Merchant Innovation

Cash Rewards Motivate Consumers To Share More

Cash is king — especially when it comes to what customers want most out of rewards from brands.

At least that’s what a new survey from Boxever shows in its report about what consumers are willing to share when brands reward them with loyalty options. Another survey, which was commissioned by Microsoft, showed that consumers want more personalized interactions with brands, but they also want their personal information hidden from those companies. The survey also found, however, that consumers are willing to share more information, as long as they know their personal information is safe.

“Sixty percent indicated they prefer offers that are targeted to where they are and what they are doing, but 62 percent said that they do not want retailers tracking their location,” the survey found.

And in the Microsoft survey, consumers showed that they expect their brands to be able to provide them with personalized experiences, but said they aren’t necessarily comfortable with all the data collecting retailers do. A majority of those surveyed, however, knew that brands track information without the buyer’s permission. In fact, the stats revealed the following:

  • 54 Percent | Consumers who expect brands to understand them as people, and for their communications to be tailored to their values and preferences.
  • 55 Percent | Consumers who said they know searches, site visits and purchases are being collected and monitored without permission.

Still, regardless of being aware of how brands are tracking consumers, those consumers also said they are more willing to share coveted personal data if brands are able to offer them monetary benefits. The survey showed:

  • 99.6 percent | Consumers who value cash rewards at the top
  • 65 percent | Consumers who said they are willing to share their site visits
  • 19 Percent | Consumers who said the are willing to share purchase history

“Consumers are looking for a better experience across devices and more willing to share information than they were two years ago,” the survey states.

But what exactly are they willing to share? Well, 70 percent said they will share personal history, 75 percent said they will share age and 73 percent will share gender. A majority of those surveyed (83 percent) said they still expect brands and advertisers to seek permission to use their information.

Of course, this survey is not the only one that dives into what consumers expect out of their shopping experience. A new study released by UPS shows that engaged customers, who are often driven by mobile technology, play a key role in the future of the retail industry. The study also showed that online shopping actually encourages more shoppers to visit, and shop in stores.

“The interest of people picking up in-store is going up, and it’s likely to go up next year,” Bala Ganesh, UPS’s retail director, told The Wall Street Journal, noting that any retailers “incentivize free ship-to-store to drive traffic to the store.”

The UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper study, which was based on a comScore survey of 5,118 U.S. online shoppers, evaluates consumer shopping habits from pre-purchase to post-delivery, and concluded that online shoppers want alternative delivery locations. It also concluded that despite the draw toward digital shopping, consumers are still shopping at small shops, and still shopping local.

As online shoppers become savvier, the study also reveals that retailers must do more to stay competitive. This includes investing in mobile features, flexible shipping options and hassle-free returns. The study also showed that consumers research more when it comes to purchasing decisions and are increasingly influenced by social media, and free shipping continues to drive purchasing decisions.

The survey showed that a third of shoppers wanted to have flexibility in delivery to get deliveries re-routed when they are not home. The survey also showed that shoppers who buy online are more likely to return in store. And those shoppers who return in store are more likely to buy again during that return visit. In fact, 70 percent of consumers surveyed said they bought another item when returning an online purchase in store. In contrast, less than half of consumers who bought online, and returned online actually bought again during the online return process.

“The store [is] a lot easier, because you go in, you give it back, you get your refund right away and you can look around and just buy something else,” Ganesh said. “It just seems like it’s a lot more convenient, and once you go in, the likelihood of you buying something with an immediate refund is pretty high.”

For more on the impact of digital and other innovations in the retail industry, join PYMNTS this August 3-5 in Chicago for Retail Reinvention, a two-day experience designed to help merchants navigate the current and future wave of disruption across the retail payment and commerce landscape.

Click here to reserve your spot today!


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