Retail brands are struggling to restore consumer confidence in data security amid a rash of recent cyber hacks, even though a minority of shoppers have actually had their personal details stolen, a new report shows.
That disconnect shows that the reality of consumer fears around data security are not borne out by the prevalence of breaches, according to the study from U.K.-based marketing automation platform Dotdigital, “Rise of the responsible marketer.”
In a survey of more than 2,000 American consumers, the firm found that while 67% of consumers were concerned their data would get hacked when sharing it with brands and retailers while shopping, only 20% had experienced issues with data security. A further fifth (21%) reported having their details stolen, showcasing a disconnect that brands must address to build the trust necessary to ensure conversion, retention, and customer lifetime value, Dotdigital said in a blog.
That message held through for all demographic groups in the survey, although the data also showed that younger shoppers were less concerned about hacking even as they were more often victimized. Specifically, younger shoppers were less concerned their data would be compromised when shopping online—with just 55% of 18-24-year-olds raising this as a worry compared to 76% of those in the 55-64 age range—but that younger cohort had had their data hacked more often, affecting a quarter (25%) of 18-24-year-olds compared to just 17% of over 65’s.
Still, the overall results show that businesses need to build infrastructures that engender, earn, and sustain trust, and clearly communicate these with consumers, Tink Taylor, founder and president of Dotdigital Group, said in a release. “While the rates of data breaches uncovered by our research are still unacceptably high, it indicates fears about the prevalence of hacking and data security currently outstrip the reality. This is indicative of an image problem that brands need to solve when showcasing data stewardship and its crucial businesses embrace compliance and trust,” Taylor said.
Social responsibility and ethics are fast becoming consumers' top consideration when shopping with a new brand. As expectations rise, brands need to be open and honest.— dotdigital (@dotdigital) July 5, 2021
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