May 04, 2021 at 09:00AM

The pandemic has been an undeniable boon for eTailers. More consumers than ever are going online to buy all manner of products, from household goods to health and wellness products to clothing and beyond.

This surge in eCommerce activity nevertheless comes with a catch. The more time consumers spend shopping online, the more concerned they grow about the security of their personal and transactional data online. Forty-eight percent of all eCommerce shoppers report being more worried about fraud and data theft now than they were before the pandemic began, in fact. Concerns run even higher among consumers who are shopping more online now than they were before, with 57 percent saying they are more concerned about data security now than before the pandemic was declared.

What can eTailers do to help ensure that their customers feel confident that their data security practices will keep their personal data safe online?

This is just one of the many questions that PYMNTS, in collaboration with NuData, set out to answer in the Securing eCommerce Study. We surveyed a census-balanced panel of 2,368 U.S. consumers to learn how their data security awareness is changing as eCommerce becomes more central to their
everyday lives, how this awareness stands to impact the eTailers with whom they shop and what eTailers can do to assuage their customers’ mounting data security anxieties.

Our research shows that eTailers are on the hook for keeping their customers’ transactional data safe and secure – whether they realize it or not. Sixty-five percent of all eCommerce customers say that experiencing even a single data security breach would prompt them to leave a merchant for good, putting pressure on eTailers to tighten their data security and reduce the risk of fraud and theft as much as possible.

There is no one-size-fits-all way to approach data security, but our study suggests that there are certain factors that consumers tend to associate with stronger data security. These might include being asked to provide additional authentication factors such as passwords or PIN codes or simply having many positive previous experiences with select merchants.

The trouble is that these factors often have little to do with the quality of eTailers’ data security, even if consumers tend to see them as signs that their personal data is being well protected. It, therefore, falls on individual eTailers to educate their users not only of their own authentication methods but also of best data security practices, in general, to ensure that their customers are well informed about what it means to be safe and secure online.

Education is only the first of many responsibilities that eTailers have toward their customers in this new, eCommerce-centric ecosystem, however. The Securing eCommerce Study details what additional steps online merchants can take to meet their shoppers’ rising demand for fast, seamless and secure purchases.

To learn more about how online merchants can boost their customers’ data security confidence, download the study.

REPORT: 65 Pct Of Consumers Would Abandon Merchant After eCommerce Data Breach …

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