Online Shopping Affected By Security Fears

    June 29, 2009

The economy has not played a significant roll in the way people shop online, according to a new study released by McAfee and conducted by Harris Interactive.

Nearly three- quarters (72%) of consumers said the economy has not changed the way they shop online. Instead concerns about online security and personal information are the biggest drivers leading to abandoned online sales. Close to half of consumers have abandoned their shopping cart due to security fears. Even in an attempt to find a bargain, 63 percent will not make a purchase from a website that does not display a trustmark or security policy.

Tim Dowling
Tim Dowling

"Online retailers need to understand that consumers with intent to purchase are terminating their orders because they don’t feel safe online," said Tim Dowling, vice president of McAfee’s Web Security Group.

"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."

The Harris Interactive research found that one in five consumers refuse to purchase from a site that does not display a trustmark. More than half (60%) of consumers feel safer when shopping on sites with a trustmark.

More than 90 percent of consumers are concerned about their security when shopping on a new or unknown website, and 47 percent look for trustmarks to feel safe when shopping on a lesser known site.

"Our research shows that trustmarks begin to level the playing field for new and lesser known sites," said Dowling.