Even though consumers value the privacy of their personal information and data, they're willing to sacrifice that privacy for a reward.
New research has found that 45 percent of consumers are willing to share data collected about them online if it means advertisements would be better tailored to their preferences. However, consumers also expect to receive something in exchange for providing personal info. Namely, 59 percent of consumers said that if they pass along their personal data, they'd be more willing to buy products and services from brands that offer discounts and rewards.
Overall, nearly half of the consumers surveyed said they believe their digital identity has value.
To take advantage of those feelings, brands should focus on creating better experiences for consumers, researchers suggest. Sixty-one percent of consumers said they would be more likely to buy a product from a company that provides a positive online experience.
Consumers are drawing the line at having brands track digital behavior, though. Just 36 percent of consumers said they would allow businesses to track their behaviors online if they were able to create customized store experiences for them. Despite not wanting to be tracked, 45 percent of consumers said they believe they will eventually sell data to brands in the future.
"Technology is beginning to recede from something that is just a device or a website, into people’s physical, social and cultural environment," said Bill Buxton, a principal researcher at Microsoft, which conducted the research with marketing company IPG Mediabrands. "It should quietly augment, nurture and facilitate our lives — not as intrusions, but as companions, that work seamlessly together and make our lives better. Brands should investigate how they can be present at these important inflection points in people’s lives in value-added ways."
The research of more than 8,000 individuals in the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Russia, Germany, Brazil, China and the Czech Republic also predicted some digital trends:
- Value me— Consumers may eventually utilize data vaults, and possibly even brokers, to negotiate rewards for sharing their personal data.
- Creator culture — The researchers expect consumers to create and build technologies they may need, rather than waiting for others to build those technologies for them.
- My analytics— The rise of wearable technology has created new needs for consumers, especially in being able to analyze data and implement strategies that help them to grow. Continuous data and automated results will drive that adoption.
- The right to anonymity— Researchers expect digital information to be less permanent in the future, allowing consumers and their data to appear, disappear and reappear when they want.
- More-intelligent tech — Researchers also predict that technologies will reduce clutter by changing the always-on nature of technologies. Those technologies will do that by "learning when to be quiet."
- Niche networks— Consumers will eventually shun traditional social networks and sites like Facebook, Amazon and Google, instead opting for specialized networks and services, which will make up online communities in the future.
- Age of serendipity — Technology will eventually help to create experiences to keep people busywhile they are waiting , researchers say.
- Enhancing the real— Researchers expect technology to eventually interact with people's senses. Smell-O-Vision, anyone?