Business People's Hands Holding The Speech Bubble With BusinessOnline marketers are focusing on humanising their brand and personalising their service. But how do consumers really feel about a personalised retail experience?

A recent survey by Accenture shows there are conflicting interests about how personal brands are. Although marketers have proven personalisation is an effective way of driving sales, for consumers it can feel as though their privacy is being invaded.

Whilst 60% of shoppers are happy to receive real-time alerts informing them of promotions they have an interest in, only 20% are comfortable sharing their location with retailers.

Furthermore, 90 per cent of consumers want to limit the amount of personal data businesses have access to and do not want their details passed on to third parties.

What consumers do like about personalisation

The majority of connected consumers do not object to receiving exclusive deals, loyalty points and coupon credits. A further 51% are in favour of one-click checkout options which lets retailers know how they want to pay.

But that still leaves 49% of consumers who do not like fast-processing check-outs and are more careful about how they pay online. Consumers are concerned about hidden charges being added on to the amount they think they are paying. This shows a lack of trust in marketing strategies.

Another 48% of shoppers are open to receiving reminders about items they may have run out of and need topping up. However, over 70 per cent of people will unsubscribe from contact lists if they receive too many misplaced messages about products they have no interest in.

What consumers do not like about personalisation

Whereas many consumers feel the benefits of personalised marketing, when companies become too familiar it can be a bit creepy. 36% of shoppers said they were not comfortable being greeted by shop assistants by name when they had never met them before.

46% of consumers also feel uncomfortable about store associates recommending products related to health issues for themselves and their family and 52% are against online businesses sending them feedback left by their friends.

So whereas personalisation can be advantageous to both retailers and your customers, being too personal can be creepy and off-putting. Consumers are comfortable receiving information about their personal interests, but not when information encroaches on private details such as age and health.

The negative sentiments towards personalised services mostly relate to privacy issues and the motives of businesses. With technology tracking devices and personal details being shared amongst companies, it is natural for trust issues to arise.

Therefore, companies engaging in personalised services have to tread a very fine line and get permission from their customers to how comfortable they feel about exchanging information. A detailed consumer data survey should do the trick.