UK Consumers Fear Online Shopping

    May 13, 2009

Almost one in three Internet users are not shopping online in the UK due to lack of trust, according to a new report from the Office of Fair Trading.

John Fingleton

Of these Internet users, 30 percent identified a lack of trust as the main reason for holding them back, while 20 percent cited fears over personal security and 15 percent said they did not trust companies that sell online.

While consumer confidence is gradually improving, overall levels are still too low for the market to reach its full potential. Among those who do shop online, 72 percent say they still have concerns about doing so and 38 percent are only slightly aware of their online consumer rights.

The report found that despite concerns, there have been some positive changes. Among those who do shop online 54 percent feel it is as safe as shopping in a store compared to 26 percent in 2006.

"Online retailing is the future for many businesses and increasingly important to the economy. If consumers are not confident online, demand will grow at a slower rate," said John Fingleton, OFT Chief Executive.

"So, we must tackle these concerns right now if the online market is to grow at its full potential."