Study shows Canadian online habits mirror global trends
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TORONTO, Oct. 2, 2013 /CNW/ - Is there really such a thing as an online
persona? According to a new global study from MasterCard (NYSE: MA) released
today, the answer is, yes. The Digital Sharing and Trust Project shows that consumers actually shed their "real-world" identities when
they go online to assume "digital personas" that better reflect how
they feel, what actions they take around their personal information and
how much value they place on their own data. These five personas - Open Sharers, Simply Interactors, Solely Shoppers, Passive Users and Proactive Protectors — are spread evenly throughout the global population and ignore any
regional or demographic boundaries.
"Nearly 2.5 billion people around the globe use the Internet every day,"
said Theodore Iacobuzio, Vice President of MasterCard's Global Insights group, which produced the study. "This research shows that regardless
of who they are and where they live, they all share something in common
when it comes to how they act and behave online -these five unique
global personality types. It also shows us that when consumers go
online, characteristics such as age, gender or nationality become
secondary and they instead assume a sense of what we refer to as
Though consumers are increasingly savvy in managing their online
identity, the consumer research reveals there is a clear hierarchy in
the kind of information they are willing to share, and there are
certain types of organizations they trust most with their data. Some of
the key findings about each online persona group include:
"Open Sharers": Twenty-one percent of online consumers fall into this category, which
tends to skew more male (60 percent). Open Sharers are the most highly
digital group of the five and tend to lead less risk-averse online
activities. Half of them are online more than 10 times per day and when
they share their personal information, they expect deals, access and
offers in return.
"Simply Interactors": This persona (which accounts for 21 percent of online consumers)
includes some of the most dedicated social networkers, yet they are not
particularly tech-savvy consumers. When it comes to online shopping, a
majority (80 percent) will research products online, but 63 percent
still prefer to shop in person. Though they are aware of targeted
marketing, they don't see their data as valuable and thus don't express
significant concern about it.
"Solely Shoppers": This online personality is characterized by their reliance on the
Internet for savvy shopping research and purchases. Making up 21
percent of all consumers online, the majority (90 percent) of these
Internet users researches products online before buying and half use
their mobile phone to price check in-store in order to get the best
deals. Surprisingly, they have low awareness of target marketing - as
only 37 percent know that social media sites use their personal data to
"Passive Users": As the name suggests, this group's members are not fully convinced of
the Internet's value and therefore tend to spend the least amount of
time online of all the personas. Accounting for 20 percent of all
online consumers, Passive Users are less frequent on social networks
(only 48 percent) and not heavy online shoppers. Compared to other
personas, they are more likely to shop from their mobile device and
more willing to trade their data for something in return.
"Proactive Protectors": Comprising 17 percent of all online consumers, the Proactive Protectors
are highly aware of targeted marketing - in fact 82 percent are
knowledgeable that marketers can target them based on their search and
browsing history. They are unlikely to use social networks and the most
guarded with their privacy settings of all the personas - taking steps
to protect and control their digital footprint.
Additional study findings that are true across all online personas include:
Consumers Know What They're Worth: According to the research, 64 percent of consumers believe their
personal data has value to merchants and advertisers.
Most Consumers are Savvy with Privacy Settings: The study revealed 60 percent of consumers know how to change the
privacy settings on their web browser.
Consumers Enjoy Customized Offers in Return for Sharing Info: A majority of consumers (55 percent) appreciate when companies tailor
offers to them based on the information they share.
Consumers Embrace "Showrooming": Nearly half (49 percent) of consumers check prices on their mobile
devices when in-store to make sure they are getting the best offers.
"In today's digital world, consumers are continuing to spend more of
their time and money online," said Iacobuzio. "That's all the more
reason that understanding these five distinct personas will be
important for a variety of audiences, but perhaps most especially for
retailers and marketers. By better understanding why consumers want to share their information online in the first place,
companies can be better prepared to engage with them in more meaningful
and relevant ways."
Consumers who are curious to find out their online personas can take a
brief quiz to find out. For more detailed findings, visit the interactive website and research report titled, "Around the World in Five Personas," which will be discussed during a panel session at the World Retail Congress in Paris on Monday, October 7, 2013 at 12:45 PM Central European Time.
MasterCard conducted both qualitative and quantitative consumer research
between November 2012 and March 2013 in nine markets: the United
States, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, India, South Africa, United
Arab Emirates, Brazil and Colombia. The study included a survey of more
than 9,000 digital consumers aged 16-65, all of whom engaged in some
type of online activity at least once a week. The five unique online
personas emerged out of a vigorous statistical examination, which grouped respondents together
based on the similarity of their answers to questions across six
dimensions: 1) awareness of targeted marketing; 2) social networking;
3) online shopping; 4) mobile sophistication; 5) privacy management;
and 6) data as currency.
MasterCard NYSE: MA, http://www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate
the world's fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers,
financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more
than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's products and solutions
make everyday commerce activities - such as shopping, traveling,
running a business and managing finances - easier, more secure and more
efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news.
Image with caption: "Digital Sharing: What's Your Online Persona? (CNW Group/MasterCard Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131002_C6556_PHOTO_EN_31603.jpg
SOURCE: MasterCard Canada
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