Akamai Technologies, the cloud company that powers and protects life online, today launched new research revealing cybersecurity as a key dampener of British consumers’ confidence in the retail sector. The research shows that the majority (59%) of those who ever shop online would stop shopping at a retailer if it was the victim of a cyberattack and half (49%) don’t trust retailers to keep their personal details safe. These results come at a time of national economic uncertainty, with retailers under increasing pressure to attract and retain customers. Retail sales volumes fell by 1.6% in August 2022, continuing a downward trend since summer 2021 (source: ONS).

Consumers are becoming accustomed to constant cybersecurity threats, with 64% of those ever shopping online having experienced an attack attempt in the last year. This is reflected in recent global data from the Akamai Intelligent Platform showing that web application and API attacks in the retail sector have increased by 301% between July 2021 and July 2022. Almost half of respondents (46%) say they think it is likely their personal data will be exposed in an attack in the next twelve months.

The link between cybersecurity and spending is clear: 70% of online shoppers said they assess how secure a retailer’s website looks before buying and almost all (91%) consumers said they would abandon their shopping cart if a website did not appear secure enough. 59% also said they would tell their friends to stop shopping with a retailer if they had been the victim of a cyberattack. When it comes to user experience (UX), the research found that 79% of people would rather protect their personal data than receive a more personalised online shopping experience.

When asked how they expect retailers to tackle cybersecurity, the vast majority (76%) of British online shoppers expect retailers to invest heavily in data protection and security as opposed to educational campaigns or communications (37%).

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“With cyberattacks on the rise, it is more important than ever for retailers to ensure their customers feel safe and secure while shopping online. At this time of economic uncertainty, many retailers will be tempted to cut budgets. This research shows that cybersecurity is one area where they cannot afford to cut corners. Consumers are ready to walk out on retailers over bad cybersecurity,” said Richard Meeus, Director of Security Technology and Strategy EMEA at Akamai.

Methodology

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,171 UK adults, 2,116 of which ever shop online. Fieldwork was undertaken between 31st August – 1st September 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

 

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Richard Meeus
With more than 20 years of experience, Richard Meeus is responsible for designing and building secure solutions for some of the world’s most influential organisations. He is also a chartered member of the BCS and a CISSP.