Travel, holidays and airline brands are the least trusted when it comes to online retailing, according to a new study by e-commerce platform Cloud IQ.
Asked who consumers trust online general retailers ranked highly, with over half of consumers (52%) saying they trust these completely or mostly.
This was followed by banks, insurance and financial service providers on 49%. The least trusted were travel, holidays, and airlines with just 37% behind mobile, broadband or media providers on 38%.
Trust is set to become increasingly important with the EU’s new GDPR data protection rules due to come in next Mat threatening significant fines for firms that do not treat consumer data correctly.
Over half (53%) of people say they would opt out selectively based on brands they trust. However, only one in ten people are aware of GDPR and what this means for them as a consumer.
Two-thirds say they were unaware until now and 26% say they were aware but didn’t understand what this means for them as a consumer.
However, the cost of getting data policy wrong is potentially high with 75% of consumers saying they tend to give brands one chance and if trust is broken they will go elsewhere.
If a brand was to use personal data in a way that was deemed inappropriate, almost half (47%) say they would never trust that brand again and one in five say it would take more than a year to regain that trust.
Nick Peart, chief marketing officer at Cloud IQ, said: “We see a huge opportunity for brands here.
“Consumers are looking to them for a fast, seamless experience and are also calling out to them to be treated as true individuals via meaningful and relevant experiences.
“GDPR [General Data Protection Regulations] gives consumers the opportunity to press the reset button on their own data, brands who are willing to build trust with their customers by translating personal data into customer value are the ones who will claim this frontier and will make gains in terms of reputation, loyalty, spend and a willingness for customers to share even more data.”
The Cloud IQ study found 69% of consumers want an individualised customer experience yet only 40% of brands offer one.
The ‘three Ss’ –Speed, Seamlessness and a Sense of Control – were seen as key to great online experience, the firm said in its report Me, Myself & I: The Individualisation Imperative.
The report identifies customer experience pain-points and attitudes to data sharing and how brands are faring in the UK, US and Australia.
It explores how personalisation is not cutting it with consumers and as such how individualisation is emerging.
Cloud IQ said consumers are not making it easy for brands as they have an appetite to engage across various touchpoints but want to be treated like an individual.
Increasingly consumers are shutting down on a personalised approach with 81% having unsubscribed from brand mailing list because they get too many emails, 36% expressing frustration about deals expiring too quickly and 29% about having to add more information.
Cloud IQ says it research shows personalisation is not enough to satisfy consumers.
The survey found 94% of consumers value Speed, 92% Seamlessness and 91% a Sense of control. Individualised experiences were valued by 83%.
Consumers defined being treated as an individual as: being rewarded with highly relevant offers (77%), being remembered (60%), being listened to and understood (59%) and feeling in control (57%).
Almost two-thirds of people (64%) recognised the value of their personal data as currency in exchange for a more individualised experience.
However, not everyone was comfortable with the idea of this exchange, with 26% being “reluctant” and one-fifth being “enthusiastic” about brands using information they hold on them to create the best possible online experience.
The research identified over a quarter (28%) as “brand selective” – allowing a few brands to use their information – and 26% as “data selective” – they would like to control the amount of data that brands use.
Brands that provide meaningful experiences, individualised content and real-time, relevant offers to their customers are likely to see positive business outcome, said Cloud IQ.
Consumers say they would feel more valued as a customer (71%), say more positive things about the brand to others (70%), be more likely to buy from them (70%), trust them more (64%) and spend more money with that brand (61%).
Consumers also want to specify the types of data that people are most happy for brands to use to get a great online experience. The most popular being product preferences (85%), while people are least happy for brands to use identity data (44%).
Peart said: “What this research has revealed is a personalisation paradox – brands thinking they are exceeding consumer expectations by offering curated content across multiple channels but this having the opposite effect and consumers switching off from the white noise.
“Marketers now need to go beyond personalisation and make a shift to individualisation – putting customers front and centre of their own experience.
“Individualisation may be the new frontier in marketing, but this will only be open to those brands that are highly focused on becoming trusted, transparent and expert in using personal data to deliver superior customer value.”