The retail giant IKEA has released its plans to roll out new data controls over the way it collects and uses data on its App starting as of April in France, the Netherlands, the UK, Ireland and Spain, followed by the US and Sweden. The move has been influenced by a combination of the regulators enforcing new privacy laws and consumers becoming acutely aware of big corporates’ intentions for using their data.
IKEA has said the initiative will present simple and frequent privacy options to consumers. Choices include whether or not they would prefer to share their browsing history, product preferences and abandoned items in their online shopping carts, which is all information currently being used to better inform product recommendations in its app.
Changes have been designed to appear in transparent messaging throughout the customer experience and have a centralised control panel, which gives the users options regarding how long IKEA can keep their data, as well as making it easier to delete their data from records all together.
We agree with Omnicom Group Inc. that this seems to be a move to set IKEA apart from other retailers who claim to stand for causes such as sustainability or privacy, all with the ambition to appeal to the millennial consumers whose concerns are growing for the effects of both.
Our research shows that consumer concerns mainly revolve around the feeling of being violated and overwhelmed with ad retargeting, and anyone who engages in online shopping would most likely agree. So, should this restrict companies from using consumers’ data altogether? We believe in using data so that businesses can make more informed decisions in terms of new product development and product improvement, which ultimately better serves the customer.
Using data can also help businesses identify new customers and different target groups which can be categorised as similar to their current buyer profiles. The intention is to support business growth and sustainability, not to bombard current consumers with ‘upselling’ of irrelevant items.
For businesses to strike the right balance between consumer demands and the ability to make efficient strategic decisions, our advice would be to ensure you always give the customer an option and to remain completely transparent about your intentions. Enable users to easily choose their privacy settings and communicate how the permissioned data will be used.
From the commercial value that is derived from the sharing of consumer data, we truly believe consumers should be rewarded for their data contribution. The most challenging questions that then need to be answered are - just how much? How do we calculate that value?
Our vision at Alqami is to define the value of data, through developing a standard methodology which considers future cashflows and other value defining parameters. When both individuals and businesses have more of an understanding of this, we would hope businesses will respond in turn to consumers as they have done with their privacy concerns.
This article was taken from our February 'Fields of Data' newsletter - sign up here to receive the monthly digest.