Retailers tread fine line over privacy and personalisation

DataIQ News

Retailers aiming to embrace new technology to boost both online and offline sales are facing a difficult balancing act between personalisation and privacy, according to a new study.

JDA and Centiro research, involving 12,000 global consumers, shows that shoppers are keen on the personalised shopping experience technology can bring, with 40% using voice-controlled devices such as Siri and Alexa for some aspect of their shopping journey, and 23% buying an item through them.

However, three-quarters of shoppers are concerned about their online and in-store shopping history being used to provide better more-personalised service.

While the majority of global respondents use some form of emerging technology while shopping, UK take up is far lower, with 70% of British consumers yet to use any emerging technology in stores.

Looking to the future, the study reveals that augmented reality is likely to be a major winner, with 60% of global respondents more likely to make a purchase if they could use AR to preview products.

JDA group vice president of global retail strategy Lee Gill claims that despite concerns over the UK high street, the notion that stores are dying or there is a ‘retail apocalypse’ is exaggerated.

"This is a time for a retail rebirth. While the industry may refer to it as omnichannel retailing, consumers across the globe no longer strongly distinguish between online and in-store channels.

“All retailers are struggling with balancing the personalisation traditionally offered through e-commerce shopping with the convenience of an in-store experience. We see this time and again as more e-commerce retailers are opening bricks and mortar shops, and traditional retailers are looking to strengthen their digital and direct-to-home fulfillment.”