Personalized Ads Prompt Concern over Information Collection Practices

Information Collection
Now more than ever it is important to hone in on the most affective marketing strategies to attract and retain customers. In recent polls approximately 41% of respondents said that they pay more attention to personalized advertising over regular advertising. Similarly, 39% said that they are more likely to click on those personalized ads. Clearly personalizing or targeting ads is an effective strategy to both gain consumer awareness and motivate consumer action. However, consumers also demonstrated a concern for their privacy while online. A reported 57% expressed worry over whether or not their browsing history was being used by advertisers to provide them with those highly effective ads. These figures show that while consumers appreciate the personalization of online ads they also are weary about the risk that comes along with such personalization. Consumers want to be served- not stalked.

As a marketer there must be a balance between utilizing relevant personal information to position your products/services to consumers and also a respect for the privacy of online browsers. So how do you obtain that sort of a balance in your marketing efforts? You will first need to instill confidence in consumers and secondly get them to volunteer their personal information rather than just taking it from the many sources where it may be available online.

Instill Confidence in Consumers Regarding Your Company

  • Privacy Policy
    A prominently displayed privacy policy is something that can go a long way in making consumers feel safe on your website. Let consumers know that you will not share their private information. If you do not know how to write a professionally phrased privacy policy do not worry- most ecommerce solutions already have a template that you can add to or alter as you see fit.
  • Expectations
    Make sure that consumers know what to expect when they are on your website or when they buy from you. Many times this sort of information can be added to an “About Us” section. Will you use the information they provide to you to send them newsletters or mail? Will they receive an automated email when the order is processed? If you set expectations for consumers from the start they will not be confused down the road or feel that your actions are an invasion of their privacy.

Get Consumers to Give You Their Information Voluntarily

  • Reward Consumers
    Accurate timely information about your customers is one of the biggest assets you can have as a business owner. If you are looking to ramp up your customer list try offering an incentive in exchange for personal information- offer a free gift, coupon, free shipping, etc. in exchange for providing you with full contact information.
  • Easy Opt-Ins
    Set up an opt-in button to allow consumers to opt-in to newsletters and other correspondences easily while they are completing other tasks like checking out.
  • Leverage “Must Haves”
    If there are items on your site or things that your company does that are considered  “Must Haves” by consumers (ex. coupon emails, newsletters, wholesale pages, etc.) require that consumers provide their full contact information in exchange for gaining access to them.
  • Just Ask
    Do not be afraid to just ask consumers for their information on social media sites where your business has a profile/account if they are fans or have expressed interest in your company. Be clear about how you will be using it and make sure it is being exchanged securely (via direct message, email, etc.) Obviously you do not want to do this all the time, but if you feel it can be of benefit go ahead and ask a consumer or group of consumers to share more about who they are.
  • Allow Elaboration
    Provide the option for consumers to give you more than their basic information. Utilizing things like the order notes section can help you get a better idea of your consumer profiles as well as their wants and needs. Often people are more than willing to give extra information if they feel like they have a place to do so.

Volusion’s Privacy Policy

-Kate Pierce eCommerce Specialist

One Response to “Personalized Ads Prompt Concern over Information Collection Practices”

  1. Kate

    Interesting follow-up article on the FTC and data collection procedures: http://www.clickz.com/3633746

    Reply

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