Supermarkets are among the least trusted companies with customer data, a UK-wide survey has revealed.
Nearly a third of the 1,500 consumers surveyed - 31% - said they didn’t trust supermarkets with their personal information. Only technology companies fared worse in the Oliver Wyman survey, with 37% of consumers indicating they had a lack of trust in them.
Financial institutions, healthcare providers and car and home insurers had the best reputations, with only 11%, 13% and 17% respectively voicing misgivings over giving them personal information.
The poor performance of supermarkets by comparison could have negative consequences, said Nick Harrison, a senior partner at Oliver Wyman who specialises in retail practice.
“The most likely thing is people won’t sign up to their loyalty cards,” he said.
“Obviously it’s not ideal for supermarkets if consumers want to start opting out of sharing their data,” Harrison added. “That would create operational complexities and you might have insufficient information on the customer base.”
Harrison suggested a lack of transparency was fuelling customer misgivings over sharing data. “People want to know what’s being done with their information,” he said. “I suspect food retailers could do more to explain to consumers how information is being used to benefit them.”
“It’s about developing a virtual circle of trust. Customers share the information, the company does something useful with it and gives it back to customers, so they think maybe they will share some more information.”