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Established 1996
Wednesday 26 February 2020


Data security fears ‘hindering retail sales’

Written by Chris Lemmon

UK consumers are willing to spend more online with retailers who demonstrate strong cybersecurity and data privacy capabilities, according to a new report.

Accenture surveyed more than 6,000 consumers and 200 retail executives, finding that 77 per cent of consumers ranked cyber security as the third most important factor when selecting retailers, behind only product availability and quality.

Strong cyber security measures increased customer satisfaction by 13 per cent, according to the report, while 40 per cent of consumers would be willing to increase their online spend by at least 20 per cent more with retailers they trust. The report predicted that retailers who are able to adopt advanced cybersecurity measures could drive a 5.4 per cent uplift in annual revenue.

However, Accenture identified that 70 per cent of consumers want to be assured that their financial and personal information is safe, yet only 44 per cent of retailers are actively informing them.

Retailers are also not adequately informing their customers of data breaches. Forty per cent of retailers said they experienced a data breach over the past three years (2015-2017 inclusive) and had customer financial or personal data compromised, yet only 21 per cent of consumers say that they heard their primary retailer’s name mentioned with a data breach.

“Cybersecurity represents a lucrative opportunity for retailers to improve customer satisfaction and drive higher online spending” said Tim Bridges, global sector lead, consumer products, retail and distribution at Capgemini. “Only retailers who are able to effectively align their cybersecurity measures with customer expectations will be able to impact top-line revenue.”

Separate research from Ecrebo also found that more than half of retailers are not ready for the implementation of GDPR. Paul Bowen, head of financial services for UK and Ireland at digital and cloud services firm Avanade, said: “My concern is that where banks are in doubt about how open they should be with customer data, they will take the safe course of action and choose protection over access. This is the worst approach possible, as it would likely harm their ability to build the new digital services and partner ecosystems required to compete against FinTech companies.”


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