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Ecommerce and consumer trust

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Monday August 14, 2006 )

According to data from the FTC, loss from identity fraud grew by over $1 billion in the USA between 2003 and 2005. While not all that loss can be blamed on the online world by any means, it’s no wonder people are getting a little shy of the “buy now” button and ecommerce generally. In some ways, it’s a good thing, but the level of mistrust can also negatively affect honest online merchants as well.

In a recent survey report released by the the CMO Council, over 40% over respondents stated they had stopped an online, phone or store transaction due to a security concern.

According to the report, the details of over 50 million various types of accounts were lost or stolen due to poor security on the part of companies entrusted with safeguarding data during 2005.

In the USA, fears of identity theft and fraud top security concerns, even over personal safety, and only around 33% of consumers rate companies highly when it comes to communicating issues relating to security, the report states.

With those points in mind, ecommerce merchants really need to be able to convince their visitors that their site and brand is trustworthy and not just assume that the lock symbol on a browser to indicate a secure connection on the checkout page will be enough to ease a potential clients’ fears – or that they’ll even bother to get to that point in the sales process.

As the report pointed out, poor communication is a part of the problem. So many sites have generic information on their “about” page, to the point that it would appear to a customer that you really don’t want to be identified :).

What about SSL? If you do use SSL for securing transactions, do you let your visitors know before they hit the checkout? You really should flaunt these kinds of things!

There’s a variety of simple strategies that don’t cost a fortune which you can implement to help project an perception of trust and security. Learn more in my article: Reassuring your web site visitors increases online sales


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