Most Shoppers Don’t Trust Retailers to Protect Their Credit Card and Personal Information

Bizrate Insights, a division of marketing solutions firm Connexity (formerly Shopzilla), found in a survey of nearly 5,000 online buyers a considerable concern for the security of credit card and personal information not only online, but also in brick-and-mortar stores themselves. Some 62% of respondents agreed that “Current security to protect credit card and personal information at a retailers’ brick-and-mortar stores isn’t strong enough”. This was only marginally worse than concerns for security on websites (60% agree) but better that mobile transactions (65% agree).

“News reports of information being stolen from retailers” was the top reason for consumer concerns on security (cited by 43% of respondents). Some 17% said their own information had been stolen and 12% said “I don’t believe that the store will take good care of me if there is a problem.” These concerns have a direct impact on sales. Because of the data thefts, 29% agreed that “I find myself reluctant to make retail brick-and-mortar purchases.” That figure jumped to 34% for online purchases.

While there is little differentiation in data security concerns by channel, there is some differentiation by generation. Overall, Generation Y is substantially less inclined to agree that data security is not strong enough (45%-51% vs. 60%-65% average), as well as less likely to agree that they are reluctant to make purchases in either online or store channels due to the past year’s data thefts, while Boomers and Seniors are more likely to agree.

“No retailer is immune to some fall-out from the credit card and personal information thefts that have been reported over the past year,” says Hayley Silver, VP of Bizrate Insights, a division of Connexity. “Those courting Generation Y may feel slightly less urgency is needed to enact proactive remedies. However, those retailers with brick-and-mortar shoppers or older shoppers will want to react promptly.”

Of those who have a reluctance to make online purchases due to data security concerns, 69% look for trust symbols (Bizrate Customer Certified, TrustE, BBB, etc.).  This fluctuates very little across generations and women are more likely to look for trust symbols than men. “Retailers should start by posting third-party verification and trust symbols, as well as measuring and tracking their customers’ data security concerns. From there, retailers can develop and roll-out tailored security, customer care, and marketing campaigns,” continued Ms. Silver.

The Bizrate Insights Payment Security Study #2 was conducted via the Bizrate Insights survey platform and offered to online buyers immediately after purchasing from the Bizrate Insights Network of over 5,000 e-commerce retailers in the US and Canada. Data from the Payment Security Study #2 was collected from 4,902 online buyers from January 7 – 12, 2015.

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