Creepy or Cool? Consumers Sound Off on Personalization Techniques

April 13, 2021

CheetahDigital Personalization Techniques Creepy or Cool Apr2021More than half of consumers report they are comfortable sharing their data with a brand in exchange for better service. But, as a report [download page] from Cheetah Digital and Econsultancy shows, when it comes to personalization, there is a line between creepy and cool.

As far as brands attempting to interact with consumers on a personalized level goes, the line dividing cool from creepy is relatively thin. About three-quarters (74%) of consumers surveyed think it’s cool when a brand or retailer makes recommendations based on past purchases, and more than half (54%) are happy with an email reminder or ad about a product they’ve abandoned in an online shopping cart.

However, the scales start to tip toward creepy when consumers see ads on social media sites based on recent shopping experiences on other sites (52% = creepy), they receive personalized offers after staying on a brand’s site for more than 2 minutes (54%), or when a chatbot has access to past purchase history to help with online shopping (56%).

Finally, certain actions fall well on the side of creepy. Some 7 in 10 (72%) say that receiving adverts from companies they don’t know based on their location data is creepy, while others say that adverts related to something they’ve talked about near a smart device (69%) or ones that follow them across devices (66%) give them the creeps.

Past research found that a large portion of consumers say that they would willingly share their personal data in exchange for compensation. This holds true with this more recent report. A large majority of respondents said they will trade their personal and preference data for early or exclusive access (80%) or a chance to win a prize (79%). They also rate discounts or coupons (53%) and loyalty points/rewards (46%) as highly valuable in exchange for their data.

Respondents also tend to trust certain industries to use their data to personalize marketing. The Food/Grocery shopping (44%) and Restaurant (39%) industries are the most trusted, while Gaming and Gambling are only trusted by 17% of consumers.

Lastly, some consumers are taking action to protect their privacy online. Closer to 3 in 10 (27%) have installed ad-blocking tech, while others have paid for premium internet security software (22%) or use privacy mode on a pre-installed browser (22%).

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 5,065 adults (18+) across Australia, France, Japan, Spain, the UK and the US.


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