IKEA makes a data promise to its customers
IKEA last week announced a set of principles and approaches to how it uses data called “The Customer Data Promise.” The stated goal is to have “people feel as safe online as they do at home.”
In a video blog, Barbara Martin Coppola, chief digital officer, Ingka Group, the largest IKEA franchisee and store operator, said IKEA’s research found consumers lack understanding, trust and transparency about how their data is used. She said, “They have to click a very long legal text to understand what is happening. And then at the end of it, give away their rights, with a single click.”
IKEA’s app upgrade offers consumers a number of opt-in or-opt out options and a panel to adjust how their data is used.
For example, when first downloading the IKEA app, users are prompted to “decide how your data works.” The consumer sees the benefits of sharing data “in a very simple to understand way” while told they have complete control of how their data is used and that they can go incognito and not share any data.
In the app, a data control panel available through a blue line at the bottom of the mobile screen quickly reveals all the data IKEA is using at any given time. The blue line “animates” as the consumer opts in to let IKEA use more data to personalize their app experience, such as clicking sustainability as an interest.
For more granularity, a full-data control panel lets the user control how their browsing and purchase history, as well as favorites, are being used. Consumers can also easily manage how long IKEA keeps their data.
At checkout, IKEA offers ways to learn more about how the company keeps the data safe. Said Ms. Martin Coppola, “It’s nice to get this information in context, rather than in a giant legal document.”
George Manas, president of OMD USA, owned by Omnicom Group Inc., told The Wall Street Journal, “This seems like a purpose-based move to try and set IKEA apart from the pack by appealing to the emotional side of the Millennial consumer equation.”
But he added that IKEA has “little to lose” compared to Amazon, Walmart, Target and others that require customer data to drive their advertising businesses.
- Ingka Group launches data promise to customers – Ingka
- The new IKEA Data Promise gives privacy and transparency to customers – YouTube
- IKEA Promises New Data Controls for Consumers – The Wall Street Journal
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see more pros than cons for other retailers considering a privacy model like IKEA’s? Would such privacy guidelines significantly limit advertising opportunities on retail platforms?