Think Customers Trust You? Survey Says: Think Again

Customers don't trust online retailers to keep their payment details secure—but they trust bricks-and-mortar retailers even less. Most of all, they hate being asked a lot of pesky security questions. That's the takeaway from a pair of surveys released this week by a security firm and an alternative payments vendor in the U.K.

In a survey of 1,000 consumers by security firm Integralis, only 36 percent of respondents said they trust online retailers to keep their personal information and payment data secure (that's compared with a whopping 65 percent who say they trust banks), while that trust drops to just 24 percent when it comes to trusting supermarkets with their personal information and data.

A separate online survey of 1,022 consumers said that 46 percent felt frustrated by the security questions they were asked when making purchases online, and that 39 percent had actually abandoned an online transaction because they thought they were being asked for too much personal information, according to e-payments vendor Ukash.

It's easy for U.S. retailers to conclude that U.K. consumers are simply weird, but that's probably wishful thinking. Of course consumers don't like security questions—they don't like passwords either, or any of the security advice or rules they're subjected to on a regular basis. The fact that those questions are really the only way retailers can confirm their identities doesn't change the fact that they're frustrated with the need to do it.

It's the classic security paradox: They're worried about identity theft, but they know they're trustworthy. Why do e-tailers have to be so nosy?

Meanwhile, the surveys also hold an uncomfortable answer to the question of how e-commerce continues to rise as a percentage of retail sales. Most retailers have assumed that consumers have gotten over their often-cited distrust about online transactions. But at a time when retailers ask for more and more personal information for CRM and loyalty programs, it may that customers still really don't trust online merchants—they just trust bricks-and-mortar chains even less.

For more:

-See this Internet Retailing story
-See this story

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