Consumers lack trust in online retailers

Millennials have little faith in online retailers, despite e-commerce being on the rise, new research has revealed.

The UK Millennial Survey: Privacy vs. Customer Experience in Retail from business research and risk management company LexisNexis Risk Solutions has found that more than half (52 per cent) are concerned about having their identity stolen through online, mobile or app-based activities.

It also revealed that the majority (84 per cent) of Millennials don’t believe that their personal information is fully protected online.

Despite this, 89 per cent of Millennials still shop online, with almost half (47 per cent) using a smartphone and 29 per cent using a tablet. However, almost all (93 per cent) said that they don’t fully trust retailers with their data.

These findings could be in light of the number of high-profile data breaches that have occurred in 2016, global information security and risk management company NTT Security has claimed.

A new UK survey by NTT Security also found that all online shoppers are most concerned about the privacy of their personal information (63 per cent), as well as a website being fake (63 per cent), followed by the risk of being sent phishing emails that link to malware (60 per cent).

It also found that consumers are worried about the risk of identity theft and paying online.

Despite this, only 18 per cent of shoppers said they would stop using an online store if it suffered a security breach, while a third would continue to use the site.

However, consumers are demanding transparency from online retailers, according to NTT Security, with 80 per cent saying they would expect a retailer to inform them if the website had suffered a breach, in order to build more consumer trust.

More secure payment systems online and retailers insisting that customers use stronger passwords and to change them regularly, were also cited as ways to build on consumer trust online.

More than 40 per cent of shoppers believe that retailers should publish their privacy policies to allow customers to see how data is being handled and stored, while a third (32 per cent) want stores to listen and respond to customer concerns on social media to help build consumer trust.

In NTT’s ‘Trust List’ it found that online-only retailers, such as Amazon, were more trusted than high street retailers with an online presence (4th and 5th respectively).

Steve Arnison, director at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, said: “These findings highlight the unease that many Millennials feel about information sharing, particularly when it comes to online and mobile transactions. Retailers today must recognise that customer privacy concerns will continue to increase as society becomes more digitally connected. As such, businesses will need to take proactive measures now to protect their customer’s best interests and meet the demands of an increasingly digitally-savvy customer base.”

Stuart Reed, director at NTT Security, added: “The retail sector is among one of the most targeted industries for attacks and, with one of the busiest trading periods of the year now upon us, it makes sense that both consumers and retailers are diligent in terms of data security.

“While some shoppers are happy to continue using sites, even when they have been breached, they are also anxious for retailers to let customers know when they have been hacked. Consumers certainly seem to be growing in security awareness when online; more savvy, they are willing to take responsibility for their own security to some extent, but they are also more demanding of retailers and expect to see privacy and security polices displayed clearly on websites.”

Mr Reed warned retailers: “While seasonal trading might result in a spike of targeted attacks, it’s important to remember that in a connected, global economy, cyber threats are present 24 hours a day, every day of the year. So it’s crucial that online retailers get the basics right combined with a balanced and well communicated approach to cyber security at all times.”