|Mon Oct 10 2011 08:16:40|
Do You Need or Want a Commerce Identity?
By: Ina Steiner
If you think back to 1995, most people had yet to make a purchase over the Internet - it was a big deal entering data into a website. Back then, I never would have believed the amount of information people now happily volunteer on websites: birth date, gender, religion, political persuasion, marital status. Nor could I have imagined that people would have no qualms about letting sites track them around the Internet and compile their preferences - and share those likes with their friends and colleagues.
Facebook seems to track our every move, knowing what we like to read and what retail sites we like to visit - though it seems it's always getting embroiled in controversy about how it does it, from Beacon to last week's controversy over tracking people even when they are signed out of Facebook.
Now PayPal is working on its Commerce Identity program that will compile our purchases and shopping behavior if we opt-in to the program. (See today's EcommerceBytes news story.) Amazon.com already does this for its customers, but PayPal proposes to do on sites across the web, staring with its own properties PayPal, Magento and GSI Commerce.
Online merchants will benefit by knowing more about shoppers who sign in to their sites using Commerce Identity, and buyers will have less friction in signing in to sites and paying for purchases. Retailers will also be able to target offers to visitors based on their profile and shopping habits - consumers will be able to store information in Commerce Identity such as their clothing sizes for added convenience.
What do you think of this new relaxed view on privacy? Do you like it when Amazon.com is accurate with its predictions of what you'll like, or do you find it creepy? Do you ever log in to websites using Facebook, AOL, or Microsoft's Windows Live ID? Do you want a "commerce identity" to make it easier for you when you shop across the web?