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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : April 02, 2012

Research: 69% consumers cut ties with companies that mishandle personal data

It's a no-brainer that companies that mishandle consumer data risk losing customers. New research from database marketing company Transactis reveals the extent of the potential damage.

by Helen Leggatt

transactis.jpgResponsible use of personal data leads to consumer trust and loyalty. Transactis' survey of 1,000 UK consumers shows that 83% would continue buying from a firm if that business is seen to handle their data responsibly. Over three-quarters say that the use of their data to tailor promotions and services would also encourage loyalty and nurture trust.

However, as soon as that trust is lost consumers will walk away. Over two-thirds of the 1,000 consumers surveyed had stopped their dealings with a company because they felt their personal data wasn't handled responsibly either by failure to keep it secure, passing it on to third-parties or erroneous information.

Furthermore, nearly all (95%) of respondents said they would be "very inclined" to seek out a competitor if they feel unhappy with how their personal data is being handled.

"The careful and intelligent use of personal data engenders consumer confidence and, ultimately, trust - allowing a stronger relationship with a customer to flourish," said Michael Green, Insight Director at Transactis.

"When companies alienate customers and lose their confidence by handling personal details irresponsibly, however, consumer punishment is harsh and damaging, as they turn their back on a brand they feel has abused their trust. Firms that fail to learn that lesson will feel the financial impact in a very direct way."

Tags: consumer data, consumer privacy, data collection, data handling, e-commerce, loyalty marketing, personal data, UK

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