67% Of Consumers Still Label Facial Recognition Technology As ‘Creepy’

As many of 79% of U.S. consumers are fine with the idea of scanning a product on their mobile device to see product reviews and recommendations for other items they like, according to RichRelevance. But consumers still have two big ‘no-no’s when it comes to the personalization of shopping.

For one, 67% of shoppers think it’s creepy when retailers use facial recognition technology to identify prior shopping habits and relay this information to a salesperson. Additionally, 64% say they would be creeped out if a salesperson greeted them by name on the store floor because their mobile phone or app signals their presence.

Retailers always have to walk a narrow path when it comes to personalizing shopping experiences for their consumers, since misjudging what’s considered “cool” or “creepy” can make a difference in whether the shopper wants to continue their journey there. RichRelevance surveyed 1,018 U.S. consumers in May 2016 to give retailers further insight into consumer preferences.


As of 2016, sentiment towards specific in-store personalization tactics continues to be lukewarm. While shoppers are interested in having retailers help them discover relevant products and information — on their own terms, and when they choose to engage — they are creeped-out by digital capabilities that identify and track them without offering a clear value in return.

Just over half of respondents do see value in receiving a digital coupon for a product they looked at but didn’t purchase (52%) after they leave the store. Additionally, half of respondents think that it is cool to get a receipt that includes personalized product recommendations after they complete their checkout.

Two factors in the survey are almost evenly distributed between the “cool” and the “creepy.” Consumers are divided about having digital screens in dressing rooms showing products that complement the item that they are trying on, with 41.5% labeling it “cool” and 41.9% deeming it “creepy.

Location awareness within the store also remains a controversial topic, as 40% think it’s “cool” when the location triggers personalized product information, relevant content, recommendations and discounts to pop up on a mobile device, while 37% consider it “creepy.”

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