The economic downturn has not affected the way consumers shop online, according to a study released by McAfee, which shows 72% consumers haven't changed the way they shop online because of the recession – instead, fears about online security and personal information are the biggest drivers behind terminated online sales.
Nearly half of consumers have terminated an order or abandoned their shopping cart due to security fears. Even in an attempt to get a good deal, 63% won't purchase from a Web site that does not display a trustmark or security policy.
"Online retailers need to understand that consumers with intent to purchase are terminating their orders because they don't feel safe online," says Jayson O’Reilly, regional manager for Africa, McAfee. "Our research suggests that economic concerns and price have not affected the way people shop online, but instead security concerns are the driving force behind whether a transaction is completed or terminated.
"All Web sites, regardless of size, need to take measures to prove to customers that their personal information will be safe and secure when doing business online."
There are a growing number of consumers that now demand trustmarks and refuse to shop on sites that don't display them.
The Harris Interactive research revealed that one in five consumers refuse to purchase from a site that does not display a trustmark. To assuage consumer fears, e-tailers can prove their security measures and build trust with consumers by displaying a trustmark; in fact, about 60% of consumers feel safer when shopping on sites with a trustmark.
The Harris Interactive study also showed that, while all online retailers, regardless of size, need to demonstrate their security measures to customers, trustmarks can be a particularly important tool for smaller companies to equalise against their larger competitors.
More than 90% of consumers are concerned about their security when shopping on new or unknown Web sites, and 47% of consumers look for trustmarks to feel safe when shopping on a lesser known site.
By displaying a trustmark, the lesser known site can prove credibility to potential customers and gain market share from larger sites. In fact, one-third of consumers would rather buy from a smaller Web site with a trustmark than a larger, more well-known e-tailer.
"Our research shows that trustmarks begin to level the playing field for new and lesser known sites," says O’Reilly. "For these sites, trustmarks like McAfee Secure are necessary to build trust so customers will feel confident that their personal information is safe."
A recent Yankee Group whitepaper found that trustmarks, with daily vulnerability scanning, deliver the highest level of protection, compared to reputation, privacy and SSL trustmarks.