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  • NETMEDIA International

What are the consumers' expectations regarding the use of their data?

Deloitte, in partnership with food retailer Ahold Delhaize, conducted a survey of 15,000 consumers in 15 European countries, including France, on the use of consumer data.

There has been a steady increase in the consumer data stream, mostly for commercial purposes, according to the "The Consumer data give and take" survey carried out by Deloitte in partnership with Delhaize. Numerous loyalty initiatives, the growth of e-commerce, the drivers of digital marketing... every single activity is subject to data collection. The study reveals consumers' perceptions and expectations about the use of their data and their sensitivity in terms of protection.

High expectations in terms of transparency, choice and control, on the type of data collected and its use.

While customisation allows for relevance in the proposals made to clients, concerns about the protection of this data are structuring. According to the survey, 59% of French consumers are interested in receiving specific promotions based on their preferences or consumption habits. On the other hand, only 26% are willing to share their data. Consumers have become increasingly aware that they are at the heart of a commercial system where their data is collected, enriched, valued and sometimes monetised. Consumers are not ready to share their data with all types of entities.

Food shops are highly perceived as trustworthy by consumers. The willingness to share personal data with these consumers is well above average - significantly more favourable than for wholesalers, financial institutions, digital platforms and social media platforms. The only other organisations that consumers trust more for their data are medical services. In France, the most trusted organisations for which consumers are comfortable sharing their data are firstly medical services, then government institutions, retailers, financial institutions, digital platforms and finally social media platforms.

Expectations based on age, behaviour and country of origin of the consumer

Age and online behaviour are the two most correlated metrics with consumer perception of the data. Younger consumers and those who shop online more frequently are more likely to share their personal data. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 corresponding to strong disagreement and 5 corresponding to strong willingness, the willingness of 18-29 year olds to share their data is 3.1 compared to 2.9 for 30-44 year olds, 2.8 for 45-59 year olds and 2.6 for those over 60. There are substantial differences across Europe in consumers' willingness to share data and there is no single European consumer.

"This study reveals that there is no 'typical' European consumer," so it is quite challenging, if not impossible, to establish a standard data collection scheme suitable for all consumers," says Hélène Chaplain, Partner, Consumer Products Segment Manager at Deloitte. That's the challenge for retailers: they have to deal with sensitivities as well as legal constraints, and to do this, they have to keep studying customers' data-sharing preferences, even when an initial basis of trust is established. In an era where our lives are data mappings, words like "ethics" and "intent" are structuring, it is important to discuss the responsibilities of companies, their attitudes to personal data regulations and expectations".

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