The Price Of Privacy: Shoppers Are Willing To Trade Data For AI Deals

Consumers may be concerned about artificial intelligence (AI) and their personal privacy. But they are not quite as concerned when bargains on the table. 

For instance, 87% of consumers will trade personal data for savings, according to U.S. Consumer Perceptions of AI in Retail and Ecommerce, a study by UserTesting, conducted by OnePoll.

Moreover, 73% of consumers believe AI enhances their shopper experience, and an equal number say it saves them time. 

This is true despite the finding that 72% of consumers are concerned about privacy when interacting with AI. 

Shoppers will surrender the following pieces of data for a good deal:

  • My birthdate – 52%
  • My full name – 45%
  • The name of my spouse or partner – 43%
  • My email address – 38%
  • The names of my children – 36%
  • My social security number – 34%
  • My credit card number – 31%
  • My ID/driver’s license – 27%
  • My allergies – 24%
  • My style preferences – 22%



Note that email is only fourth on the list. But it may be the most valuable information, a sign of trust and a means for brands to convey personalized discount offers. People who will not share it probably fear being deluged in their inbox. 

Indeed, the biggest privacy worries about AI are not knowing what’s being done with their data (72%) and being hit with targeted ads (56%).

Of course, many people do not even understand AI: 86% believe they know what it is, while little more than half that-know what it does. Globally, 75% feel they grasp it.  

Still, 58% of U.S. shoppers trust AI, and that number rises to 67% among Gen Zers. Only 29% of baby boomers trust it. 

Are consumers using AI themselves?  Half say they do. Of those, 57% utilize it while shopping online.  

But they are careful — consider the low number who will use AI to do their taxes. 

  • Auto-ordering things for me when I run low on something – 36%
  • Making reservations for me – 33%
  • Choosing my clothing – 30%
  • Taking my food order at a restaurant – 27%
  • Emailing/texting people for me – 24%
  • Handling my finances or taxes – 21%
  • Driving – 15%
  • Monitoring the home – 13%
  • Monitoring children – 12%
  • Choosing what I should watch on TV – 8%

“The survey points to a complex relationship between consumers, privacy, and AI-driven retail experiences,” concludes Lija Hogan, principal, experience research strategy at UserTesting. “Retailers capitalizing on AI technology must focus on building customer trust while continuously improving the shopping experience to navigate this dynamic landscape successfully.”

UserTesting and OnePoll surveyed 2,000 U.S. consumers as part of a global study in August 2023.


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