Consumers’ research isn’t kept to product inquiries alone. Shoppers — especially Millennials and Gen Zers — seek brands and retailers that offer product development transparency — including the supply chain.
These and other insights were offered in a recent white paper released by Accenture, “Trust in the Digital Age,” which also provides a road map for securing consumer trust amidst data breaches and general level of hesitation.
To collect the insights, Accenture surveyed 25,426 consumers in 33 countries during July and August 2016. The goal of the survey was to gain updated understandings of buying preferences and current consumer attitudes.
Shoppers are frustrated when brands don’t deliver or meet expectations. “The particular breach of trust has serious consequences. Among our survey respondents, 63 percent indicated they would start looking for alternative providers and 53 percent would stop doing business with that company immediately,” the report said. This doesn’t mean that shoppers won’t lend personal information freely — just as long as they’re assured it will be kept secure.
“Fifty-seven percent will share information if they know it won’t be sold or shared. Nearly as many [56 percent) will share information if they can be guaranteed that data protection safeguards are in place. Their concerns are legitimate. Major data breaches are regular occurrences now, affecting millions of consumers,” authors said in the report. As more services become readily available, consumers will share more personal information, raising the bar for brands and retailers to maintain safety measures.
In order to bolster security, the report suggests maintaining transparency across channels and immersing the priority of data safety into company culture. Tapping a c-level executive who’s responsible for prioritizing transparency across departments for strategic implementation of trust internally and externally will contribute to overall culture shifts within a company, the report said. What’s more, communicating the purpose of data collection will put companies in good stead with consumers. “Capture only what is necessary, be transparent about what you are doing and use that information to enhance the customer experience. Finally, empower customers by allowing them to set their preferences for data sharing,” the report said.
By maintaining trust and security as one of the primary pillars of an organization, consumer relationships will be strengthened. “Data security and digital trust must be at the center of customer strategies, operating models and even product development,” the report said. “Foster collaboration among groups focused on digital disruption, data management, customer experiences and other business areas to optimize the value exchange and forge stronger customer connections.”
Partnerships that share the same priority of customer trust will benefit the other as well. “If consumers distrust one company in the value chain, they distrust all companies in the value chain,” the report said.
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