Important eCommerce Trust and Safety Statistics

At the PESA Summit this past week, there was a lot of talk about how to improve e-commerce conversion rates. I believe there are three critical drivers for conversion: product selection, price, and trust. Each of these issues would provide substantial content for an article, but I thought I would dedicate today’s post to a number of very important trust-related statistics.

If you have any doubt about the role of trust and buyer confidence in your e-commerce business success, please take a quick look at these stats.

  • 55% of online shoppers say trustworthiness of the merchant is most important (vs. price, convenience, pleasure, other)
    (Source: Online Shopper Research Report, 959 respondents, August 2006)
  • 65% of online shoppers buy only from sites they know and trust
    (Source: VeriSign Secured Seal Research Review 08/06)
  • 72% of online shoppers are becoming more cautious when buying online
    (Source: Gartner Research, 5000 respondents, May 2005 survey)
  • 73% of online shoppers are concerned about the item being misrepresented (inaccurately described, counterfeit)
    (Source: Online Shopper Research Report, 959 respondents, 08/06)
  • 76% of online shoppers are worried about never getting their purchase
    (Source: Online Shopper Research Report, 959 respondents, 08/06)
  • 81% of online shoppers are concerned about merchant return/refund policies not being honored
    (Source: Online Shopper Research Report, 959 respondents, 08/06)
  • 84% of online shoppers are concerned about merchants not treating them fairly
    (Source: Online Shopper Research Report, 959 respondents, 08/06)
  • 85% of online shoppers are concerned about identity theft
    (Source: TNS Research, 08/06) 
  • And, amazingly, over 50% of all U.S. internet users still don’t buy online (even from Amazon.com!).
    (Source: Bear Stearns, September 2006)

With respect to this last statistic, "trust" issues are the primary
driver of e-commerce non-participation. Amazingly, more than 50% of
your potential customers will not buy online because they are nervous!
Are you kidding me? That is a huge number, and obviously, the time has
come for the e-commerce industry to take this issue seriously.

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