Control, Quality, Relevancy Key to Establishing Consumer Trust
As online merchants and marketers search for the shifting line between invasion of privacy and effective targeting to consumers, a new study by the Ponemon Institute, a research institute dedicated to privacy management practices in business and government, has published an analysis of how online marketers can build and capitalize on trust through their communication with consumers. The Online Permissions Survey, sponsored by Dotomi, is based on 1,799 responses from Internet users in all major regions of the United States.
The Internet has quickly developed into a ubiquitous presence in commerce, and the public's perception of online marketing and merchants continues to evolve. Consumers are becoming more comfortable with buying online, but remain wary of sharing vital information such as credit card numbers with merchants they don't trust. Building and retaining trust with consumers is therefore critical for online merchants to succeed, and the survey found that trust is significantly correlated to improving the relevance of communication with consumers:
- 84 percent of consumers stated that they want control over the types and frequency of Internet ads sent from a specific merchant.
- 64 percent of consumers would trust a marketer more if they had control over the types of online communication that were sent to them.
- 89 percent of consumers would let a trusted marketer share their personal interests with a third party without permission, in order to increase the quality of services and products produced.
- Merchants using adware or spyware to advertise online should take note, however, that only 20 percent (the lowest response) would let the marketer share information to track their buying behavior to influence future purchasing decisions.
- 56 percent of consumers feel that the online merchant respects them when it demonstrates understanding of their interests and is better able to market to them.
- 82 percent of consumers responded to wanting to be notified by an online merchant if they are provided with an incentive (i.e. discount or free offer), and 92 percent asked to be notified if a product or promotion would be of great value to them based on past purchasing habits.