PYMNTS Sift Report: Digital Trust ‘Signals’ Cement Consumer-Merchant Loyalty Via Security

PYMNTS Sift Report: Digital Trust ‘Signals’ Cement Consumer-Merchant Loyalty Via Security

June 14, 2021 at 02:30PM

The late, great motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.” In 2021, trust is now first in line, not last.

PYMNTS’ June 2021 edition of the Digital Security Playbook: Building Trust And Loyalty Online, a Sift collaboration, explores matters of consumer trust in mobile connected commerce especially, finding in a recent survey of U.S. adults that a majority concur with the following statement: “Merchants should do whatever they can to protect my data.”

With consumers making no secret as to whom they hold responsible for cybertheft when it happens — they’re looking at you, merchants — it’s critical to nail trust, or forget loyalty.

Per the Playbook, “Eighty-four percent of first-time shoppers with smaller merchants were concerned with data security. This suggests that because consumers are now using their mobile devices more to shop, retailers will need to keep consumer data well-protected and make shoppers aware that they are taking steps to keep information secure.”

Trust Isn’t Just Another Strategy

Noting that 75 percent of millennials and 72 percent of bridge millennials, respectively, use mobile devices to shop with the same retailers routinely, and “to discover new merchants” in 64 percent and 63 percent of cases, respectively,” the Playbook states that selecting the right technology partners is a vital step in securing the trust of shoppers by securing their data first.

“Fraud prevention is more than a critical fiscal strategy; it is an essential step in establishing digital trust with consumers, a key component of long-term customer engagement. Retailers should choose a fraud prevention platform or partner with specific expertise in the vast array of fraud attacks retailers may face, which can include synthetic ID-based attacks and bot-driven account takeovers (ATOs),” according to the June Digital Security Playbook.

The mounting obsession with data security is rooted in rampant cybercrime that’s been tracking along with the mass digital shift since it attained critical mass in early 2020.

Per the Playbook, “The average eCommerce storefront faced 344 fraud attacks per year in 2020, up by 24 percent over 2019, with large retailers experiencing a 37 percent increase in fraud attacks in 2020,” and “for every dollar lost to fraud, an organization’s total financial loss totaled $3.36” due to the merchant costs of cleaning up after a cyberattack.

On Automation, AI, And Picking Partners

As it pertains to loyalty and its hardiness in the face of runaway digital theft, the Digital Security Playbook: Building Trust And Loyalty Online states, “Consumers’ assessment of digital trustworthiness is a crucial driver of merchant choice, so newer and/or smaller merchants have an opportunity to engage new customers by creating a shopping environment that signals data security as an integral part of the customer experience.”

That comes down to trust “signals” that merchants and brands transmit to consumers through their security posture. Signals shown to increase the consumer-merchant trust bond include clear product descriptions and visible security logos at checkout “as essential features for new small merchants to provide” if they wish to engender trust that results in recurring revenue.

Positive frictions that don’t interfere with experience get high marks, but the Tracker also observes, “Choosing the right service or platform to manage your fraud-blocking efforts is essential. Look for a provider that automates fraud blocking and prevention using artificial intelligence (AI)-based modeling of the range of legitimate customer behaviors. This allows retailers to automatically block fraudulent behaviors while limiting false declines.”