Online Shopping Survey: Convenient But Insecure

Most online Americans view online shopping as a way to save time and a convenient way to buy products.

At the same time, most internet users express discomfort over a key step in online shopping – sending personal or credit card information over the internet.
According to the Pew Internet Project’s September 2007 survey:

  • 78% of online Americans agree that shopping online is convenient.
  • 68% of online Americans say they think online shopping saves them time.

Dampening people’s ardor for using the internet to shop is worry over the security of the internet as a place to purchase products. The September 2007 survey also shows that three-quarters (75%) of internet users agree with the statement that they do not like sending personal or credit card information over the internet.

Online Shopping

“These inconsistent notions about the online shopping environment show that, even as e-commerce matures, people’s confidence in the security of online shopping remains as an issue,” said John B. Horrigan, Associate Director of the Pew Internet Project and author of the report. “If people’s worries about security of personal information were eased, the pool of online shoppers would be greater.”

The report, entitled “Online Shopping: Internet users like the convenience but worry about the security of their financial information”, can be downloaded here:

Other interesting conclusions:

  • Low–income online Americans are more likely to see the risks of online shopping than herald the time-saving or convenience benefits of using the internet to shop.
  • More people would shop online if they trusted the e-commerce environment more.
  • (Important) More than half of internet users encounter frustrations and other frictions in the course of online shopping.
  • (For Craig’s List users) One in four American adults now turns to online classified ads or sites such as Craig’s List, up from one in seven in early 2005.
  • (Very re-assuring) Most internet users are confident that online information will get them where they want to go in their online shopping.

While part of these problems have to be solved by technicians, it seems to me, that we, Internet marketers, still have some important things to do.

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