23 Jan 2011

Online Shoppers Don't Want to be Retargeted

Do the consumers have to share personal information on your e-commerce site? If you demand that they share personal information it might prevent you from increasing your online revenue. A survey from Baynote reveals that online shoppers are unwilling to share personal information with retailers in order to personalize their shopping experience.

How likely are you to share personal information for the sake of getting a more personalized shopping experience?
I am not willing to share personal information 37%
I would consider sharing personal information but prefer not to 47%
I would definitely share personal information 16%
Source: Baynote (January 2011)

In other words 8 in 10 are hesitant or unwilling to share personal information with retailers. A surprisingly high number and a fact we should take into account when designing the online shopping experince.

The reason many websites request personal information is to be able to retarget the consumer. If a visitor is shopping for a product but leaves the site without purchasing, the company needs personal information to retarget the visitor. In other words retargeting is the practice of targeting a consumer with ads after they have clicked on a product on a website but did not end up making the purchase. If you, for example, have put a pair of trousers in the shopping basket but did not make the purchase you'll see ads for the trousers when you're surfing different and unrelated sites in the future.

Consumers don't like it
The retailers and e-commerce professionals think the retargeting technique a great possibility to increase revenue. What do the online shoppers think? Unfortunately, they don't think it's so great. On the contrary, if retailers work with retargeting it might have great impact on the company's image. When asked how the consumers relate to the idea of retargeting, the consumers are quite clear, they don't link it.

When asked: "Whether you experienced retargeted ads or not, please indicate whether you agree or disagree with each of the following statements as they relate to the idea of retargeting."

It turns me off that specific retailer
Strongly disagree   6.0%
Somewhat disagree   7.4%
Neither agree nor disagree 38.4%
Somewhat agree 27.5%
Strongly agree 20.7%
Source: Baynote (January 2011)

I find them an invasion of privacy
Strongly disagree   5.6%
Somewhat disagree   6.5%
Neither agree nor disagree 34.3%
Somewhat agree 25.3%
Strongly agree 28.3%
Source: Baynote (January 2011)

Potential after all
The two above mentioned statements show that consumers don't like it but there might be some potential after all. Some consumers find retargetting useful and think it leads to additional purchases.

They lead to additional purchases
Strongly disagree 17.9%
Somewhat disagree 10.9%
Neither agree nor disagree 35.5%
Somewhat agree 25.5%
Strongly agree 10.2%
Source: Baynote (January 2011)

I find them useful                
Strongly disagree 17.5%
Somewhat disagree 15.3%
Neither agree nor disagree 34.7%
Somewhat agree 22.5%
Strongly agree 10.0%
Source: Baynote (January 2011)

Is the lesson that you can work with retargeting but do it in subtle way without attracting too much attention to it? Perhaps the solution is to put a time limit on so the consumers are only exposed to the ads for a week after the visit. 

See the whole Online Holiday Shopping Experience Survey by Baynote.

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