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Shoppers rate in-store personalisation tactics from cool to creepy

UK consumers welcome most in-store personalisation and offers but reject facial recognition technology, according to a new survey of 1,000 people.

The Creepy or Cool? Survey has been carried out by personalisation specialist RichRelevance. It finds that 72 per cent of UK consumers find personalisation of product recommendations based on purchasing habits to be cool. Shoppers also welcome location-based personalisation in-store, with 63 per cent giving that a cool rating.

But 70 per cent of respondents say that facial recognition technology, which identifies age and gender to display recommendations, is creepy. Even more people, over three quarters of British consumers, would find it creepy to be greeted by name on entering a store because they had been identified by their phones.

Those in the North of England are most spooked by personalisation, with 30 per cent of those in Yorkshire and The Humber finding the technology spooky. In London consumers are more in favour, with only two per cent ticking the spooky box. Men show themselves to be 5 per cent more likely than women to shop in a store that offers a digital personalised experience.

Age is a factor in attitudes. While half of under-30s say personalised products recommendations in the changing room would be cool only a quarter of those over 45 agree. More than half of those aged over 60 find location-based promotions to be spooky, while 63 per cent of those under 29 find it cool.

“While it’s always been a well-known fact that UK consumers are keen protectors of their privacy and personal space, we now have a clearer view into where they are increasingly embracing – and even expecting – tailored shopping in the fast-changing world of retail,” says RichRelevance CMO Diane Kegley.

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