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Nov 16, 2021 John Wechsler

Holiday Shoppers Trust E-Retailers More Than Other Retailers

Iris Powered by Generali releases findings from its fifth annual holiday shopping survey

Bethesda, Md. – November 16, 2021 – Iris® Powered by Generali (“Iris”), provider of a proprietary identity and cyber protection platform, today released the findings of its fifth annual Holiday Shopping ID Theft survey. The survey examines consumer sentiment on retail data breaches and the identity theft risks holiday shopping poses. Key findings from the annual survey are listed below:

Among those who avoided it entirely, comfort with online shopping has grown substantially post-pandemic.

  • 26% of Americans surveyed avoided online shopping due to the potential security risks (such as ID Theft or Fraud) prior to the COVID-19 pandemic
    o Past avoidance of online shopping is more common among men (29%) than women (23%).
  • 3 in 4 respondents (74%) who avoided online shopping due to security risks say they are using their credit card online more often as a direct result of the pandemic-induced retail lockdowns
  • 4 in 5 respondents (81%) who avoided online shopping in the past agree they have become more comfortable shopping online since the start of the pandemic, representing an increase over 2020 (73%)

Paige Schaffer, CEO of Iris, commented on the findings, “Consumers’ shopping behavior has evolved rapidly as a result of the pandemic forcing even those who used to avoid online shopping entirely to take their business online. While consumers growing apathy around breaches continued, our survey also showed that more shoppers than ever understand the need for identity protection. Making sure the average consumer’s personal information is safe and offering them support in the wake of an incident will improve customer loyalty among all – from e- retailers to the local mom and pop shop.”

E-retailers stores are trusted most with personal data, followed closely by Big Box.

  • 32% of Americans trust e-retailers the most with their personal data this holiday shopping season
  • 29% consider big box stores the most trustworthy
  • Only 23% of the survey respondents trust their local small businesses with their personal data while department stores were only seen as trustworthy by 12% of respondents

Online shopping dominates this year, but 3 in 5 plan to shop in brick-and-mortar stores.

  • 86% of consumers plan to do their holiday shopping online, in at least one of the following ways:
    • using a desktop, laptop, or tablet (61%)
    • using a cell phone or mobile device (49%)
    • and/or ordering online but picking up in a brick-and-mortar store (16%).
  • 57% indicated they will shop for the holidays in a brick-and-mortar store, up 9 percent from last year
  • 72% of holiday shoppers plan to shop at two to five brick-and-mortar and/or online stores
  • 25% indicated they will go to more than six stores this holiday season, up from 18% in 2020

2 in 3 are concerned about data breaches during holiday shopping season; nearly 4 in 5 will continue to think twice before doing business with a breached retailer.

  • 67% of Americans surveyed expressed concern about their financial or personal information being compromised due to a data breach while shopping this holiday season
  • 81% of customers indicated that they would be concerned about doing business with a retailer if they experienced a breach
  • Consumers were most likely to express an impact on their willingness to do business with a breached retailer in 2017 (84%) and 2018 (83%). These levels dropped somewhat in 2019 (79%) and 2020 (78%) but climbed back over 80% in 2021 with the volume of data breaches increasing during the pandemic.

Paige Schaffer, CEO of Iris, added, “We understand the importance of peace of mind to our customers and are encouraged by the fact that more of them are realizing the value identity protection services can provide. A key value add is our resolution center which has trained experts standing by 24/7 to bring Iris users from distress to relief – anytime and anywhere.”

Most shoppers would feel more secure if a retailer offered them identity protection services.

  • 3 in 5 Americans indicated they would feel more secure doing business with a retailer if that retailer offered them identity protection services
  • Compared to 61% of Americans in 2019 and 64% in the year prior who indicated they would feel more secure if a retailer offered them ID theft protection
  • Revealing that more consumers are continuing to understand the need for identity theft protection

Identity theft is viewed as a threat this year by 51% of Americans.

  • 66% of shoppers chose at least one type of data as the biggest threat to their identity
    • Over two in five (44%) regard a data breach of an online merchant they shop with as a threat, while 38% feel the same about a data breach of their credit card provider
    • 25% of respondents cite the danger of a data breach of a brick-and-mortar point of sale system
  • More than one in five (22%) perceive having their identity stolen due to a COVID-19 related scam as one of the greatest threats, whether it be an employment scam (17%) or a health scam (14%)
  • 33% see other types of scams as the biggest threat and to a lesser extent, 18% consider having their identity stolen physically via break in or pickpocket as a threat

Survey Methodology
The “Holiday Identity Theft” survey was conducted by ENGINE Insights among a sample of 1,012 adults 18 years of age and older, comprised of 506 men and 506 women. The online omnibus study is conducted three times a week among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,000 adults ages 18 and older. The survey was live on October 25 – 27, 2021.


About Iris® Powered by Generali
Iris® is your partner in people-first identity protection powered by Generali. With 24/7 support and monitoring services, suspicious activity alerts, and a personalized online dashboard, Iris puts consumers in control of their own identity. Backed by award-winning support and globally trusted Generali service, Iris swiftly and expertly assists consumers in their time of need.

To learn more about Iris’ offerings, please visit

Iris Media Contact

Jay A. Morakis
M Group Strategic Communications (for Iris)
+1 646.859.5951
Published by John Wechsler November 16, 2021