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Consumers seek positive customer experience, data transparency and relevant communications
The vast majority (80 percent) of consumers aged 20-40 in the United States and the United Kingdom believe total privacy in the digital world is a thing of the past, and nearly half (49 percent) said they would not object to having their buying behavior tracked if it would result in relevant offers from brands and suppliers, a new study by Accenture shows.
Privacy concerns aside, the survey of 2,012 consumers conducted in March and April of this year indicates that they continue to embrace digital technology in pursuit of a good deal. In fact, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of the respondents said that when they are physically in a store, they would welcome text messages from that company alerting them to offers matching their buying preferences.
So how do businesses strike the right balance in providing consumers with what they want while taking their concerns about privacy into consideration? “In today’s digital age where consumers are connected and empowered and data is abundant, businesses must align their organizations, technology and strategies to deliver relevant and loyalty-enabling experiences to their consumers,” said Glen Hartman, global managing director of Digital Transformation for Accenture Interactive.
Watch Accenture Interactive's Glen Hartman discuss this survey with The Wall Street Journal Live
Infographic: According to Accenture Interactive's survey 80 percent of consumers believe total data privacy no longer exists
Download Infographic [PDF, 782 KB]
The survey further validates the fact that consumers are becoming increasingly demanding.
Asked to rank the factors that would make them most likely to complete the purchase of a product or service, respondents’ top three choices were sales and competitive pricing (61 percent), superior products (36 percent) and superior customer experience—both online and in-store (35 percent). Customer loyalty programs and relevant promotions followed, at 31 percent and 26 percent, respectively, but engaging advertising campaigns and celebrity endorsements trailed far behind, at 6 percent and 3 percent, respectively.
To that end, businesses appear to be making a good effort to reach these customers: Nearly all respondents (90 percent) said they receive notifications of upcoming promotions or new services with varying frequency and half say these communications help guide future purchase decisions.
However, there is also a clear pecking order among the types of communications that consumers prefer to receive from companies: Email was the top choice for 93 percent of respondents, followed by social media (57 percent) and text (44 percent). Only 25 percent of survey respondents said they are comfortable receiving phone calls.
In the survey results it was clear that consumers continue to be cautious about the use of their personal information. According to the survey:
The majority of respondents (87 percent) believe adequate safeguards are not in place to protect their personal information.
Sixty-four percent—compared to 85% from the 2012 survey—are concerned about websites tracking their buying behavior.
More than half (56 percent) say they are trying to safeguard their privacy by inputting their credit card information each time they make an online purchase rather than having that data stored for future use.
Seventy percent of respondents believe businesses aren’t transparent about how their information is being used, and 68 percent say there is not enough transparency around what is being done with their information.
A large number of respondents (40 percent) believe only 10 percent of their personal data is actually private.
Although 42 percent believe vendors and suppliers are using their personal data in order to provide them with more relevant offers, 39 percent believe their data is being sold.
May 23, 2014
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