Let’s Get Personal: Losing Our Privacy in the Digital Age

Let’s Get Personal: Losing Our Privacy in the Digital Age

Our privacy is slipping through our fingers more and more by the minute. From posting pictures of one’s aesthetically pleasing meal or #ootd, to the silent trackers hidden on our favorite websites, we our giving away our personal information both voluntarily and involuntarily. All things considered, more and more retailers realize the benefits of personalization.

Luckily, most of them are using their powers for good and not evil. Through data collected they have begun to create personalization for their consumer. The benefits of deeper client relations are twofold. Using personal information, retailers can create a more custom and convenient experience which improves conversion rates.

Personal Information Pays Off

So exactly how does knowing that your customer likes: the beach, banana ice cream and the color blue pay off? Turns out an engaging customer experience and knowing their preferences pays dividends. An Evergage report bears witness that personalization programs have led to a significant rise in business (88 percent). It also claimed that 53% of marketers reported more than 10% increase, while about 10% of marketers rang in at about 30%.

Furthermore, the aforementioned marketers said their conversation rates increased by a whopping 63%, while visitor engagement rose 57%. The marketers were also able to improve overall customer experience by 61% thanks to the different personalization programs adopted. That being said, will retailers will continue to make efforts to improve experience using our personal data? All signs point to yes.

Feeding the Beast?

In all these efforts to explore new ways to improve retail personalization, retailers are faced with a new challenge. This is a classic conundrum of personalization vs. privacy. Consumers crave personal experience but at the same time show concern over data breach. So where exactly do we draw that line?

Hacks have severe implications for both customers and retailers. These expose buyers to identity theft, which have both practical and psychological repercussions. On the business side, data hacks lead to costs such as: data recovery, reimbursements to customers, loss of clients, and lawsuits. But, grave as it is, data collection seems to be less of a concern for consumers as the convenience of e-commerce reigns supreme.

Case in point would be Amazon. On Retailcustomerexperience.com, Chris Petersen explains that “Amazon receives tremendous accolades for the levels of service they provide.” He continues that they “benchmark at the highest conversion rates and shopping cart attach rates in the industry.” He states that this is not a coincidence because the marketplace has a tremendous investment in infrastructure and technology that monitors our “digital footprints.” In addition, Amazon utilizes cookies that tracks clicks and page views, all in an attempt to determine your preferences.

As if collecting sensitive information about you is not enough, retailers use specialized technology to track your mobile device and then tailor their offers to meet your assumed needs. But just how much more information will we offer up in order to receive: convenience, discounts and more? In the end, we like personalized marking because it makes us feel special. However, should there be limits to the amount of information we are willing to share about ourselves? Now more than ever, businesses are most susceptible to breach of our sensitive data. So we need to figure out the right way to lose our privacy in the digital age.



Author:  Christine Duff

Christine wants to live in a world filled with cutting edge fashion, beautiful words and and an endless supply of leather jackets and boots. A product development grad of FIDM, she was the Editor-in-Chief of MODE Magazine where she reignited her love of storytelling. She has diverse experience within the industry with trend research, art direction and styling editorial spreads. She gained her most notable experience working in Los Angeles at the satellite operation for GQ and Vogue Thailand. Christine is passionate about social science and the role it plays in the consumer goods industry and apparel in particular.

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