As an ecommerce retailer utilising a popular platform like Amazon, you’re likely well aware that enticing buyers is an ongoing task. One of the aspects of that is being able to gather data on them so as to personalise the experience as much as possible. But as we wrote not too long ago, gathering data is a tricky proposition. You want just the right balance to provide quality service, and yet not so much your customers feel their security is compromised or are spooked at you knowing too much about their habits.

With more and more offline retailers and individuals opting to sell on Amazon as third party sellers, it’s important that they become aware of data collection for ecommerce in an overall context, to gain the best possible understanding of their customer demographic without spooking them out! RepricerExpress gives you the lowdown on collecting data.


One in five people in the whole world have smartphones. While it may not seem like a large figure, it’s staggering when viewed in the context of the world’s wealth disparity. So, it seems as though it would make sense to capitalise on tracking data through smartphones, no?

Not so fast.

Shoppers overwhelmingly voted against smartphone tracking, with the following answers:

  • 77% said it’s not acceptable for retailers to track buyers’ in-store shopping habits on their smartphones
  • 63% said they’d avoid taking part in an in-store tracking program
  • 44% might avoid your store altogether were you to implement such a program
  • 81% replied they feel this way because of trust issues over their data being kept private and secure

How to Break In

It’s a big gamble to risk tracking your customers’ data if you think the trade-off is worth only securing half of them as repeat shoppers, but it’s almost a necessary evil. The key is to be responsible, subtle, and taking only what you need — as well as being everyone’s favourite store.

Only 8% of customers said they’d be okay with you collecting their data either all the time (4%) or if you’re a big box retailer like Walmart or Best Buy, which is a bit of a double bind. On one hand, aspiring to those levels means you’ve really established yourself in ecommerce. However, customers are also more wary of you than other retailers by far. But here’s a bit of good news: it’s not personal. A huge 67% of shoppers said they don’t trust anyone with their data, so it really is them and not you.

  • 10% of customers would hand over their data to you if your name is super posh, like Nordstrom, Williams-Sonoma or Saks Fifth Avenue
  • 15% don’t care about the label on your shirt as long as you’re their favourite local store

What Makes Customers Change Their Minds?

It turns out not many people can resist the siren song of keeping money in their wallets, with price discounts being the number one mind-changing incentive that gets customers to say yes to a retail tracking program (61%). If you can’t swing knocking the price down a little bit, the next best practice you can employ is just giving stuff away, as that’ll get 53% of people on board.

  • Just over a quarter of shoppers (28%) said being able to win a big prize like a trip or fancy TV would be enough to entice them
  • One in four could be seduced by either a generally improved shopping experience (24%) or new gadgets and awards in each aisle (23%)
  • Only 12% of buyers would be willing to trade their data for personalised attention from store employees

The Nitty-Gritty

Of course, the type of data you collect makes a big difference to your customers:

  • Checkout counter wait time: 52%
  • Purchasing behaviour: 32%
  • Specific products: 30%
  • Store movements: 26%
  • Fitting room try-ons: 13%
  • Walks across the storefront: 13%

For the rest of the scoop on what your customers will say yes and no to, check out this great infographic.

Don’t Spook Me Out

A bit of common sense is needed when applying the data you collect to offering a better shopping experience for your customers, both online and offline. If I came into your store or bought your product from Amazon, I would feel a little uncomfortable if you asked how my wife’s new hair straighteners were working out (which I bought for her birthday), but showing me other health and beauty products the same time next year (or at Christmas) might be something I find very useful when making a new purchase, and it’s nothing something I will instinctively link to data being collected about me.

If you’re a third party seller on Amazon, they’ll already be collecting a lot of data to help personalise customers’ experiences so you will certainly benefit from being included in that mix, but give some thought to the data you can collect and creatively utilise to ensuring your customers are happy, and hence become repeat purchasers.

You’re now one step closer to being a rock star ecommerce retailer, as you can use this information to transfer into your online store. Although the numbers won’t be exactly the same, you have a general idea of customers’ boundaries. Another thing in which the numbers won’t be the same is your prices, especially if you use RepricerExpress to customise the costs of your inventory. However, one thing that always does stay the same is our 15-day free trial, so start yours today.

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