Unlocking the Power of Data in an Ever-Tightening Privacy Landscape

In the modern retail environment, personalization is key to providing customers with a positive shopping experience that delights them and inspires them to purchase. But as data privacy concerns become increasingly important, how can online retailers leverage data in an ethical and responsible way that doesn’t feel intrusive to consumers? You’ve got to find creative solutions to balance customer expectations for more tailored services while operating within legal regulations and maintaining strict security. Fortunately, there are powerful tools like Shoptelligence available to support you. In this blog post, we’ll explore the ways data can be leveraged ethically within a user-friendly framework so that you can craft an engaging personalized shopping journey while remaining compliant with best practices around data privacy.

Privacy is a Concern for Shoppers

A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center showed that 86% of Americans are worried about their online privacy. This figure is indicative of the rising concern for data privacy protection among people across America and is confirmed by last year’s Startpage survey of American online privacy concerns. Startpage found that, in 2020, internet usage skyrocketed during the pandemic and that uptick drove consumer awareness around how personal data is used online. Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed reported being “very concerned” or “extremely concerned” about their privacy while 62% said they had become more aware of how their personal data is used online through noticing ad targeting based on browsing history, reading articles on the topic, and noting location-based ads.

It’s clear that consumers don’t want their private information being handled without consent or without knowing where it’s going to end up, yet there’s a paradox: despite their demand for privacy, 83% of consumers are willing to exchange personalized information for a personalized shopping experience.

The Unbeatable Value of Personalization to E-Commerce Vendors

At the same time that online vendors must meet shoppers’ data privacy expectations, there are massive financial benefits at stake. At every point on the path to purchase, converting shopper data into a personalized experience increases average order and customer lifetime value and reduces churn. 

  • 72% of shoppers say they only engage with personalized messaging.
  • 71% of consumers are frustrated by a de-personalized shopping experience.
  • Customers are 110% more likely to add more items to their basket if the experience is personalized.

By collecting user data and using it to tailor each customer’s experience, companies can better understand their customers’ needs, improve product recommendations, increase customer loyalty, and drive more personalized marketing campaigns – all of which lead to increased revenue opportunities.

With third-party data disappearing, companies need to figure out how to implement a strict privacy policy while also effectively collecting and utilizing every bit of data possible on their customers.

“Retail is lucky in the sense that most consumers willingly share their information when making purchase decisions.”  Phil Kanaby, Shoptelligence’s Engineering Manager. 

Although consumers may be more likely to provide their personal information in retail, companies should be aware of ongoing privacy legislation that could ultimately challenge ad targeting, measurement, and ROI. Be prepared by exploring new privacy-driven opportunities in the market.

Create Personalized User Experiences While Handling Data with Care

For online vendors, the challenge lies in finding a way to create personalized experiences while still protecting the privacy of users. Companies must work hard to ensure transparency around the collection of user data, provide opt-outs for those who don’t want their data used, and deploy secure systems for handling user information. By doing this, companies can both respect consumer privacy concerns and make use of personalization tools to drive growth for their business through improved customer experiences. Here are four best practices you should know about:

  1. Use secure payment methods, such as encryption and tokenization, to protect customers’ payment information when they make online purchases.
  2. Ensure that customer data is stored securely and not shared with third parties without explicit permission, which can help build trust in the brand.
  3. Provide a clear and easy-to-understand privacy policy so customers know exactly how their personal information is being handled.
  4. Offer customers options to adjust their preferences with regard to data privacy, collection, and use, such as limiting cookies, opting out of targeted ads, or receiving promotional emails from the company. 

Once you’ve established trust with your clients, they’ll be far more comfortable sharing their data, and you’ll be able to use it to provide them with a highly personalized shopping experience that will thrill, entertain, and motivate them to fill their carts and complete their transactions. Leveraging the data that you’ve gathered with their consent, you can easily create an interactive shopping experience that provides customers with tailored product recommendations, personalized product features, and prices, as well as emails, offers, and discounts based on their individual preferences, style, and budget. 

The Best Way to Build Shopper Trust and Maximize Personalization

Shoptelligence is a discreet, under-the-hood platform that is easily and quickly installed on your existing website. Our STyle Discovery Platform captures every customer interaction and stores them in a unique STyle Profile. Their preferences, objectives, and interactions follow them across channels, in a privacy-safe environment. Shoptelligence’s AI then uses this data to make recommendations to shoppers, helping them find complementary products and new discoveries they would not have found before. The result is more sales and bigger orders for you. Merchants using Shoptelligence see the results:

  • 6x increase in time on site
  • 30x boost in site-to-store revenue
  • 42% lift in average order size
  • 33% increase in revenue per buyer

What could Shoptelligence do for your retail business? Schedule a product tour today and let’s explore the possibilities together.


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