Procurement · 10 August 2017

Young consumers over twice as likely to share data online than older generations

Using ecommerce
Three-quarters of younger consumers were happy to share data online with brands

As the government takes further steps to give people greater control of personal information stored on the internet, a new study has revealed a generational gap in attitudes towards sharing data with brands online.

According to the research, undertaken by online marketing network Affilinet, over one in five UK consumers would be happy to let a brand collect their personal details, such as an email address, in exchange for “something in return”.

Looking at what shoppers expected back off businesses collecting information, a third cited either exclusive discounts or offers tailored specially for them.

Some 16 per cent said they shared details to get either relevant product recommendations or adverts, while almost one in ten felt obliged to submit their email address.

Overall, 15 per cent were happy to share data with a brand when they believed their details were safe, while over a fifth appreciated being given the choice. Some ten per cent would share details with a brand they trusted.

However, when broken down into age demographics, younger people appeared much more relaxed about sharing information.

Only a quarter of 16 to 24 year olds refused to share data online, compared to 55 per cent of those aged 55 and over.

Commenting on the findings, Peter Rowe, Affilinet UK managing director, suggested a shift had emerged that has seen online shoppers expecting rewards for submitting information.

“It’s clear from the findings of this study that online consumers are increasingly wising up to the fact that brands shouldn’t get something for nothing, and that in order to give them the privilege of having their personal data or email addresses, they need to have an incentive,” he said.

Rowe warned online businesses that “two-way communication” and mutual respect was becoming increasingly important for brands in the search for “vital” marketing data from customers.

He added: “The fact that more than a fifth of respondents also allow brands access to their personal data online if they’ve been given the choice of whether or not to submit it, also speaks volumes.”

Find out what the government’s new data protection bill means for small business owners

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is a reporter for Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and previously worked as a content editor in the ecommerce industry.

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