Online Consumers Less Concerned About Privacy

    January 12, 2007

Privacy, security and how much information consumers are willing to share with online businesses are becoming less of an issue. Consumers are seemingly becoming more comfortable with information they provide to online retailers in exchange for improved service and personalization.

In a new “Personalization Survey” from ChoiceStream says that there has been a 24 percent increase in the number of people willing to share demographic information over the past year bringing the total to 57 percent of all respondents.

The survey also revealed that consumers are willing to allow Web sites to track their clicks and purchases showing a 34 percent increase over last year.

“Consumers are overwhelmed with the vast array of content and choices coming at them every day online. They want guidance, even though they want the freedom to make their own choices and to explore the data if they want to,” said Esther Dyson, editor of the blog Release 0.9 and an advisor to ChoiceStream.

Concern over security and privacy still exist among online consumers. The survey showed a one percent decline in 2006 with 62 percent saying they were concerned about their personal information online.

“Even though they still have concerns about the safety of their information, [consumers are] increasingly willing to let vendors know more about them in exchange for the convenience and relevance of personalization,” said Ms. Dyson. “Of course, for this model to work, it’s critical that the vendors make it clear what’s going on, so that the personalization feels friendly rather than creepy.”

Consumers desire for personalization is moving beyond the desktop. 47 percent of consumers would like to have personalized TV programming as 45 percent of respondents said they are dissatisfied with their current onscreen TV program guide because of the amount of time it takes to scroll.

“The results of the 2006 Survey indicate a shift in consumers’ perceptions of their electronic devices. It’s no longer enough for devices to simply provide consumers with access to content. They have to offer guidance to help consumers find the right content for them-whether it’s ringtones to download, merchandise to buy, or even other people to connect with,” said Steve Johnson, CEO of ChoiceStream. “We live in an age of superabundance where we’re overwhelmed with choice. The brands that deliver a personalized experience to consumers are the ones that earn consumers’ loyalty and, ultimately, spending power.”

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Mike is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.