Data Insecurity: U.S. Consumers Fear Giving Up Their Email Addresses

Consumers worldwide see retail as an omnichannel experience, with a majority engaging both online and offline, according to The Future of Shopping: connected, virtual and augmented, a new study by Periscope By McKinsey.

But they are worried about data security. In the U.S. 38% of shoppers are concerned about surrendering their email and phone information, making that the leading issue.

In contrast, 34% of UK consumers are anxious about email, second to having their in-store movements tracked. In addition, 43% of German respondents share that fear.

The biggest anxiety in France is putting credit card information online (47%). But that’s only the second-biggest problem in Germany (40%) and the U.S. (37%).

Breaking this down by age, 47% of U.S. consumers ages 60-69 are nervous about their email and phone info, beating all other worries. The findings are similar in the UK, where 45% feel that way.

Younger people in the U.S. are slightly less suspicious, but email and phone information remain the top concerns among most groups, although 18- to-29-year-olds are more anxious about their card information.



Meanwhile, over 60% or more of U.S., UK and German consumers shop both offline and online. However, only 35% of French prospects do so. 

In France, 55% of shopping is done in stores, versus 19% on computers and 14% on smartphones. 

The store also ranks highest in the U.S., with 50% of purchases being made there, compared to 19% via smartphone and 19% by computer. 

In contrast, 43% of  UK shopping takes place in the store, 22% by computer and 21% by smartphone. And in Germany, stores account for 47%, computers for 25% an smartphones or 17%. 

The remainder for all countries is made up of IoT devices and tablets.

New virtual and augmented technologies have also made their appearance. But over 60% of consumers in all countries had yet to experience them.

Still, consumers see these tools as desirable for tapping into more granular product information. For example, 65% of French buyers would probably use VR/AR applications that provided more details, followed by the U.S. (62%), the UK (57%) and Germany (54%).

U.S. shoppers lead the way in embracing mobile payments, with 65% saying they are likely to do so, versus 61% in the UK, 53% in France and 52% in Germany.

In addition, 60% in the U.S. strongly intend to make more use of their phones to scan-pay-go an avoid the need to go through a cashier at all. They are joined by 55% in the UK, 49% in Germany and 48% in France.

“Consumers are eager to embrace innovations in retail technologies and demanding more from retailers," concludes Brian Elliott, partner and head of innovation at Periscope By McKinsey.

However, he adds that the “real challenge for retailers is learning how to personalize the experience for individual consumers by powering cross channel analytics using the data available to them, without neglecting customers' security and privacy." 

Periscope By McKinsey surveyed 503 consumers in France, 504 in the UK, 516 in Germany and 1,101 in the U.S.


2 comments about "Data Insecurity: U.S. Consumers Fear Giving Up Their Email Addresses".
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  1. Craig Mcdaniel from Sweepstakes Today LLC, March 20, 2019 at 5:08 p.m.

    I have a different take on online security.  In America, I place telephone number ahead of email address. The reason is many people have multiple addresses and a email address is desposable. Email addresses don't cost any to change.  Telephone numbers are a different story. They are more personal and getting on a spam telephone list is worse than email.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, March 20, 2019 at 8:55 p.m.

    Do NOT give out any info you can avoid. It will be abused.

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