The hope that tight economic times are driving shoppers Webward in search of better prices carries a caveat: By a factor of ten to one, online shoppers place a higher value on trust and security than on bargains, according to recent research from VeriSign.The VeriSign/Synovate survey of online shopping habits found that 85 percent of of the more than 900 respondents felt that trust in the security practices of a Web site was the most important factor in shopping there; less than 10 percent picked price as the prime factor.
Now, VeriSign is in the "trusted certificate" Secure Sockets Layer business, so it's no surprise that the survey reflects an endorsement of what the company sells. But that's true of virtually every survey released to the public, by whatever company in whatever industry.
That said, the VeriSign material does offer one surprising -- and telling -- insight:
A third of respondents said that a 30 percent or greater discount could tempt them to shop on insecure sites.
"This finding suggests that businesses that don't provide security measures to gain consumer trust cannot anticipate getting the same value for their goods."
Now, that's salesmanship!
86 [of online shoppers] percent use a simple user name and password to enter accounts 62 percent look for the lock icon in the address bar 55 percent look for a logo or seal from the firm providing Internet security 52 percent look for https:// in the address bar 26 percent look for a green address bar
Here's an exercise for you:
Whether or not you're in the online retail or other transaction business, take a look at your Web site with the eyes of a consumer and see how your pages stack up against the survey's findings.