Why Innovation? : Get personal or get dumped

We all want to be understood – to feel that someone understands our needs, desires and dreams. And according to a 2013 survey, this is not only true of marriage, but also when we shop online.

Some 89 percent of us will leave a retailer in favour of another, if that is the case. While 50 percent of us are more likely to stay if we find our online shopping experience easy and relevant to us. So when it comes to your online business, the message is simple: get personal or get dumped.

Say my name, please
Every time we search online, click on a link or sign up for a new group on Facebook, our data is collected. The ads start to reflect this, although sometimes I get surprised when they suggest I should buy hair implants or bigger boobs – do they know something about me that I don’t?

But overall, I’m ready to trade personal information if I get ads for a 70 percent discount on running shoes I want and a personal note in the package with my latest online buy. It makes me happy to see my name written in hand, and with a smiley saying “Enjoy”.

Alarming consequences
Regularly companies that withhold a lot of personal data are challenged about their level of security and how they use the data. With good reason, I would say.
Last year the Nordic company NETS – which specialises in handling digital money, digital information and digital identity – had an employee caught selling confidential customer data about the famous and the royals to the highest bidder.

This was bad enough, but then it turned out it was commonplace for the employees to check out the spending habits of ex-boyfriends and family members. Leaving me, and most of Denmark, horrified for a week or two, and then it died out. Because what can we do? Are we willing to stop this upsurge in personalisation and optimisation to – God knows where? I don’t think so.

Destination personalisation
In 2013, 94 percent of companies in the US agreed that personalisation is considered critical to future and current success. And I only see this number growing. The questions I am asking myself these days are: What does destination personalisation look like? How far are we, as private individuals, ready to go in order to feel understood and realise our dreams? And how far are we, as companies, ready to go to not get dumped?
I don’t know, but I am eager to find out. Are you?