How steep is the creep factor?
More shoppers are demanding better store experiences, most not aware that to get more personal and relevant communications in brick and mortar, they must "give to get". A survey from MaxMedia finds that most shoppers are okay with anonymously tracking their presence and transactions in the store, but feel that face detection, emotional response tracking and "hiding" devices crosses the line.
The insights gathered were qualitative, but pointed to some interesting findings:
- Most of the respondents rated themselves "average" regarding technology adoption (70 percent) and leaned towards a preference to shop online. The reasons given were that it was faster, more convenient (80 percent) and they could avoid some of the hassle of brick and mortar shopping.
- Millennials were more comfortable than GenX with retailers procuring their personal and physical information — it was how they collected it that gave them pause. Almost 50 percent of Millennials would tolerate in-app or Wi-Fi tracking, but they do not want camera-based tracking. GenXers are uncomfortable with both how to collect and how to use physical data — 70 percent are particularly uncomfortable with hidden devices such as beacons.
Methods of in-store tracking
- Overall, 67 percent of respondents were very uncomfortable with hidden devices.
- Half were uncomfortable with cameras. Using camaras for security purposes was fine, but if their image was stored any way, it became an entirely different story.
- Over 50 percent do not want their behavior and personal name/info attached and tracked.
Retailer relationship and value exchange
- Two-thirds were willing to let retailers track them if they were rewarded or compensated. Most prefer straight cash, followed by discounts and exclusive coupons.
- Brand loyalty does not have much sway (only two percent would definitively change their tune if they had a tight relationship with the retailer). A driver is that, in general, people don’t know how the information is going to be used.
- Regardless of how they agree to be compensated, they would need a lot of reinforcement to keep their anxiety about it mitigated.
- A surprising insight was that Big Brother and the government is their greatest fear. There was a common theme that "they are watching me whether I want them to or not" and it could be used to hurt them.
- One in every five cited government concerns as being the biggest deterrent for data sharing.
- "We don’t have a clear understanding of what the government has access to and how it’s going to be used."
- "I’m uncomfortable b/c I’m ignorant."
- MaxMedia Survey: Shopper Privacy: How Far Can Retailers Go? – MaxMedia
- Finding the line between digital creepy and cool – RetailWire
Which, if any, shopper tracking technologies do you think retailers should start testing? How should they mitigate the “big brother” data sharing concerns?