Data analytics reveal what consumers really want

by. Brandon Bogler

The majority of consumers are aware that online retailers monitor their shopping habits, and many of them embrace the practice. That is, as long as they believe it enriches their shopping experience.

A recent study found 84 percent of people worldwide understand companies track the websites they visit to recommend products. In the U.S., specifically, this awareness rose significantly from 69 percent in 2011 to 87 percent in 2014.

What’s interesting here is that more than half (65 percent) of consumers worldwide said they are willing to share data if they see how it benefits them. This statistic is also on the rise in the U.S. In 2011, 45 percent of American shoppers said they would be willing to share data if they understood the benefit to them. That number climbed to 61 percent in 2014.

However, the Truth About Shopping study, conducted by McCann Truth Central, concluded some consumers are concerned that retailers’ reliance on algorithms may limit their shopping experience. Fifty-seven percent said they worry they won’t discover new products if companies only market items to them that they’ve shown past interest in purchasing.

Because 66 percent of consumers say they want to “be inspired” while shopping, merchants – and retail financial institutions (FIs), too – now have an open door to offer new products and services, along with highlighting products consumers may have looked at previously.

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