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Study suggests consumers are willing to share private data

  • 12 May 2015

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The research, conducted in partnership with Retail Week, surveyed 1,000 consumers across a variety of age ranges about their opinions of indoor positions systems (IPS) within their retail experience.

IPS uses Bluetooth beacons, cameras and Visible Light Communication (VLC) to communicate with customers’ phone. Normally integrated into existing infrastructure such as lighting fittings, IPS enables retailers to pinpoint customer’s location within one or two metres accuracy.

GE Lighting conducted the study in partnership with Retail Week

Alongside the 79% of consumers willing to share their data, 75% of shoppers commented that retailers could improve providing navigation support around the store.

Furthermore, 59% of the consumers said that they would be more likely to visit a retailer if they offered personalised promotions and deals sent via a smart phone. This could be achieved through the use of mobile data engagement.

Privacy concerns

The results show a significant gap in age groups when addressing privacy concerns. Only 8% of 18-24 year olds noted that they distrusted retailers to handle their location data, as opposed to 28% of those aged over 55.

The consumers’ ability to control the level of engagement appeared to alleviate some of these concerns however, with 59% of respondents claiming that they would prefer to have the choice of opting into services that track their position in store.

“The results are interesting because they contradict pre-conceived ideas about the willingness of consumers to share their information with retailers.

James Fleet, Head of Retail Specification at GE Lighting, commented on they survey, stating that he hopes that IPS can open up a new channel of communication between retailers and consumers, and that it may help high street retailers compete against the convenience and low prices of online outlets.

“This can provide a vital means of clawing back some of the lost revenue,” he said.

Almost 39% of consumers had used their smart phone whilst in a retailer’s store to check the price of products against that of competitors, while a further 66% noted that the ability to use a mobile application to search for product information in real time would ultimately improve the in-store shopping experience. This is a real problem area for retailers, which could be helped significantly through the use of mobile engagement.

The full results of the survey have been published online, available as a downloadable report.

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