Luxury Institute Survey: Affluent Consumers Demand Security, Privacy And Personalization In Exchange For Personal Data

NEW YORK, Feb. 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Affluent U.S. consumers demand stringent safeguards on the security and privacy of their personal data from companies that collect their information, according to a new Luxury Institute survey of Americans earning at least $150,000 per year. They also demand true personalization in exchange for their data.

With several high-profile breaches of customer data kept by merchants, credit card companies, and even credit bureaus, insights into attitudes on data sharing and personalization were among the most revealing in the Luxury Institute’s 2020 State of the Luxury Industry report, which also included surveys of affluent consumers within the top 10% of household incomes in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, China and South Korea.

Data security is paramount. The overriding concern, cited by nearly two-thirds (63%) of affluent U.S. consumers, is that companies collecting their information must “secure my personal data and protect it from hackers.” More than half (54%) say that companies must inform them as soon as possible if a breach occurs with guidance about what to do, and also that companies should “ask permission before selling my personal data to third parties.” A majority (51%) say that companies should “be transparent and specific about the personal data they are collecting and why they want it.”

Older and wealthier individuals are more likely to demand their approval in writing every time data about them is collected. A smaller but significant (28%) share of consumers, especially those with incomes above $200,000 and net worth above $2 million, want to exert a greater level of control on their data by having an opportunity to download and review all personal data collected about them in a usable format. There is also a desire to participate in the upside of data collection: 24% want companies to pay them, or to provide them with incentives to grant permission to use data, and 24% also want trusted brands to provide truly personalized experiences based on personal data they have collected.

The types of data affluent consumers are most willing to share are lifestyle and interests (38%) and current product ownership (33%). Purchase history and spending patterns (23%), along with fitness and wellness (15%), are also viewed as permissible. Overall, there is a pronounced reluctance to share medical and health information (8%), as well as location tracking (11%), and browsing history (14%). As expected, Millennial U.S. consumers between 21-39 years of age, are several times more likely than generation-Xers or baby boomers to be willing to share this information, including medical data.

Another area in which affluent millennials distinguish themselves is the degree to which they already receive personalized offers. Overall, 24% of affluent consumers say they frequently receive personalized offers, but 35% of millennials report frequent offers. Only individuals with a net worth above $5 million are more likely (40%) to be recipients of offers. Millennials are comparatively more amenable to receiving personalized offers from trusted brands via text message (32%) or phone calls (21%) than consumers 40 and older. Old-fashioned email (69%) is the most preferred communication channel for all demographic groups.

Hotels and resorts are the luxury category most often (31%) cited as doing the most effective job of providing relevant personalized offers and recommendations. Also notable are air travel (20%), automotive (18%), restaurants (18%), cruise lines (16%), and fashion apparel (15%).

“Keeping data secure is absolutely the top priority for high-income consumers, but what we’re also learning is that they want a way for all of this data to provide them with relevant, tangible, real-time benefits,” says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. “Smart companies are already stepping up efforts to provide customers with a superior experience and more relevant offers based on the data they’ve collected. Now they need to build the trust that will inspire affluent consumers to share the richest, most relevant and timely data with consent and trust. Without that we are stuck in the digital Stone Age of ineffective, annoying ad tech. The personal data economy is about to unleash, and luxury goods and services brands must be ready because the affluent are the most demanding clients who will pave the way for all consumers to be protected and treated like self-sovereign human beings.”

This new survey is the latest in a long line of breakthrough studies over the past two decades by the Luxury Institute, including Internet Habits of the Wealthy, The Wealthy and Social Media, and The Wealthy and Social Responsibility. Luxury Institute also educates executives and front-line associates on the fundamentals of building emotional intelligence to nurture client relationships with its Luxcelerate System. This latest research confirms that privacy and personalization will be major action items for luxury goods and services brands in 2020 and beyond, touching the entire enterprise and matching sustainability as the most important driver of trust-building in client relationships.

The complete State of the Luxury Industry 2020 report, including detailed information by country, is available for purchase. For more information, visit

Contact: Milton Pedraza