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Customer will share data, but want something in return – and they want it to be personal

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Retailers must begin to develop personalisation strategies if they want to enhance the shopping experience with a new report finding that 72% of consumers will only engage with retailers through personalised communication. A further 90%  of customers are willing to share their behavioural data if it results in a cheaper and easier shopping experience.

Put simply, customers are open and happy to share their data if they get something in return, says the study by Cohaesus, a strategic digital consultancy and developer. 

Although it seems like customers are happy to give their data away in exchange for a cheaper shop, some are fearful for their data privacy. This is in most part due to the current news trend around high-profile data leaks and hacking scandals. 

One report has determined that 86% of consumers cite data security and privacy as a top concern. Therefore, it is vital retailers develop a strong back-end system that stops data breaches from ensuing, gaining the trust of consumers and, in the process, enhancing their shopping experience. 

Matt Meckes, Chief Technology Officer at Cohaesus, says: “When developing a personalisation strategy, protecting consumer data is the number one priority. The second priority is not to scare the customer away with the data you have on them. Retailers that use A.I pop-up chats or send a notification about a product the consumer was previously looking at can lead the customer away, in turn reducing engagement. Instead, promoting through email or social media is seen as the best way for brands to communicate with customers.” 

He continues: “Retailers should apply the same rule of personalisation offline as they would do online. Having someone constantly following you around on the shop floor holding up what you last looked at would not go down well with the customer, so why would it be received well online? Retailers need to make consumers feel like they are in control and their personal space is not being invaded. This can be done by giving the customer a choice to opt in or out of marketing messages”.

The role of AI will be fundamental to enhancing the personalisation experience. Predictive analytics can be used and will be used more frequently in the future by brands to understand what customers want, how the market is performing, and future trends in the market. 

He concludes: “Personalisation and data tactics help both retailers and consumers, as well as form a stronger relationship between the two groups by segmenting data and targeting it to the right audience. Once this relationship is formed, predictive analytics can change the customer experience by predicting what the customer wants before they even know themselves.”

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