The consumer data give and take

A study by Deloitte and Ahold Delhaize into European attitudes on the use of consumer data by grocers

The introduction of loyalty programs, the growth of online shopping, and digital marketing are just some of the influences that have changed the face of retail. Retailers now have vast amounts of consumer data at their disposal, and efforts are being made by leading grocers to make much greater use of it—for the benefit of consumers, themselves, and their partners. But as this trend accelerates, and as consumers become more data-savvy, important questions such as how customers feel about their data being used and what types of services would consumers be willing to share their data for, are starting to emerge.

The report, The consumer data give and take, by Deloitte Global and Ahold Delhaize, a leading global grocery retail group, sets out the findings from an online survey across 15 countries and 15,000 respondents into European attitudes on the use of consumer data by organizations and grocery retailers in particular. The objective is to stimulate a wide-ranging discussion around data ethics, the responsibilities of companies and their responses to the regulation of personal data in line with consumer expectations. This discussion will be critical to the shaping of both regulation and consumer expectations.

The consumer data give and take

Key findings

  • Consumers in general are willing to share their personal data, with interesting differences among countries, age groups, and online grocery shopping behavior.
  • Grocery retailers are seen as highly trustworthy, and there is above-average willingness to share data with them—more favorable than for non-grocery retailers, financial institutions, digital platforms, and social media platforms. The only other organizations consumers trust more with their data are medical services
  • Consumers have high expectations when it comes to transparency, choice, and control, over what data is being collected and how it is used.
  • Age and current online behavior are the two parameters that have the strongest correlations to consumer data perceptions. There is a greater willingness to share personal data among younger consumers and those who shop online more frequently.
  • There are significant differences across Europe around the willingness of consumers to share data and there is no single European consumer.
  • The ~20 data-enabled services that were tested with European consumers had very different levels of attraction, with those data-enabled services around convenience and inspiration the most popular.
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