Information for Value: 4 Ways to Make Customers Happy to Share Their Personal Info

Consumers care about privacy, but they’re also willing to share personal information with brands – as long as they get something in return. A recent Accenture survey found that 49 percent of consumers said they would not object to having their buying behavior tracked if it would result in relevant offers from brands and suppliers.

However, “relevant offers” does not mean having the pair of shoes you looked at and rejected following you all over the internet. Providing truly relevant offers requires a careful blending and parsing of data from multiple sources.

One of the best sources for information about an individual’s interests is social media. As consumers share what they like and what they don’t, whether by clicking Facebook’s like button, retweeting or repining, that information enriches the profiles – and it’s all accessible to brands that incentivize consumers to use social login.

Incentives can range from discounts, coupons and special offers to more intangible things such as convenience. Amazon’s famous one-click shopping experience lets shoppers who log in complete a purchase with just that one click, instead of having to enter the shipping address, credit card number, etc.

Loyalty programs, where members can earn bonus points to spend, are another great way to generate site registrations.

When we surveyed thousands of businesses that implemented social login, we found that including a clear message describing the benefits of logging in socially more than doubled the number of customers who did so: 45% used social login following a benefits message, compared to 21.6% of customers who didn’t explain its benefits.

Here are some best practices for communicating to your customers what they’ll get in return for registering or logging in via a social network:

1. Demonstrate how social login is more convenient

Retailer PacSun provides a simple, straightforward incentive for customers to choose social login — the ease of not having to remember another username and password.

2. Offer incentives

In a push to get its users registered socially to play its March Madness Bracket Challenge, NCAA displays a simple, clear message: “Because Brackets are more fun with friends.”

Participating on the site is another kind of incentive. ModCloth’s Be the Buyer program lets shoppers select which designs should go into production, as well as comment and share their comments – but only after they register.

Providing social status within a community is another tactic for encouraging registrations; it’s one that has long been used by video game companies. Leaderboards let everyone see who the highest-ranked player is. Yelp, for instance, rewards its top reviewers in each area by making them part of the Yelp Elite, featuring their photos and reviews, while describing them as its “exclusive, in-the-know crew.”

3. Place incentives close to the point of purchase

There’s a natural pathway as customers move through an e-commerce site, from browsing to searching to comparing products to making a purchase decision. While it’s good to mention incentives or rewards programs on the home page of your site, including them at the point of purchase can help your customer decide to hit the checkout button. This is especially important for loyalty/rewards programs. After all, how can someone know if he wants to join your club before he’s seen what you have to offer? Take a look at how Sephora waits until someone is ready to check out and then offers the opportunity to sign up for its rewards program.

4. Lay out the value proposition

You may think it’s obvious why customers should register with you and create an account — but why not make it clear? Do customers who register get a first look at new products? The ability to show off their smarts by writing reviews? Discounts on shipping? Remind them. A little copywriting love never hurts. Sephora says it plainly. but with style: “The more you shop, the better the rewards.”

Keep your customers close

Consumers want their relationship with you to be easy and rewarding. Encourage deeper brand engagement by making it easy for them to log in socially and offering incentives at just the right time. To learn more about how social login benefits your entire user engagement strategy, download the free Social Login 101 ebook here.

By Susan Kuchinskas