New Delhi: Brands need to be more responsible with data as Indian consumers are far more trusting than those in other countries when it comes to sharing their personal data online if it improves their user experience, according to a study by consulting firm Kantar TNS.

The findings show that only 29% of consumers in India have concerns about the amount of personal data that brands have on them compared to 40% globally. While only 27% of Indian consumers are averse to connected devices monitoring their activities online if it makes their lives easier, the figures in other countries like South Korea are higher at 56% and New Zealand at 62%.

The study titled ‘Connected Life’ was conducted among 70,000 people in 56 countries between May and August, exploring consumer trust in brands in relation to technology, content, data and e-commerce.

“The majority of Indians are not particularly concerned about their digital privacy yet; however this is not to say that they won’t follow the trend of more developed countries where people are now far more skeptical of how their personal data is being used. Brands need to act responsibly online to maintain the trust that they currently hold," said Anusheel Shrivastava, executive vice president, Kantar TNS India.

Apart from brands, Indians have high trust in social media platforms as well with 39% of connected consumers saying that the content they see on social media channels is reliable, compared to 32% globally. The mobile-first environment of the country has also resulted in connected consumers who are willing to try newer forms of interaction with brands with 36% of consumers being happy to interact with chatbots.

This gives brands an opportunity to ramp up their online customer service.

While cash continues to be a preferred mode of payment, the study revealed that 33% of Indians said that they are willing to pay for products using their mobile phone.

Despite this open attitude, Indians are not as trusting of global brands as people in other countries in the Asia Pacific region (APAC), the study revealed, with 38% trusting big global brands in comparison to 54% in both Vietnam and Myanmar, and 47% in Indonesia. Consumer trust falls significantly in developed markets like Australia and New Zealand, where merely 19% and 21%, respectively, trust big global brands.

“Brands in emerging countries see higher levels of consumer trust today than those in developed ones but they shouldn’t take it for granted. To build and protect trust, brands need to put the customer first. That means understanding their motivations, understanding the right moments to engage with them, respecting their time as valuable, and being more transparent about how and when they collect and use their personal data," said Michael Nicholas, global lead of connected solutions, Kantar TNS.

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