Two-Thirds of Consumers Have Deleted an App Over Privacy Concerns. Here’s How to Avoid the Discard Pile
Today’s marketers face the ultimate catch-22: Consumers overwhelmingly desire hyperpersonalized experiences, yet they’re concerned about sharing their data. According to Arity’s research, 66 percent of consumers have deleted an app due to privacy concerns.
With competition for business fierce and the data privacy movement underway, retailers and marketers must establish strong data collection practices for their mobile apps or risk losing customer loyalty.
Fortunately, there are best practices retailers can adopt to collect the data they need without jeopardizing customer relationships. In fact, with good data hygiene habits and transparent customer communications, you can strengthen relationships with mobile app users and develop lasting loyalty.
5 Best Practices for Building Personalized, Trust-Based In-App Experiences
Prioritizing privacy isn’t just the right thing to do, rising privacy standards are now a key decision-making factor for consumers. However, privacy doesn’t have to come at the cost of personalized, engaging experiences.
Consider the following best practices to create bespoke, meaningful in-app experiences that strengthen user trust:
1. Rethink data collection.
When brands first offered digital experiences, data collection was like the Wild West. There were no guidelines, regulations or best practices, so many marketers approached data with a “collect all you can” mindset.
Marketers now have regulations like GDPR, yet many still fall victim to this antiquated tactic. Instead, adopt a “collect only what you need” approach. This principle reminds us that every piece of data should serve a clear purpose and be promptly — and securely — discarded once that purpose is fulfilled.
2. Understand your application’s value.
To determine which user data to collect, start by recognizing your app’s core value proposition. Ask yourself: “What relationship do my users have with my app? What function does my app serve?” Knowing how and where your audiences interact with your app ensures you provide experiences they desire and only collect the data that’s needed.
3. Provide clear, transparent communication.
The way you communicate with customers is as important as what goes on behind the scenes. Be sure to clearly and proactively share what data you collect, how it enhances the user experience, and what you’re doing to protect that data.
For example, users are generally skeptical about sharing their location, but as a retailer, mobility data facilitates valuable user experiences. By reminding customers what this type of data enables — e.g., the ability to receive in-store offers or check product availability at nearby locations — many users will gladly trade information for these high-value features.
4. Reward data sharing.
Another way to incentivize data sharing is to offer rewards in exchange. If you have a loyalty program, consider offering points for activities like filling out surveys or checking in at a store’s location via your app. These steps can gamify mobile app experiences and more deeply engage consumers.
However, approach this strategy carefully or you may rub users the wrong way — even making them feel like their data is for sale. Think critically about whether your app lends itself to gamification or if this tactic feels out of place.
5. Choose like-minded vendors.
When building out your app’s capabilities, remember that users see third-party vendors as an extension of your brand. Do your due diligence and ask vendors about their data collection policies and practices. Be sure potential partners can provide readily available, detailed information about the data they collect and how they retain and ultimately discard consumers’ information.
A transparent and thoughtful approach to data collection sets you up for success, both in terms of regulatory compliance and long-term user loyalty. With these best practices in mind, be honest with yourself: Is your app one users will cherish or delete?
Chuck Fuller is a director of product management at Arity, a mobility data and analytics company.
Related story: 3 Ways Retailers Can Drive Mobile App Engagement
Chuck Fuller is a director of product management at Arity where he leads the development of unique insights and experiences for mobile application publishers. Over the past 15 years, Chuck has built mobile, analytics, and advertising solutions for both consumer and enterprise solutions. Most recently, he drove innovation for Snap, Inc. and Foursquare, and he’s also led product management at Microsoft, Tune, and Marchex. Chuck holds a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA from the University of Michigan.