Study: Breaches impact consumer behavior

One of the most important pieces of information in the eyes of the retail sector is the manner in which consumers conduct themselves. Changes in behavior — either in the form of spending increases or decreases or the emergence of new shopping trends — can dramatically impact the way in which retailers operate. As such, it's important to stay abreast of any incidents that could trigger change in consumer attitudes, such as security breaches.

Last year, the security breach at Target created a major PR nightmare for the department store, as many shoppers were turned off by the risk of having their information stolen. Unsurprisingly, this is consistent with general sentiment towards breaches. 

According to two studies — the National Consumer League's Data Insecurity Report and Security Matters: Americans on EMV Chip Cards — consumers are becoming increasingly wary of using credit cards at big-name retailers following a breach. The former shows that the majority of consumers blame the retailers themselves in the wake of a breach. The latter says roughly 67 percent of American shoppers prefer to use cash after a breach.

In a constantly evolving digital ecosystem in the retail market, merchants can't afford to ditch card processing software entirely. It's certainly important to be sensitive to these concerns, but forgetting overall trends in consumer spending can damage a retailer's future economic viability. The best scenario is to obtain solutions that are accommodating to all payment preferences while ensuring that card-based payments are conducted with the utmost security. 

Working with a credit processing software provider can help merchants acquire the solutions needed to maintain adequate security on all forms of payment.

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