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A new study being released at the National Retail Federation (NRF) show in New York City suggests that retailers looking to find ways to develop loyalty among their consumers are going to have to be careful how they do so, as shopper sensitivities continue to evolve.

According to the study – entitled “Retail Demand Insights 2006: What Drives Consumers?” and put out by the NRF Foundation – “the most acceptable information shoppers were willing to give retailers include their name (89.8%), e-mail address (78.1%), street address (60.7%), and past transactions (46.8%). Consumers were least likely to allow retailers to track weight (14.4%), income (12.5%), job title (12.1%), employer (10.9%) and net worth (8.2%).”

Meanwhile, consumers also seem to be feeling less connected to specific retailers. According to the study, the number of shoppers stating that they were long-term loyal customers dropped in 2006 to only 77.2 percent compared to 83.8 percent in 2005.

As consumers change, so are the ways in which they are influenced by the media. Thirty-one percent said that television is the best way to influence their choice of a new retailer, beating out direct mail (21 percent) for the first time. “Another underestimated, but influential media choice was word-of-mouth (17.7%),” the report said. Only 3.5 percent of consumers found Internet advertising effective, marginally more than those who liked the ads that come before movies (2.3 percent).
KC's View:
We firmly believe that most consumers are not as concerned about what information retailers have or how they use it. They just want the usage to be relevant to their lives.