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What Stops Online Shoppers?

Posted on 4.26.2006

Recent numbers suggest that online retail spending is strong, but retailers can do better. 

A new survey by MarketingSherpa of 1,120 online shoppers asked this question:  "How much do these factors keep you from doing more online shopping?"  Results were divided by overall shoppers and heavy online shoppers.

  • 53% (39%) Sharing personal information
  • 49% (21%) Fraud/identity theft
  • 41% (36%) Return/exchange policies
  • 14% (12%) Sites/carts too complicated

It is interesting to note that the "heavy" online shoppers were far less concerned with fraud/identity theft than the "overall" shoppers.  Perhaps the "heavy" shoppers take more precautions, are more educated about secure sites, or are just accustomed to the risks.  That would make an interesting follow-up study.

In a separate study of 100 retail websites, again by MarketingSherpa, only 10% of retailers offered an email opt-in on their home page with a privacy hotlink placed immediately next to the form.  House email lists are proven to be profitable.  These studies seem to suggest that by prominently displaying security information in areas where personal information is being requested, the top roadblocks to e-commerce success can be overcome.  This appears especially true when trying to appeal to the casual or new online shopper.  (This topic was also explored in the Feb. 2006 issue of Website Services Magazine and the article Emailology by Peter Prestipino.) 

See the May issue of Website Services Magazine for an in-depth look at e-commerce success.

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