ChoiceStream Study Results: Personal Information for Personalized Content

Jul 20, 2004

The findings of a nationwide survey released by ChoiceStream, a provider of online personalization solutions, indicate that a majority of Internet users, 64%, would provide insight into their preferences in exchange for personalized product and content recommendations; and 56% would provide demographic data (e.g. age and gender). The survey also finds a strong interest in personalization overall, with 81% of Internet users indicating that they would like to receive personalized content. The findings are based on a survey of 673 respondents conducted via Zoomerang, an online survey services provider. The survey is the first in a series designed to track consumer attitudes toward personalization.

The survey also finds that the younger a consumer is, the more likely he or she is to provide preference and demographic information. Among 18-34 year olds, 71% expressed a willingness to provide preference information (vs. 57% of those 35 and older) and 63% would provide demographic data (vs. 49% of those 35 and older). Respondents‚ willingness to provide information in exchange for personalization extended, for many, to allowing a Web site to track their clicks and purchases. Overall, 40% of consumers would agree to that type of clickthrough or transaction monitoring, and again, younger respondents were more willing to allow it than older ones (47% of 18-34 year olds vs. 32% of those 35+.)

In addition to researching consumer willingness to provide information in exchange for personalization, the survey also inquired about consumer attitudes toward personalization in general. Overall, the survey found that 81% of consumers are interested in receiving personalized content; however, the type of content respondents are interested in personalizing varies based on age. Younger respondents (18-24 year olds) appear most interested in receiving entertainment-related content such as personalized music recommendations (45%), DVDs (29%), and books (26%). Among older respondents, particularly those in the 50+ category, personalized Web search results are of the greatest interest (35%), followed by books (30%), news (22%), and travel (21%).