Every relationship needs a little personal space
Industry news on privacy issues with personalized digital retail experiences. As omnichannel services expand and more public digital installations take over physical spaces in stores, we are facing a number of questions around personal privacy and information ownership. This article aims to raise awareness of data privacy issues in the digital signage industry by sharing a few eye-opening news articles.
Industry news on privacy issues with personalized digital retail experiences
The wave of big data is aiding and abetting retailers’ race to gain competitive advantage through the delivery of personalized consumer experiences. Businesses are increasingly collecting and using giant data sets to better grasp customer behavior so they can forecast customer demand and allocate resources accordingly.
Big data is also a byproduct of ever-progressing digital transformation. With the contribution of flourishing mobile traffic, cloud computing, and digital interactions propelled by smart technologies like facial recognition and multitouch digital signage, the global big data market is projected to grow to $103 billion by 2027, more than double its size in 2018 (Statistica, 2019).
As it happens, customers are in favor of personalized shopping experience enabled by big data. According to a survey by Accenture, consisting of 8,000 consumers from North America and Europe, nearly all of the surveyed consumers (91%) said they are more likely to shop with brands that recognize, remember, and provide them with relevant offers and recommendations.
Here’s the flipside: big data can lead to really creepy scenarios.
As omnichannel services expand and more public digital installations take over physical spaces in stores, we are facing a number of questions around personal privacy and information ownership.
Imagine yourself walking into a retail store to look for an item that’s running low on the Internet. You are welcomed by a giant screen saying "We know you’re looking for Item X. Good news! We have it in stock."
How about drive-through digital signage displaying your most frequent orders for everyone else in line to see.
Got the creeps yet?
Amidst exciting technological advancements, concerns are growing around how the new digital engagements in physical spaces are prone to ignoring solution providers’ responsibility to explicitly disclose and gain consent their use of personal data.
As much as many customers are enjoying a personalized experience in stores, their expectations for brands to respect their privacy remains.
According to another study by Accenture, perceived invasiveness and violation of privacy can drive customers away.
- 87% of consumers believe it is important for companies to safeguard the privacy of their information
- 73% consider the inability to trust a company with the personal information they’ve provided to be a top source of frustration
We need to remember that it is in the best interest of both the technology enablers and retailers to be accountable, ensuring customers maintain confidence about the use of personalized digital content.
With great technology comes great responsibility
First, screen size and design influence the intimacy of the digital signage experience.
A large wall-mounted display probably isn’t the best if you’re collecting credit card numbers. On the other hand, if you want to attract a crowd with more generally targeted content, make it loud and proud. Consider the purpose and the kind of information you are gathering through your installation. Then optimize the location of the installation and the form factor so that your customers don’t have to constantly cup their hands over the screen while worrying if they are being watched by others.
Second, be transparent about how the data is used, and make obscurity an option
Nobody wants to give up their email address without knowing the consequences. If you don’t tell, they will never trust you and your installation will become useless. It’s not like customers don’t already know what it’s like to swim in tons of junk emails. Credit card information, shopping history, and whatever personal information they give are the same. It must be clear that they can trust your installation to respect their privacy, and that they will benefit from giving it up. Put in extra effort to add a feature to your signage that enables users to purge selected information, and be transparent about all gives and takes.
And yes, if you think that sounds a lot like GDPR, you’d be correct.
Eyes on data privacy news
Here at Intuiface, as we stand on the frontlines of progress in the world of digital signage, we have a responsibility to guide market players in their efforts to be accountable and sustainable. In that spirit, we’d like to raise awareness of data privacy issues in the digital signage industry by sharing a few eye-opening news articles.
Click on the titles to find the original articles.
- “From the movies to McDonald’s: the facial recognition race is on” published on Retail customer experience by Bradley Cooper on April 19, 2019.
- “Target talks digital signage, using Big Data to deliver a personalized experience” published on The National by Rhodri Marsden on April 8, 2019
- "Is China’s facial recognition powered airport kiosks an attempt to invade privacy via an easy flight experience" published on Packt by Fatema Patrawala on March 26, 2019
- “Why retailers must reinforce data security to build customer trust” published on Retail customer experience by Sean Ventura on April 1, 2019
- “GDPR Hits One-Year Mark: Time to whip your compliance strategy into shape” published on Chain Store Age by Lucas Wojcik on May 7, 2019