Generali Global Assistance released the findings of its survey which examines consumer sentiment on retail data breaches and the identity theft risks holiday shopping poses.
Grown comfort with online shopping
Among those who avoided it entirely, comfort with online shopping has grown substantially this year.
- 30% of Americans surveyed avoided online shopping due to the potential security risks prior to the COVID-19 pandemic
- 74% of those who avoided online shopping due to security risks say they are using their credit card online more often as a direct result of the pandemic-induced retail lockdowns
- 73% of those who avoided online shopping in the past agree they have become more comfortable shopping online since the start of the pandemic
Many plan to shop in brick-and-mortar stores
Online shopping dominates this year, but nearly half plan to shop in brick-and-mortar stores.
- 86% of consumers plan to do their holiday shopping online, up 21 percent from last year, likely due to the pandemic
- 48% indicated they will shop for the holidays in a brick-and-mortar store, down 15 percent from last year
- 70% of holiday shoppers plan to shop at two to five brick-and-mortar and/or online stores
- 18% indicated they will go to more than six stores this holiday season
Growing concern about data breaches
2 in 3 are concerned about data breaches during holiday shopping season; nearly 4 in 5 will think twice before doing business with a breached retailer.
- 66% of Americans surveyed expressed concern about their financial or personal information being compromised due to a data breach while shopping this holiday season
- 78% of customers indicated that they would be concerned about doing business with a retailer if they experienced a breach
- Down a point from last year, the number of customers who expressed concern over retailers who’ve been breached has decreased, continuing a potential trend of consumer apathy toward data breaches that GGA identified last year
Identity protection services are preferred
Most shoppers would feel more secure if a retailer offered them identity protection services.
- 64% of Americans indicated they would feel more secure doing business with a retailer if that retailer offered them identity protection services
- Compared to 61% of Americans in 2018 and 55% in the year prior who indicated they would feel more secure if a retailer offered them ID theft protection
- Revealing that more consumers understand the need for identity theft protection today
Identity theft is viewed as a threat this year by over 2 in 5 Americans
- 61% of shoppers indicate that data breaches of online merchants or credit card providers is still the biggest threat to their identity, up 14 percent from last year
- 43% of Americans indicated that identity theft is their greatest threat this year
- 28% perceive having their identity stolen due to a COVID-19 related scam as the greatest threat to their personal info, whether it be a COVID-related employment scam (20%) or a health scam (17%)
- Break-in or pickpocket (15%), a tax scam (13%), and to a lesser extent, a puppy scam (7%) were the other types of identity theft considered a danger by respondents
Big box stores are trusted most with personal data
- 40% of Americans trust big box stores the most with their personal data this holiday shopping season
- 36% consider e-retailers the most trustworthy
- Only 22% of the survey respondents trust their local small businesses with their personal data.
Paige Schaffer, CEO, Global Identity and Cyber Protection Services at Generali Global Assistance, commented on the findings, “Consumers’ shopping behavior has evolved rapidly as a result of the pandemic forcing even the 30 percent of Americans who used to avoid online shopping entirely to take their business online.
“While consumers growing apathy around breaches continued, our survey also showed that more of them understand the need for identity protection. Making sure the average consumer’s personal information is safe and offering them support in the wake of an incident will improve customer loyalty among all retailers from the big box super store to the local mom and pop shop.”