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PYMNTS Data Brief: 84 Pct Of Consumers Expect New SMB Merchants To Guard Data

The connected economy is being shadowed by a despicable construct: the fraud economy, where people aren’t the legit customers they pretend to be. The damage these fraudsters inflict erodes the very foundation of enduring consumer-merchant relationships: trust.

This PYMNTS Data Brief is excerpted from the May 2021 study, The Trust Quotient: How Merchant Trust Drives Shopping Behaviors, a Sift collaboration. Researchers analyzed nearly 2,600 consumer responses for insights into trust, and what consumers will abide for security.

When it comes to protections at checkout, PYMNTS found that 84 percent of consumers shopping with smaller merchants for the first time (“new small merchants”) expect those retailers to protect their data, “even if doing so added friction to the checkout process.”

That percentage drops when shopping with familiar merchants with whom consumers had made multiple eCommerce purchases over the past year, and with large but unfamiliar merchants (“new large merchants”), at 79 percent and 75 percent, respectively.

Looking beyond differing demographic perceptions of tolerable friction, the May Trust Quotient study found that “merchant trust is a key determinant of consumer interest in taking additional steps to secure [consumers’] data,” with 45 percent of consumers who trust familiar merchants and 43 percent who trust new large merchants showing decreased concern for added security.

“Among consumers not interested in new security protections, large shares of bridge millennials (61 percent) and millennials (53 percent) expressed high levels of trust in familiar merchants as their reason for lacking interest in enhanced data security options.”

As commerce continues its mass migration to digital, Trust Quotient concludes that “regular positive interactions between consumers and merchants signal trustworthiness for customers,” and it’s especially so for bigger, better-known names. “Consumers listed trust as the most important factor determining their choice of retailer for familiar merchants (36 percent), new large merchants (33 percent) and new small merchants (34 percent).”

Reasons for getting this right are becoming clearer in Q2 as the global crisis lifts, with consumers seeking new retail experiences along with those they know. “Our survey found that 95 percent of online consumers have made regular purchases from one merchant during the last 12 months, but that 57 percent of this group have also purchased from a new merchant within the last year,” per The Trust Quotient: How Merchant Trust Drives Shopping Behaviors.

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