Study: Nearly Half of Consumers Willingly Give Personal Data, But Majority Seek Greater Transparency, Accountability | Adtaxi

Study: Nearly Half of Consumers Willingly Give Personal Data, But Majority Seek Greater Transparency, Accountability

Press Release

Jennifer Flanagan

Jun 01 2021

—Adtaxi Unveils Data on Online Privacy & E-commerce as Economy Reopens—

PLUS: 54% of Respondents Say Pandemic Permanently Changed How They Shop

DENVER, CO (June 1, 2021)Adtaxi—one of the nation’s fastest-growing digital marketing agencies—today announced the results of its Data, Digital Trends & the Reopening study. Examining consumer habits and preferences in two rapidly evolving categories – data privacy and e-commerce – the study provides unique insight into the opportunities and challenges facing businesses as the country eases pandemic restrictions. 

The data shows how significantly the past year’s events have influenced consumer habits: More than half of respondents (54%) report the pandemic has permanently changed how they shop. Still, as e-commerce continues to grow, consumers are split when it comes to data collection and privacy. Though 45% of respondents say they generally give permission when apps or websites ask to collect their data, 60% believe that companies are not working hard to protect this personal information and 72% regard companies’ online data privacy disclosures as purposefully misleading. 

“We are all undergoing a period of immense transition, balancing the meteoric rise of digital commerce, communication, and entertainment with the realities of data privacy and security. We see this changing landscape, and some of its contradictions, reflected in our study,” said Chris Loretto, EVP of Adtaxi. “On one hand, there’s an understandable mistrust of data collection and privacy policies – yet a growing number of consumers value individualized content and willingly share information when asked. iOS14’s privacy rules are an important step in bridging this divide and building consumer trust, but it’s also up to each individual business to prioritize transparency and education within its first-party data practices.”

Among Adtaxi’s additional findings:


iOS14: 54% of respondents say they are aware of iOS14’s new rules strengthening data privacy and transparency. Among respondents who completed the survey on an iOS device, the number jumps to 65%. 

Online Experience: 44% of all respondents report their online experience is better because apps and websites collect their personal information. 49% disagree – and 7% were unaware their data was being collected in the first place. Broken down by age, 60% of respondents age 18-29 report a better online experience thanks to data collection, with this number decreasing steadily by age bracket. Among iOS respondents of all ages, 69% report an improved online experience. 

Types of Data: Of the types of data respondents are most comfortable sharing, the top ranked was contact info (44%), followed by sensitive info such as race or religion and location (both 27%), followed by purchase history (17%). The lowest ranked in terms of comfort sharing was user content such as emails, photos and voice recordings (8%). 


Shopping Small: After the pandemic, 63% will prioritize shopping at small and local businesses. This follows 74% of respondents who said they planned to shop small and local for the holiday season. 

Shipping: A resounding majority of online shoppers – 73% – prefer when the cost of shipping is rolled into the price of a product, rather than charged as a separate fee at checkout.

Keys to Convert: 96% of online shoppers report free shipping is important to them. 93% say the same for a no-cost return policy, while 74% say loyalty rewards are important and 70% rank same or next-day delivery as important.  

“Despite the steady rise of e-commerce, our data shows that many consumers are eager to support small and local businesses. This isn’t an inherent contradiction – with the right digital strategy and e-commerce capabilities, small businesses have an exciting opportunity to grow and thrive as the economy reopens,” continued Loretto. “Getting organized with smart data practices and responsive online offerings is a strong first step for businesses of all sizes.”


This survey was conducted online using Survey Monkey among a national sample of 855 adults spanning across U.S. geographic regions, income levels, gender and age. ‘Online shoppers’ are represented by the 829 respondents who indicated that they shop online. 464 respondents completed the survey using an iOS phone or tablet. The survey was conducted on May 3rd, 2021.


About Adtaxi
Founded in 2010 within MediaNews Group, Adtaxi made its mark in programmatic advertising before expanding into search, social, and connected TV. Over time, Adtaxi has refined and perfected its holistic performance-based strategy, which became the foundation of Quantum, originally launched in 2015. Leveraging the power of people plus technology, Adtaxi’s innovative full-funnel methodology leverages a variety of tools and processes throughout the client lifecycle to drive omnichannel optimizations across channels to maximize performance and deliver superior value for advertisers. Adtaxi functions as a true partner with its clients, acting as a single point of contact and support through multi-platform campaign cycles. Find Adtaxi on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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