Online retailers and providers can expect to suffer from a significant decline in customer loyalty if they fail to provide the most effective security for customers.

Recent research into the Net Promoter Score (NPS) loyalty metric by YouGov into five different business sectors – banking, insurance, gaming, retail and mobile - found that the threat of customer loss could cost brands in these sectors a total of over £3.3 billion.

The average NPS score for the top brands in the UK retail sector was a positive 25. However, if these retail brands do not demonstrate strong security measures on their site, such as EV SSL, the score dips to -52. Furthermore, if a brand tries to levy a £10 charge for additional online security, the score plummets to -62.

Karine Del Moro, director of EMEA marketing at Satmetrix, explained that consumers fall into three different categories depending on the score that they give to the question “How likely would you be to recommend Brand X to your friends and colleagues”. On a 0-10 scale: 9-10 are promoters, 0-6 are detractors and 7-8 are passive. Those who give a 0-6 are most likely to defect.

Martin Mackay, vice president EMEA at VeriSign, claimed that it was segmenting data to the customers and seeing how loyal they are, observing what behaviour they portray so they can be given a final value.

Mackay said: “We put in goals around NPS, using our bonus plan to find out about job satisfaction, it is not just an online retail thing. We are doing it so they can improve on their score and learn to improve and understand the changes of loyalty.

“It also helps our internal processes, as every time we get a 9-10 NPS I get an email, every time it is 6 or lower the person will get a call to sort out the dissatisfaction.”

Mackay further claimed that banks have a challenge between security and usability. People are supposedly aware of such technology, but if a chosen bank or gambling site does not offer effective security, the NPS drops to -62 and -63 respectively if the user does not feel that the site is protected.

“We want to bring trust to the internet and when you go to a website you want to make sure that it is authenticated, ideally offering protection online and in the office,” said Mackay.

“This is the technology we are offering so we wanted to look at the correlation between the two – security and loyalty. If you can create loyalty you can create trust. Look at the NPS score and assess what impact the increased security has so you get overall values of the brands in the sector.”