Hacking Hasn't Made a Big Impact on Online Shopping Habits

Wary consumers still hit the buy button

Author: Jeremy Kressman

February 21, 2017

After a slew of data breaches at major companies, US internet users are worried about their digital privacy. But not so worried as to significantly change the way they shop.

A January 2017 survey conducted by Blumberg Capital found a variety of responses to concerns about hacking, but only a small minority of internet users (19%) said they had actually cut back on shopping digitally.

As for eliminating digital shopping entirely, just 4% said they had taken that drastic step.

Otherwise, internet users said they had taken steps like not saving credit card information (33%) and changing their passwords regularly (29%).

The Blumberg survey is in line with a variety of data over the past year in suggesting that data breaches have not had much of an effect on the way consumers go about shopping and buying online.

US Internet Users Who Would Continue to Shop* at a Retailer After a Security Breach, March 2016 (% of respondents)

And a December 2016 study by Thales Group found that consumers weren’t all that concerned about retailers that had experienced a credit card hack. When presented with the hypothetical situation of how they might respond if a retailer had recently experienced a credit card breach, only 20% of US internet users said they would stop shopping there, while 55% said they would still shop, but would switch to paying with cash. And 25% said it made no difference—they’d keep shopping, and would use all payment methods.