Half of shoppers don't want to share their data

(Image credit: RawPixel / Pexels)

Retailers are struggling to offer more personalised shopping experiences due to widespread unwillingness from consumers to share their data.

New research has found that 50% of UK consumers are still reluctant to share their personal data with retailers, despite many companies attempting to use this information to better tailor their services.

The report from retail technology from REPL Group also noted that over 55s are the least willing to provide any data to retailers, with 56% of these saying they would not do so.

Data sharing

This widespread opposite to data collection comes despite a number of potential positives for the technology. The report mentions how data could be used to minimise returns, which have grown in value as shoppers no longer have access to shop floors and changing rooms.

Around 60% of consumers don't consider the environmental impact of shopping with the intention of returning items, despite over a third (36%) of consumers saying they have bought multiple items online in one order with the intention of returning some. This figure rises to over half (56%) among 25-34-year olds.

Nationwide lockdowns have also meant that social media has become a key weapon in advertising and selling directly to customers for many retailers. The report found that social media apps are now more than ever providing a ‘window shopping’ service for customers, with almost half (46%) of 25-34-year olds having bought something directly through social media, compared with 15% of over 55s.”

"Consumers want a personalised and seamless shopping experience, which many now receive online," noted Mike Callender, executive chairman, REPL Group.

"However, consumers must understand that this level of personalisation requires them to share their data with retailers. Therefore, to encourage this, brands must be more open about what data they are collecting, how they are storing it and what they are using it for." 

"Once they have achieved this, they should look to implement technologies such as AI and ML to deliver value back to their customers, by ensuring they have the right products in stock or providing offers tailored to the individual. This will be extremely useful in helping to draw people back to the high street when it is once again safe to do so."

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Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.