Consumers worldwide overwhelmingly will share personal information to get better service from their doctors, bank and retailers; however, they are very discerning about how they share. Today’s digital consumers are complicated and sometimes skeptical about how institutions use their data, according to a global independent survey of consumers around the world commissioned by Infosys.
U.S. consumers feel comfortable sharing data with doctors (95 percent), banks (89 percent) and retailers (82 percent); however, the research shows contrasting nuances. Consumers won’t readily share personal medical history with doctors. They say they want targeted ads yet are wary of sharing the information to enable this. The study shows consumers understand the benefits of sharing data but remain cautious of data mining by organizations: 45 percent say data-mining can be helpful yet at the same time, 30 percent still feel it is invasive.
The global research polled 5,000 digitally savvy consumers in five countries (including 1,000 in the U.S.) about how they trade private data in the retail, banking and healthcare sectors. The study shows the key challenge facing business is to navigate the complex behaviors consumers display when sharing their personal information.
Key findings in the U.S.
• To know me is to sell to me. Seventy-one percent of consumers believe retailers currently miss the mark in targeting them with ads on mobile apps, and 66 percent do not feel that online ads or emails they receive resonate with their personal interests and needs.
• To really know me is to sell me even more. U.S. consumers overwhelming agree (85 percent) that they would be more likely to purchase from a retailer again if they provided offers targeted to their interests, wants or needs, and 81 percent feel similarly if offered incentives based on location.
• Catch 22 for retailers? While in principle shoppers say they want to receive ads or promotions targeted to their interests, just 26 percent will share social media profile information. Lacking these details could make it difficult for retailers to deliver tailored digital offers.
• Security = Loyalty. Eighty-seven percent of respondents expect their bank to mine personal data to protect against fraud. It’s so important that a whopping 83 percent even would consider changing banks if a competitor offered assurances that their data and money would be safer.
• Digital communication conundrum. There is a communications challenge for banks. Seventy-four percent of consumers want banks to communicate with them about their account or transaction information via alerts to mobile or smart phone; however, only 39 percent frequently share information on these devices.
• Are banks reassuring customers enough? Despite these clear concerns about security, a third of consumers feel that their current bank or financial institution does not have a clear process for addressing fraudulent issues.
• It’s right there in my e-file. An overwhelming 92 percent of consumers favor physicians being armed with electronic health information about patients, however…
• I’m not telling you that. Only 58 percent are willing to share personal medical history, 56 percent family medical.
• Apps are more personal. While more than three quarters (76 percent) are interested in mobile apps for tracking their health, consumers are less comfortable using their mobiles to share data with doctors (and prefer to share personal data with their doctor’s office in person (98 percent), followed by online (77 percent) and mobile (66 percent).
“This study is a wake-up call to companies about the enormous untapped opportunity to gain greater access to data by clearly communicating ‘what’s in it for me’ to the customer,” says Stephen Pratt, managing partner at Worldwide Consulting and Systems Integration and executive council member at Infosys. “Our research shows that people will certainly share though they’re very savvy about how they give up their personal information. Companies need to crack the code in mining data effectively to gain consumer trust and clearly articulate the benefit to their customers.”