More than Half of Online Consumers Distrust Brands with Personal Information


According to the new Optimove “2023 Consumer Trust of Retailers Survey,” more than half (55%) of consumers surveyed indicated they do not trust brands with their personal information. Further, 77% unsubscribe from brands because they feel their information is being misused.

Survey respondents said that their top fear is that their “financial information will be stolen,” cited by 49%, followed by their “identity will be stolen,” indicated by 33% of the consumers. Trust between brands and consumers is eroding overall, according to survey data, with the following results: getting worse (41%), staying the same (35%) and improving (24%).   

At the same time, a total of 64% are loyal to, and shop at, brands they do not trust comprised of the following: 32% shop at an online brand they do not trust “on a daily basis.” Another 32% said they shop at brands they do not trust but “try to avoid them.”

When asked what the “most important action” is in consumers trusting a brand, 56% responded, “having a policy that the marketer will not share personal information.” The second-most important action was the brand “asks my permission to offer suggestions,” chosen by 31% of consumers.

More than 80% (82%) of respondents said it is “extremely or very important” that they are “in control of the personal information they share with online brands.”

Linking trust, loyalty

“Trust and loyalty are inextricably linked,” says Pini Yakuel, CEO and founder of Optimove. “For consumers, if trust is broken by misuse of personal information, marketers rarely get a second chance. While consumers often choose an online retailer based on price, they will leave because of a marketer’s service miscues. It means that once a customer engages with a brand, the marketer must make the customer experience stellar by listening to and responding to customer needs and desires.”

However, adds Yakuel, consumers are human and can be illogical: “More than six in ten consumers shop at brands they don’t trust. It shows that price and convenience may be worth the ‘risk’ for a shopper. They will not necessarily switch when the brand has delivered on time with the right products – especially for commodities.”

Additional key survey results

Other key results from the survey:

  • Top action brands can take to build trust: a policy that personal information will not be shared, selected by 56% of respondents.
  • Email is the preferred channel by consumers for sharing personal information, selected by 67% of consumers surveyed.
  • Personal information consumers feel safest about sharing: email (53%), gender (52%), age (49%)
  • Marketers who send excessive or irrelevant offers to consumers are trusted less: 46% said they trust a marketer less; just 19% trust a marketer more

The “Optimove 2023 Consumer Trust of Retailers Survey” queried 406 U.S. citizens in Q4 2022. Respondents were ages 18-plus, 49% male/51% female, and household incomes were $50,000-plus. To access the “Optimove 2023 Consumer Trust of Retailers Survey,” go to this link.