n International Retail and Marketing Review - Information privacy issues : implications for direct marketing

Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN :



While international studies show ample evidence of information privacy concerns, there is a lack of knowledge on South African consumers' opinion on information privacy and their shopping behaviour, especially within a direct marketing context. The objectives of the study included the dependency between age and level of education and knowledge about information protection practices; the privacy concerns of direct and non-direct shoppers; and the direct shopping behaviour of victims versus non-victims. A probability (systematic) sampling design was used to draw a representative sample of households with listed telephone numbers in the different provincial Telkom telephone directories. The sample units were randomly selected, after which 800 telephone interviews were conducted with adults from these households. Findings include that: the level of awareness of name removal procedures is not dependent on age or educational level; direct shoppers and nondirect shoppers differ in terms of their concern for solicitation practices and victims and non-victims differ in terms of their Internet shopping behaviour. The results from the study suggest that the ability to gather and maintain personal information does not necessarily imply that direct marketers are successful in establishing meaningful relationships with consumers. Direct marketing organisations need to be cautious of how they use consumers' collected information and attend to several privacy issues if they want to facilitate relational exchanges between themselves and consumers.

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