From finance-managing chatbots to mindfulness-promoting social media features, brands are looking to help consumers take charge of their consumption practices, cultivating consumer relationships and building trust

Consumers increasingly expect brands to custom-tailor their offerings to individual user preferences. However, in light of this data-driven retail model, shoppers also want to be informed about what data is collected and how it is used. 

Furthermore, as modern consumers embrace practices of mindfulness in their everyday lives, brands are focusing on rolling out new products and features to enable users to have more control over their customer experiences. By allowing users to document their usage of a retailer's interface, brands empower their customers to co-create the purchasing experience. Here are four brands that are empowering consumers to take ownership of their user experiences:

Cleo, a fintech startup, allows users to easily manage their finances and provide them with insights into their spending habits via an AI-enabled Facebook messenger chatbot feature. Using Facebook Messenger, the chatbot serves as a default financial control hub, answering questions about account balances and letting users set customized budgets and financial goals. The chatbot can recommend ways for users to save money and even help them find better deals on services such as interest rates or utilities.

Finn, created by JP Morgan Chase, is a mobile banking app that provides users with greater insights and control over their everyday spending habits. Customized tools let customers categorize their individual transactions as purchases they either “want” or “need” with an emoji. With this data, the app provides personalized insights into their spending habits, enabling users to better analyze their purchasing behaviors.

Instagram’s developers now are prototyping a feature that informs users of the amount of time they spend on the app and also notifies them when they are all caught up on content curated on their personalized newsfeeds. To enable users to be more mindful of the social media habits, the notification while they are scrolling on the interface to ensure readers are aware of their current activity engagement. This new feature results from common compliments that the app encourages users to get in the habit of “mindless scrolling.” By implementing this initiative, Instagram strives to position itself as more wellness-friendly.

By enabling users to become conscious of their consumption habits, brands are creating a more transparent relationship and a feedback loop with their customers. For more ways that retailers are marshaling data to optimize their products and services, see PSFK's report Leveraging Data To Create Personalized Experiences.