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Consumers are increasingly using apps, but are more selective about how they share information with brands

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There is a strong and growing consumer preference for mobile apps, with 70% of UK users on average using apps across all industries more or about the same since the pandemic began — highlighting the opportunity to establish positive feedback loops between brands and customers.

According to a new report from Airship, which highlights new consumer behaviour on mobile and their expectations from brands, finds that 40% of global respondents are more likely to continue receiving brand communications if they are given controls over purpose, frequency and channel.

Brands are now better able to engage customers wherever they are, while app users benefit from sharing their preferences and affinities for a more personalised service, with greater control over their data and the ability to easily shut down brands that aren’t meeting their needs.

The report also reveals the top reasons UK consumers opt-in to brand communications are for immediate discounts or loyalty reward points (38%), order confirmations (23%), early access to big sales events (22%) and shipping/delivery or click and collect alerts (21%).

On the flip side, location-based offers and behaviour-based personalised offers are the two least likely to motivate shoppers to initially opt in to brand communications on their smartphone (16% and 15% respectively). However, the second most common reason Brits opt out of smartphone communications is “information is not relevant/personalized to needs” at 38%. Additionally, among the top five items of personal information UK consumers will share for more personalised interactions and special incentives are “interests relevant to the brand” and “​​what they’ve browsed on the brand’s website or app.”

“Data privacy remains a key issue for consumers. Companies must go far beyond targeting ‘eyeballs’ and delivering one-way messaging and brand-centric campaigns to succeed in the customer-first digital future,” says Brett Caine, CEO and president, Airship. “To gain the insights necessary to meet today’s expectations, brands must provide a more robust mobile app experience with individualised control to reach much deeper into the hearts and minds of their customers.”

The repoprt also finds that only 34% of UK consumers are willing to share information from their social profiles with brands — the lowest percentage across 15 types of personal information — but many more (46%) will share their social values relating to environmental, moral, political, and religious views.

It also shows that 81% of UK consumers ignore or delete emails from brands they’ve subscribed to half of the time or more. Younger generations are more likely to rarely check their email as well as use anonymous or fake email addresses.

More than half of UK consumers (53%) will share their mobile phone number for text messages, but only 38% will share it for phone calls.

Increasing data privacy regulations and changes from Apple and Android give consumers greater transparency and control over the personal information they share with brands, which predictably is resulting in the demise of third-party data.

The full report, available for download here, will help companies transition to direct customer relationships where first-party and zero-party data improve customer understanding and provide more opportunity to create greater mutual benefit.

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