular: 38% of the consumers polled have had a negative experience after messaging in one of those channels. And, of those, 77% stopped buying from the company in question. 

How do consumers define a negative experience?

Mostly speed of response: 57% have abandoned purchases because the company did not act quickly enough. But 25% say the length of time doesn’t matter if they get a reply eventually. 

In the end, 64% prefer messaging and 22% email. 

Meanwhile, 56% don’t care if they message with a bot or a human as long as they get what they want.  

Spectrm, working with Pollfish, surveyed 1000 online shoppers  on January 30, 2023. Of that sample, 46% were Gen Y,  28.2% Gen Z, 19.80% Gen X and 5.3% Baby boomers. 

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