Survey: Shoppers Uncomfortable With Biometric Marketing

facial recognitionRetailers should proceed cautiously in deploying biometric technology in-store, according to consumer targeting firm RichRelevance. Elucidating the results of a survey of a thousand American shoppers in a blog post, RichRelevance CMO Diane Kegley suggests that consumers appear uncomfortable with “tools that identify, target and track them using demographics or facial recognition.”

According to Kegley, consumers most appreciate being given tools that give them more control; for example, a drug store mobile app that lets them fill in prescription information. They also like to receive personalized messaging – for example, about a special offer that might be of particular interest – but not in a way that could seem intrusive, like offering it right when they walk into the store, and especially not in a clothing store’s dressing room. Given that consumer research from Microsoft suggests that consumers don’t like to give up data unless they know they’re getting something of value in return, the through-line here with respect to biometrics seems to be that consumers resent the idea of having their biometric data collected without their permission (and thus, control) and without a clear understanding of what they stand to gain from the process. In sum, as Kegley suggests, “respect the shopper.”

It’s an approach that should be heeded by businesses eager to embrace the powerful data collecting capabilities of biometric technology. There are already systems emerging that can use this technology to identify the demographic characteristics of shoppers in real-time in the retail environment, but the benefits of such a system will depend largely on how that plays out with the customer. At a time when privacy rights advocates are already reporting alarming indifference to such matters on the part of business interests looking to embrace biometric technology, heeding this message would seem to be in everyone’s best interest.

July 14, 2015 – by Alex Perala

Reproduced please specify:zkblog » Survey: Shoppers Uncomfortable With Biometric Marketing

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