“Big Data” is a touchy subject these days. With a massive government spying program in the back of everybody’s mind, now is not a great time to use people’s data without permission. Such is the conclusion of a study conducted earlier this month by OpinionLab, which asked consumers if they would be comfortable with a store using their smartphones to track them while they shop. 77% of the 1,042 people surveyed said it is unacceptable for retailers to do so. 44% said they would be less likely to shop where they knew they were being tracked.If a store wanted to implement an in-store tracking system, consumers prefer an opt-in to an opt-out system. The former has a fairly high approval rating of 64% while the latter’s rating sits at a dismal 12%.
That being said, in-store tracking may be something best left on the backburner for a while. 67% of respondents said they do not trust any retailer with their data, local small businesses included. And 88% said tracking is not acceptable even if it improves their experience. It’s just too much of an intrusion. We love data because it helps us get the right products to the right consumers, but if the means drive the consumer away, the point is moot. Retailers have plenty of data without taking it from people in-store, and how they get that data doesn’t scare people.
You can check out the full results of the study here in a nifty infographic.