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Your customers are more willing to share their data than you thought

Corinna Wolff - Digital Marketer

By Corinna Wolff
On 7 September 2017

Billions of data is shared everyday and it turns out to be one of the most valuable assets. Retailers have access to a huge amount of information such as consumer purchase history, interests, behaviour or socio-demographics.

Customer data can be collected naturally during different transactions within the buying processes but some data is also given voluntarily by customers. Thus, the questions is: what motivates customers to share their personal information with the retailers and brands they purchase from?

A small price to pay to get a unique shopping experience

Using customer data can help to influence their buying behaviour which can lead to an increase in sales as for example 56 % of consumers are more likely to purchase from retailers who contact them by their name (source: Accenture). Being known increases the customer motivation to buy and thus share their personal data.

According to Salesforce, 63 % of Millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) and 58 % of GenX (born between 1965 and 1980) consumers are willing to share their personal information. 75% of customers are even eager to share their most sensitive information such as their address, mobile phone number, name and date of birth. Personal data is just a small price to pay in order to receive personalised offers, unique shopping experiences or product recommendations, in return. A recent study from Salesforce shows that the evolution of data-sharing behaviour even leads 51% of consumers to expect that companies will anticipate their needs and provide them relevant and personalised suggestions before the first direct contact by 2020.

Four different data-sharing mindsets

According to the Columbia Business School, consumers are all different in their willingness to share their data with retailers and brands. The study identified 4 main mindsets that helps to predict the ways customers perceive and behave on sharing their personal information:


According to this study, 24% of consumers have a savvy, in control mindset but would be actually willing to share their personal data if they got relevant and important offers and services in return. In general 86% of the customers want a greater control over their own data.

What determines consumers data sharing behaviour?

Brand trust positively influences consumers likelihood to share their data: 80% are only willing to provide their personal information to a limited number of companies they trust. Furthermore, demographical factors are influencing the consumer behaviour. For instance, women are 10% more likely to share their email for different offers than male shoppers (source: Columbia Business School).

As mentioned earlier the impact of age on data-sharing behaviour is strong, but even the industry plays an important role in the motivation to share. For instance people in financial industry have higher comfort levels among all age groups. Other industries are not faring so well, such as the airline industry, which scored at the bottom among the industries included in the research.

Get ready to offer your customers the best personalised shopping experience !

In the age of Big Data, personalisation reduces information overload or more precisely, the perception of information overload. Present your customers relevant and personalised offers and be fully transparent about the usage of your customer data to help individuals gaining more control. This will help them to find their way in the jungle of mass information, motivates them to share their data and thus helps you to maximise the potential of using customer data to build relevant long term relationships !

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