Nearly Sixty Percent of Consumers Did Not Purchase a Product Because of Difficult Merchandise Security Measures


MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE: MWV), a global leader in packaging and packaging solutions today unveiled findings from its Retail Security Solutions Study, which explores consumers’ perceptions of common retail security measures, like clamshells and pull cards, their level of satisfaction with those measures and the impact they have on consumers’ path to purchase.

The results indicate that the types of security measures retailers and brand owners implement to protect products from theft can have an overwhelming influence on how consumers interact with those products, as well as brand impressions and purchasing behavior. 

The study revealed that almost all consumers (98%) prefer open merchandising, or the ability to interact with the product in the store before purchase, including picking it up, reading about it, evaluating it and/or talking with a store associate about the product. In fact, consumers place such a high premium on open merchandising that nearly 60% said that they have decided not to make a purchase because they could not easily get to the product/package and effectively interact with it. This includes consumers who decided not to purchase a product because it was in a glass encasement (39%), and those who decided not to purchase a product because it was only accessible by a store sales person (37%). 

“The findings from our Retail Security Solutions Study help prove that when consumers cannot interact with a product in the retail environment, there is a significant negative impact on retailers’ and brand owners’ bottom lines,” said Jeff Kellogg, vice president  of MWV’s Consumer Electronics & Security Packaging Systems division. “Insights from this study will help us identify ways to partner with retailers and brand owners to implement solutions that protect from theft as well as improve the consumer experience in store.” 

Perceptions of Individual Security Solutions

 The Retail Security Solutions Study allowed consumers to share their perceptions of commonly used retail security measures, including: clamshells, pull cards, locked cabinets, locked plastic boxes and product wraps with alarms. Three of MWV’s security packaging solutions were also a part of this study: 

  • Natralock® with Siren™ Technology: Natralock with the addition of a small alarm that sounds if the package is tampered with or when it is taken out of the store illegally. 
  • The newly launched Intercept™, using Proteqt Technologies: an on-product lock that removes thieves’ motivation to steal by disabling the product until it is wirelessly unlocked at the point of purchase. 

All these security measures were evaluated on their impact on the path to purchase:

  • Locating – the ability to find the product in-store
  • Evaluating – the ability to examine the product in-store for purchase decision-making
  • Purchasing – the ability to purchase the product
  • Experiencing – the ability to easily open the package and experience the product after purchase 

In terms of overall performance and consumer satisfaction, results showed that Natralock and Intercept consistently outperformed other security measures in all four steps in the path to purchase.

“The consumers’ path to purchase is a delicate process,” explained Kellogg. “There are so many factors at play when retail consumers are deciding to purchase a product. Retailers and brand owners could end up missing a sale if the security measure creates a barrier.” 

Additional results from the study reveal that consumers have a strong affinity for MWV’s security packaging solutions because they are less likely to impact the shopping experience and therefore less likely to prevent purchase. When stacked against the competition, findings revealed:

  • More consumers agree that MWV’s solutions would not prevent them from purchasing the product (77%Intercept;74%Natralock and67%Siren).
  • MWV’s Intercept and Natralock also had the highest levels of satisfaction/purchase intent (52%and53%respectively).
  • Natralock and Intercept would increase consumers’ perception of the brand (48% and 59% respectively).

About the Study

MWV’s Retail Security Solutions Study was a large-scale, quantitative study conducted in December 2012 across five metropolitan cities in the U.S.: Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. Research participants included consumers who had recently shopped for and/or purchased an item that was protected with a security device.

Source: MeadWestvaco Corporation