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Innovation paradox: UK consumers lack digital trust, demand experience

A paradox has been created as UK consumers expect innovative customer experiences but do not want to give up personal data readily.

By Tom Ball

Consumers in the UK have been found to be hungry for innovative, hyper-relevant customer experiences, but digital distrust is making it hard for organisations to provide them.

It is no surprise that customers are not keen to throw their data into the twisting ether following attacks like WannaCry that crippled the NHS, but this dynamic is causing a paradox.

According to the Accenture Strategy Global Consumer Pulse Research report, 47 percent of UK consumers are frustrated when companies fail to deliver relevant, personalised shopping experiences, but a similar number (48 percent) are concerned about personal data privacy as they subscribe to intelligent services designed to understand and anticipate their needs.

This lack of trust and poor personalisation resulted in a cost of £77 billion for UK organisations, giving perspective to the pressure businesses are under to harness customer data.

UK consumers want innovative experiences but lack digital trust – AccentureUK consumers are very interested in personalised customer experience, with 37 per cent found to be more likely to shop with companies that provide a personalised experience.

Another statistic backing this up is the finding that 49 per cent of UK consumers would be interested in relatively invasive services that involve sensors being installed in the home, offering services, for example, that automatically reorder products and require hardware installation to operate.

Rachel Barton, managing director and Advanced Customer Strategy EALA lead, Accenture Strategy, said: “As technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and digital assistants become more sophisticated and mainstream, companies are creating new touch points, offerings and services that intelligently anticipate and flex to their customer’s precise needs, offering a level of hyper-relevance not experienced before.

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The widely reported, high-profile examples of personal data theft over the past year have clearly left their mark on the UK consumer, with 89 per cent saying that it is extremely important that companies protect personal data and privacy.

“Digital trust will become increasingly challenging for companies to achieve as they look to capture new categories of customer data, such as biometric, geo-location and even genomic data, in their drive for greater relevance. Customer concerns will inevitably rise, so it’s critical that companies have strong data security and privacy measures in place, they give customers full control over their data, and are transparent with how they use it. This is particularly pertinent as organisations prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation coming into force in May 2018,” Barton said.

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