It may be over a year since the infamous Target data breach, but the consumer fear sparked by this incident—and those that followed—still resonates with many buyers to this day. In our latest study on data security, Bizrate Insights took a closer look at buyer concerns by channel, and the effect it may have on future purchases. We also uncovered something that can help retailers gain customer trust back.
Examining buyer anxiety around data security
No matter where the data breaches occur, all retailers are affected by reported incidents of personal information theft. Our study found that almost 2/3 of online buyers agree that retailer security to protect their credit card and personal information isn’t strong enough.
That being said, retailers who are courting Generation Y have less to worry about than brands that are targeting older generations. Gen Y shoppers are substantially less likely to agree (across mobile, web and retail store channels) that retailer data security isn’t strong enough, while Seniors and Boomers are likelier to be on the other side of the spectrum:
This consumer fear of insufficient data security is validated for a meaningful percentage of buyers who actually experienced personal information thefts from retailers over the past year. While not all buyers have personal experience with theft of their private data, many more of them are still concerned by the reports they hear about customer information being stolen from retailers.
These frequent breaches, whether experienced personally or vicariously through the news, make many buyers think twice before purchasing. This apprehension leads approximately 1 in 3 buyers to report feeling reluctant to make purchases in stores or online, and could represent considerable loss in revenue for retailers.
Who do buyers trust with their personal information, and why?
Respondents were given an open question asking “Which retailers do you trust the most with your credit card and personal information?” and Amazon was the number one answer. The word cloud below represents consumer responses:
Consumer trust may be high amongst Amazon shoppers, but it is accessible to all retailers. The study found that retailers can boost consumer confidence by leveraging well-known trust symbols (i.e. Bizrate Customer Certified, TrustE or a high grade with the Better Business Bureau). The majority of buyers (over 2/3) with concerns over data security reported that trust symbols help increase their confidence to buy online.
Consumer confidence may have been shaken by retailer data breaches, but that trust can be rebuilt. Provide customers with information about the precautions your business is taking to protect their personal information, and place trust symbols in visible locations on your website.
For the full report and more tips on reducing buyer concerns about data security, click here to request access to our exclusive BizAdvisor report when it comes out.
About the Study
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.