Akamai, a cybersecurity and content delivery network firm, reveals a general lack of consumer trust in retailers. Research conducted with YouGov explored the link between cybersecurity and consumer spending.
With retail sales volumes currently at an all-time low, Akamai and YouGov conducted research to understand consumer feelings toward shopping with online retailers. Recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) findings found that retail sales volumes fell by 1.4 per cent in September 2022.
Akamai used a sample size of 2,171 UK adults, 2,116 of whom shop online. The firm’s research suggests a strong connection between a lack of trust in retailers and cybersecurity concerns. A majority (59 per cent) of UK online shoppers said that they would stop shopping at a retailer if they were ever the victim of a cyberattack.
Likewise, around half of consumers (49 per cent) did not trust online retailers to keep their personal information safe. A similar number (46 per cent) of consumers expect compensation from a retailer following a breach. These findings suggest that many online shoppers are being put off from spending online. On the back of these findings, retailers may need to find solutions to regain trust and restore online spending to previous levels.
Why do online shoppers feel this way?
A lack of trust should not come as a surprise given statistics surrounding cyber attacks in recent history. Sixty-four per cent of online shoppers have experienced an attack attempt in the last year. The Akamai ‘Web Application and API Threat Report‘ also found that web application and API attacks increased by 301 per cent between July 2021 and July 2022.
The greater number of attacks combined with no significant increase in budget to tackle security issues has caused consumers to feel less safe when shopping online. With shoppers not feeling safe, they appear to have already begun making more precautionary decisions when shopping. Seventy of online shoppers said they assess how secure a retailer’s website looks before buying.
Around 59 per cent claimed they would tell friends to stop shopping with retailers after becoming a cyberattack victim. With shoppers warning other shoppers away from retailers, online retail sales volumes may continue to fall.
The lack of trust appears to be based on cybersecurity mistakes by retailers as opposed to a need for consumers to better educate themselves. Only 37 per cent of online shoppers from the UK expected retailers to invest more in educational campaigns and communications. Meanwhile, over double this amount of shoppers (76 per cent) expected retailers to invest heavily in data protection and security.
Richard Meeus, director of security technology and strategy in EMEA at Akamai explained what the findings mean for retailers.
He said: “With cyberattacks on the rise, it is more important than ever for retailers to ensure their customers feel safe and secure while shopping online.
“At this time of economic uncertainty, many retailers will be tempted to cut budgets. This research shows that cybersecurity is one area where they cannot afford to cut corners.
“Consumers are ready to walk out on retailers over bad cybersecurity.”