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Ecommerce Consumer Trust Problems

Because they face dangers like identity theft, spyware, phishing, and spam on a day-to-day basis, direct marketers are finding it difficult to make sure that their website privacy statements and data protection systems follow the latest legal requirements and standards. Regardless, doing so is necessary in order for them to maintain consumer confidence and continue their operations.

Unfortunately, a new report from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has discovered that a lot more must be done in order to gain the trust of their target markets and fully maximize the potential of electronic commerce (e-commerce). After all, why would anyone bother with online shopping if there's a risk of getting your credit card numbers or personal information stolen online? Something must be done in order to make online shopping safer, or else people would never warm up to the idea of e-commerce.

OFT, a consumer rights watchdog, cautions that the future of e-commerce is at jeopardy because of the general mistrust and suspiciousness people have over Internet security. The numerous documented cases of scamming and identity theft certainly didn't help in bolstering the reputation of Internet business. The report states that almost one out of three Internet users are not enjoying e-commerce's benefits because they don't believe their personal information is protected online.

Ecommerce Webshops facing Trust Problems

Approximately 15% of those that avoid shopping over the Internet are concerned about the trustworthiness of e-commerce stores, while approximately 20% had worries about personal security. Even actual supporters of the e-commerce model have a natural lack of confidence in the system. Roughly 50% of those interviewed confessed that they shopped on the web, and of those almost 25% had reservations about doing so.

John Fingleton, the chief executive of OFT, acknowledged that online retailing is crucial to the economy and the future for many businesses. However, he stresses that "If consumers are not confident online, demand (for online shopping) will grow at a slower rate." He then concludes that OFT must tackle these concerns immediately in order to help the online market reach its full potential. His company is optimistic that its past experience on the matter will assist in making e-commerce a more viable method of trade in the near future.

Considering that consumers have become smarter and savvier when it comes to shopping, e-commerce must follow suit or risk becoming an unfulfilled bubble of possibility. Recognizing that the lack of consumer confidence has made it very hard for Internet marketers to even reach out to existing customers through email and websites is a good first step in solving this problem.

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