IBM Reveals What Customers Want In Exchange for Personal Data
Big data will play an increasing role in businesses' marketing plans. / Credit: Big data image image via Shutterstock

Businesses that want consumers to share their phone numbers and social media usernames should use the information to reward customers, new research shows.

A study by IBM revealed that more and more consumers are willing to share their personal data with retailers, especially if they get good value in exchange. Specifically, the percentage of consumers willing to share their current location via GPS with retailers nearly doubled from a year ago, to 36 percent.

Additionally, nearly 40 percent of consumers are willing to provide their mobile number to receive text messages containing marketing mesages and 32 percent will share their social media handles in order to get information that's pertinent to them.

Jill Puleri, retail global industry leader at IBM, said today's consumers have been conditioned by multiple industries, ranging from health care to travel, to expect personalized interactions across different channels.

"IBM's study shows consumers are willing to share details about themselves, particularly if they receive a personalized experience in return," Puleri said. "It's imperative that retailers enact a Big Data and analytics strategy that ensures they use consumer information wisely, gaining their customers' trust and loyalty by providing value in exchange."

In addition to more personalized services, consumers are looking for a more connected shopping experience across online, mobile and in-store channels. The research shows that consumers expect to be able to use their technology in all aspects of their lives, including how they shop.

According to the IBM study, here are the five omnichannel capabilities that are most important to consumers:

  • Price consistency across shopping channels
  • Ability to ship items that are out of stock in the store directly to their home
  • Option to track the status of an order
  • Consistent product assortment across channels
  • Ability to return online purchases in the store 

While online shopping has increased in the past year, the study found that "showrooming" — the practice of browsing items at a store, but ultimately buying them online — is no longer the top threat to the in-store experience.

Research shows that only about 30 percent of all online purchases actually resulted from showrooming — a  drop from nearly 50 percent last year. Shoppers who went directly online made 70 percent of all online purchases.

The study was based on surveys of 30,000 consumers worldwide.

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.