Research shows consumers turn away from brands that do not protect their data

Two thirds of consumers concerned their data would get hacked when sharing it with brands and retailers while shopping

On the back of explosive growth in online shopping since March 2020, consumers are more worried than ever that their data will be hacked and used for purposes of which they are unaware, leading to a negative impact on purchasing, loyalty and relationships.

Original research of more than 2,000 American consumers in the dotdigital “Rise of the responsible marketer” report reveals that 67% of consumers were concerned their data would get hacked when sharing it with brands and retailers while shopping.

This concern has in turn made consumers more sensitive about their data; 51% of respondents said they had become more aware of how their data was used by brands.  68% of consumers were concerned their data would be passed on to third parties for marketing purposes, with a further 69% worried their personal information would be passed to other companies without their consent.

As a result, 72% of US shoppers would be less likely to buy again from a brand who they felt had not been responsible with their data – this rose to 86% of over 65s, compared to 56% of 18-24 year olds.

65% would actively discourage family and friends from buying from a brand which had irresponsibly handled their data. 56% would also write a negative review to warn off other shoppers / consumers from buying from the brand after a poor data experience, while a further 51% would have no qualms about reporting a brand to a watchdog if their data wasn’t handled responsibly

A resulting lack of trust in brands was revealed by the finding that 75% of US consumers said brands could do more to ensure the safety of their personal data. Commenting on the figures, Tink Taylor, founder and president of dotdigital Group said, “Brands have a communications crisis on their hands if they are currently unable to retain their customers’ trust and therefore more of their business. They need to build infrastructures that engender, earn and sustain trust, and clearly communicate these with consumers.”

He added: “Consumer sentiment is critical and ensuring security and compliance naturally fosters trust, which is the key for consumers to share their data with a brand. If a consumer trusts a brand, then they will be engaged; and the value of that relationship, nurtured over time, is returned in increased conversions, loyalty and customer lifetime value.”

“dotdigital promotes best-practice to enable retailers and brands to be identified by their customers as responsible marketers for data privacy, security, compliance and sustainability,” he concluded.

For more actionable insights on consumer sentiment on data, privacy and how brands must put data stewardship at the heart of their marketing efforts to reassure consumers and build the long-term meaningful relationships that drive loyalty, download the full report: “Rise of the responsible marketer” here.