Here’s What Data Shoppers Are Willing to Share – And What Would Encourage Them to Share More

March 22, 2018

Most online shoppers are comfortable exchanging their email (59%) and gender (53%) for a better online shopping experience, but they largely shy away from sharing many other data types including address (29%) and current location (20%), psychographic information (11%) and income (10%). That’s according to a report from Episerver [download page], which surveyed more than 4,000 shoppers in the US, UK, Germany and the Nordics.

The study indicates that while there’s not too much appeal among shoppers for sharing information such as phone number (24%), favorite brands/retailers (22%), and level of education (21%), few are averse to sharing any information at all. Just 1 in 8 (13%) said they don’t want companies to know anything about them, even if it results in a better online shopping experience (such as better pricing, faster shipping, and unique deals).

Recent research from Epsilon likewise found two-thirds of adults agreeing that it’s worth giving their personal information to a company in exchange for offers, product recommendations and discounts that are personalized, with just one-third believing that it’s not worth giving up their info.

Casting aside the implications of the upcoming GDPR for the moment, retailers clearly want to gather as much data as possible, particularly as better data quality can assist with personalization initiatives.

The research from Episerver indicates that only 29% of shoppers could not be encouraged to share more personal information with brands. The single largest motivating factor to sharing more data is greater savings or better offers. However, it appears that more transparency will also do the trick: a larger share of respondents in combination pointed to one of three transparency factors identified: greater transparency into either how information is stored and secured; who has access to the information; or how it is used to benefit them.

Given that the GDPR regulations are intended to provide more of that transparency – especially for the EU respondents – it’s possible that rather than have a detrimental effect, the regulation will encourage shoppers to share more information as they’ll have greater visibility into its use and governance.

About the Data: The respondents were evenly split among the US, UK, Germany and Nordic countries (Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway). There were 4,028 respondents ages 18 and older in total, each of whom had shopped online within the previous year.


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