BBB Leads Savvy Shopping Consumer Education Initiative

11/23/2015
Better Business Bureau (BBB) is releasing Savvy Shopping, the first in a series of consumer education resources from the Digital IQ initiative. Digital IQ is a collaborative education program between BBB, Acxiom Corporation, Adobe and Nielsen that's designed to equip consumers with the knowledge and skills they need to get the most out of the digital world we live in.

"Digital IQ is a natural extension of BBB's consumer education initiatives," said Mary E. Power, president and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the umbrella organization for 113 BBBs across North America and national self-regulation programs. "It represents best practices from several of our BBB programs on key areas like privacy, security and interest-based advertising. As the nexus between consumers, businesses, and government regulators, BBB is uniquely positioned to help inform consumers and promote ethical business practices that advance marketplace trust."

The Internet is a powerful source of information, social engagement, and entertainment; navigating these digital pathways is an essential life skill. Digital IQ's tools and resources are designed by educational experts to help consumers get the most of their digital experience: accessing the information they are looking for on the Internet, avoiding malware and falling victim to hacks, expressing preferences, exercising informed choices, and shopping smart.

"Nielsen innovates by providing its clients the best in class data and insights while working to expand the use of "data for good" to strengthen communities. Collaborating with Better Business Bureau to launch Digital IQ is a great way to expand general consumer awareness of how to use the Internet safely, understand what is happening behind the scenes of the online environment, and make informed decisions," said Ben Hayes, Chief Privacy Officer, Nielsen.

Black Friday is the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, and Savvy Shopping is being released to give consumers the tools and information they need to shop safely and get the best deals online. Consumers can start with a short, fun quiz to test their Digital IQs. The quiz is based on the information covered in the resources.  The Savvy Shopping resources are divided into four units:

"Search and You Will Find" teaches strategies to optimize and refine search results
"Getting the Ad-vantage" explains how personalized advertising works
"Sense On and Cents Off" explores the pros and cons of coupons and loyalty programs
"Finding the Products and the Price" covers budgeting basics and online shopping essentials
Subsequent resources in the Digital IQ initiative will cover the ins and outs of mobile and the new world of connected devices.

"As a data leader, Acxiom continues to encourage high standards and best practices for data usage to benefit society, while delivering value for both consumers and brands," said Jennifer Glasgow, global privacy and public policy executive, Acxiom. "In keeping with that practice and approach, we look forward to our collaboration with BBB to further our education efforts around the smart and ethical use of data, while helping brands to better engage with consumers."

The Digital IQ development team includes BBB leaders, former regulators, and representatives of the sponsoring companies, all with expertise in consumer and business education.

"The release of the Digital IQ Savvy Shopping module could not be more timely," said MeMe Jacobs Rasmussen, chief privacy officer at Adobe. "Adobe's 2015 Digital Index Online Shopping Predictions indicate that the upcoming holiday season will set new records, with Cyber Monday expected to become the largest online shopping day of all time. Digital IQ provides consumers the know-how to navigate the Internet safely and while making informed choices as they set out to secure the most popular gifts at the best prices."

Savvy Shopping will be available on multiple consumer-facing websites and digital channels across corporate and nonprofit sectors, including BBB, Acxiom, partner companies, and consumer educators. Visit bbb.org/DigitalIQ to learn more about the Digital IQ initiative, download copies of the Savvy Shopping resource handouts, or take the Test
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