Giving to Get

Giving to Get

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This idea that consumers are willing to give up personal information to online retailers as well as brick-and-mortar merchants, in return for more personalized service has been a rather controversial subject over the last few years. There are lots of companies out there like Claria and ChoiceStream that are using behavioral data and other user information to present consumers with super-customized content and promotions, and, for the most part, it has worked out well for both seller and buyer.

However, a recent e-mail study done by ChoiceStream, offered but a glimpse into consumer attitudes towards this sacrificing of personal data in exchange for customized content, and they appear to be changing. Results of the study revealed that in 2006, 32 percent were willing to let sites track their clicks and purchases in exchange for personalized content, down from 41 percent in 2005. The study also found that 46 percent were willing to divulge demographic data in exchange for personalized content, compared to 57 percent in 2005. And down from 65 percent in 2006, 59 percent were okay with giving up info about their preferences to get custom content.

The study also pointed out that these same folks were enjoying the personalized content and promotions directed specifically at them as 80 percent of those consumers, on par with 81 percent from 2005, were interested in receiving the personalized content/treatment. Just a quick conclusion, be careful how much info you are asking consumers for – they are apparently less amused with the exchange than they used to be.

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