Deloitte: Data Security Impacts Consumer Purchasing Decisions

Significant new investments in data security may be in order for retailers given consumer concerns about breaches and other privacy issues, according to a study by Deloitte. In the research, eight in 10 consumers said they would be more likely to purchase consumer products from companies that they believe protect their personal information.

However, only 37% believe that these companies are adequately doing so, according to the Deloitte study, “Building Consumer Trust: Protecting personal data in the consumer product industry.”

Consumers said they are ready to act on data security issues, with 59% of respondents to the market research firm’s study stating that a single data breach would negatively impact their likelihood of buying brands from a consumer products seller. Still consumers aren’t ready to cut and run in the face of a data-breach incident, if action results, with 51% or respondents telling Deloitte that they would be forgiving of a company that quickly addressed the issue.

“Consumer product companies are collecting more detailed individual profiles, and unfortunately, the more data a company gathers, the more attractive that information becomes to malevolent parties,” Pat Conroy, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and consumer products sector leader, said in announcing the study. “Many of these companies have yet to establish themselves as stewards of consumer data protection but stand to gain a great deal by strengthening their privacy and security practices and communicating them to consumers. Doing so can help distinguish these companies from competitors and subsequently impact purchase decisions.”