Two-Thirds Of Consumers Would Cut Ties With Merchants Over A Single Online Fraud Incident

New research shows a zero-tolerance attitude among consumers toward online theft in eCommerce today, with 65 percent or more saying a single incident can lose that customer.

The Securing eCommerce Study, a PYMNTS and NuData collaboration, surveyed nearly 2,400 U.S. consumers about pandemic effects on their eCommerce use, particularly as it relates to concerns around fraud and data theft on these proliferating platforms and marketplaces.

Demographics play their part as well, with 67 percent of middle-income consumers (individuals who earn between $50,000 and $100,000 annually) saying they’d ditch an eCommerce site over one instance of fraud. Income also impacts that outlook, insofar as higher earners will still drop one site, then make that same purchase where they feel it’s safer.

Were it not for the staggering growth of eCommerce over the past 16 months, fraud concerns might have the volume turned down. That’s clearly not the case. For example, the Securing eCommerce Study notes that 67 percent of millennials “report shopping online more often now than before the pandemic began, while 65 percent of bridge millennials say the same.”

It’s not just legions of eCommerce converts drawing a red line over data theft from merchants. The Securing eCommerce Study found, “Even consumers who are purchasing less or exactly as much online as they did before the pandemic began report feeling more worried about their personal data being stolen than they were before it started.”

In a climate where enthusiasm for new online shopping experiences meets the age-old dread of being robbed, payments choice plays a fascinating role. Researchers found that despite the manifold new payment options available online, “The most common way that shoppers pay for their online purchases is nevertheless the tried-and-true guest checkout,” with 71 percent of eCommerce shoppers “paying by entering their credit or debit card information manually at guest checkout, in fact. This works out to roughly 172 million consumers.”