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Unraveling the personalization paradox: The effect of information collection and trust-building strategies on online advertisement effectiveness

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Retailers gather data about customers' online behavior to develop personalized service offers. Greater personalization typically increases service relevance and customer adoption, but paradoxically, it also may increase customers' sense of vulnerability and lower adoption rates. To demonstrate this contradiction, an exploratory field study on Facebook and secondary data about a personalized advertising campaign indicate sharp drops in click-through rates when customers realize their personal information has been collected without their consent. To investigate the personalization paradox, this study uses three experiments that confirm a firm's strategy for collecting information from social media websites is a crucial determinant of how customers react to online personalized advertising. When firms engage in overt information collection, participants exhibit greater click-through intentions in response to more personalized advertisements, in contrast with their reactions when firms collect information covertly. This effect reflects the feelings of vulnerability that consumers experience when firms undertake covert information collection strategies. Trust-building marketing strategies that transfer trust from another website or signal trust with informational cues can offset this negative effect. These studies help unravel the personalization paradox by explicating the role of information collection and its impact on vulnerability and click-through rates.

    Research areas

  • Personalization paradox, Information collection, Trust-building strategies, Vulnerability, Psychological ownership, PSYCHOLOGICAL OWNERSHIP, PRIVACY CONCERNS, CONSUMER TRUST, WEB, MEDIATION, SERVICE, CUSTOMIZATION, WILLINGNESS, ANTECEDENTS, INNOVATIONS
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-49
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Retailing
Issue number1
Early online date24 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015