August 1, 2012, 4:40 PM

Web shoppers are more inclined to share details with retailers than with social networks

And most of those shoppers have chilly feelings toward geo-targeting, a study finds.

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Retailers, don’t fret: Consumers might trust you more than Facebook, though only barely, according to new survey data from personalization services vendor MyBuys Inc. and consultancy The E-tailing Group.

The organizations conducted an online survey of 1,000 consumers and found that 55% of them are “mostly willing” to provide shopping preferences to trusted retailers in exchange for an enhanced shopping experience. By comparison, 52% of respondents are “much more concerned” or “somewhat more concerned” about providing the same information on social networks.

“Today’s consumer is a savvy operator who expects a tailored online experience. The irony is that they’re more comfortable sharing shopping preference information with retailers than they are with social networks, which were designed for this type of exchange,” says Robert Cell, CEO of MyBuys. “The onus is clearly on retailers to leverage this privilege responsibly to deliver on the promise of a better experience.”

When it comes to what consumers are willing to share, the survey found that:

• 63% of respondents would give details about the types of retail offers they like.

• 61% would reveal the brands they buy.

• 60% would disclose the products they buy.

But the spread of mobile marketing technology seems to further cloud how much consumers are willing to share digitally, as 76% of survey respondents report having mixed or negative feelings about geo-targeting via their mobile devices. Geo-targeting involves serving ads or marketing messages to consumers based on their locations as pinpointed by the GPS feature in their mobile devices.

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