Survey: Shoppers Aren’t Crazy About In-Store Smartphone Tracking

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Location-based technologies are growing in popularity for retailers that want to send offers and messages to customers who are using their mobile phones while shopping, but as it turns out, shoppers aren’t too fond of the idea. According to Fierce Retail, a study conducted by research firm OpinionLab surveyed roughly 1,040 shoppers, and nearly 70 percent of them said they don’t trust smartphone tracking in stores. In fact, the survey found that eight out of 10 shoppers would actually rather opt out of in-store smartphone tracking programs.

Retailers initially thought that customers would respond well to location-based technologies because they give shoppers the option of securing deals and offers from stores, but it is clear from OpinionLab’s survey that consumers are still anxious about their data and how it is being used. That’s why many of them would rather retailers not enlist the new technology at all.

Fierce Retail reported Wednesday that that the overriding sentiment among shoppers is anxiety over whether retailers will keep the data they collect secure. About 66 percent of shoppers surveyed said they would not opt in to being tracked under any circumstances, even at their favorite retail stores. Forty-four percent of shoppers said they would stop visiting a retail store altogether if the store rolled out a tracking program, while another 48 percent said tracking technology would not affect where they choose to shop.

Although some retailers originally thought their tracking programs would draw new shoppers to stores, OpinionLab reported that only 8 percent of respondents said that smartphone tracking would make them more likely to shop at a particular retailer.

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