E-commerce trends


From the ScLoHo archives , this was originally published in March 2008. Now, nearly 6 years later, what changes have occurred in trust, privacy, and online shopping?

8 years ago, my 68 year old mother did not trust the internet for shopping. She was afraid of giving out her credit card number even over a secure connection. Yet she would freely and without hesitation give her info to a person over the phone when she placed a catalog order over a toll free phone number.

It may have been her generation, but what it really was that prevented her from shopping over the internet, was her comfort level. It was a new and scary proposition for her compared to her previous experience. She was not alone and still there are many that have that fear. Don’t try and convince them, instead reach out to those that are already comfortable with e-commerce.

Here’s a study that came in my email this week:

Revealing Personal Information Still Inhibits Online Shopping

According to a Pew Internet Project survey, released in February, 2008, 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 sending personal or credit card information over the internet.

  • 78% of online Americans agree that shopping online is convenient.
  • 68% of online Americans say they think online shopping saves them time.
  • 75% of Internet users agree with the statement that they do not like sending personal or credit card information over the internet.

John B. Horrigan, Associate Director of the Pew Internet Project and author of the report, says “These inconsistent notions about the online shopping environment show that… people’s confidence in the security of online shopping remains as an issue… “

More specifically, the report says:

  • If the three-quarters of internet users who agree that they don’t like sending personal or credit card information online felt more confident about doing this, the share of the internet population shopping online would be 7 percentage points higher than the current average of 66%, or 73%.
  • If those who disagree that online shopping is convenient felt otherwise, the share of the internet population shopping online would be 3 percentage points higher than the current average (or 69% instead of 66%)
  • If those who disagree that online shopping saves time believed that they could save time by e-shopping, the share of the online population shopping online would be 2 percentage points higher than the current average (or 68% instead of 66%).
  • Higher broadband deployment would also drive up the size of the e-shopper cohort by 6 percentage points.

These estimates above are independent effects, notes the report, showing the impact when the factors noted above, as well as other demographic and socio-economic impacts are held constant. The study finds that demographic factors such as race or gender have no significant impact on predicting levels of online shopping.

The report finds that two-thirds of online Americans have at one time bought a product online, and estimates that the share of internet users buying products online could be as much as 3 percentage points higher, or 69% if online Americans did not have such high levels of concern about personal or credit card information on the internet. Low-income Americans are most likely to express concerns about providing personal information online, and least likely to see time-savings or convenience in e-commerce.

  • Among internet users in homes with annual incomes below $25,000 annually, 44% strongly agree that they don’t like sending credit card information online, twice the 22% share that strongly agrees that online shopping is convenient.
  • For those in households with annual incomes above $100,000, 25% say they strongly agree that they don’t like sending credit card information over the internet for online transactions, while 36% strongly agree that online shopping is convenient.

Horrigan said, “…many (low-income people) see risk in the world of e-commerce, not convenience, so they avoid online shopping applications that might help them manage their lives.”

In broad terms, the report found that:

  • The number of Americans who have ever bought anything online has more than doubled since 2000, from 22% in June 2000 to 49% in September 2007. That amounts to 66% of Americans with internet access who have bought products online.
  • People are more likely to do background research on a product than execute the purchase online; some 60% of all Americans say they have used the internet for product-related research in September 2007, up from 35% who had done this in June 2000.
  • Some 39% of Americans now say that they have used the internet for banking, up from 27% in February 2005.
  • For online classifieds such as Craig’s List, 24% of Americans report having used them in the September 2007 survey, an increase from 14% who said this in February 2005.
Attitudes About Online Shopping: By Household Income (% of internet users in each age group who “strongly agree” with statement)
< $25K $25K-$40K $40K-$60K $60K-$100K > $100K
Upside of online shopping
The internet is the best place to buy items that are hard to find

26%

23%

25%

28%

32%

Shopping online is convenient

22

24

22

28

36

Shopping online saves me time

19

19

18

24

31

The internet is the best place to find bargains

12

10

8

8

13

Downside of online shopping
I don’t like giving my credit card number or personal information online

44%

32%

36%

35%

25%

I prefer to see the things I buy before I buy them

39

24

32

26

22

Shopping online is complicated

6

4

5

4

2

Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project Survey, September 2007

For additional information and access to a PDF file, please visit PEW here.

According to a Pew Internet Project survey, released in February, 2008, 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 sending personal or credit card information over the internet.

  • 78% of online Americans agree that shopping online is convenient.
  • 68% of online Americans say they think online shopping saves them time.
  • 75% of Internet users agree with the statement that they do not like sending personal or credit card information over the internet.

John B. Horrigan, Associate Director of the Pew Internet Project and author of the report, says “These inconsistent notions about the online shopping environment show that… people’s confidence in the security of online shopping remains as an issue… “

More specifically, the report says:

  • If the three-quarters of internet users who agree that they don’t like sending personal or credit card information online felt more confident about doing this, the share of the internet population shopping online would be 7 percentage points higher than the current average of 66%, or 73%.
  • If those who disagree that online shopping is convenient felt otherwise, the share of the internet population shopping online would be 3 percentage points higher than the current average (or 69% instead of 66%)
  • If those who disagree that online shopping saves time believed that they could save time by e-shopping, the share of the online population shopping online would be 2 percentage points higher than the current average (or 68% instead of 66%).
  • Higher broadband deployment would also drive up the size of the e-shopper cohort by 6 percentage points.

These estimates above are independent effects, notes the report, showing the impact when the factors noted above, as well as other demographic and socio-economic impacts are held constant. The study finds that demographic factors such as race or gender have no significant impact on predicting levels of online shopping.

The report finds that two-thirds of online Americans have at one time bought a product online, and estimates that the share of internet users buying products online could be as much as 3 percentage points higher, or 69% if online Americans did not have such high levels of concern about personal or credit card information on the internet. Low-income Americans are most likely to express concerns about providing personal information online, and least likely to see time-savings or convenience in e-commerce.

  • Among internet users in homes with annual incomes below $25,000 annually, 44% strongly agree that they don’t like sending credit card information online, twice the 22% share that strongly agrees that online shopping is convenient.
  • For those in households with annual incomes above $100,000, 25% say they strongly agree that they don’t like sending credit card information over the internet for online transactions, while 36% strongly agree that online shopping is convenient.

Horrigan said, “…many (low-income people) see risk in the world of e-commerce, not convenience, so they avoid online shopping applications that might help them manage their lives.”

In broad terms, the report found that:

  • The number of Americans who have ever bought anything online has more than doubled since 2000, from 22% in June 2000 to 49% in September 2007. That amounts to 66% of Americans with internet access who have bought products online.
  • People are more likely to do background research on a product than execute the purchase online; some 60% of all Americans say they have used the internet for product-related research in September 2007, up from 35% who had done this in June 2000.
  • Some 39% of Americans now say that they have used the internet for banking, up from 27% in February 2005.
  • For online classifieds such as Craig’s List, 24% of Americans report having used them in the September 2007 survey, an increase from 14% who said this in February 2005.
Attitudes About Online Shopping: By Household Income (% of internet users in each age group who “strongly agree” with statement)
< $25K $25K-$40K $40K-$60K $60K-$100K > $100K
Upside of online shopping
The internet is the best place to buy items that are hard to find

26%

23%

25%

28%

32%

Shopping online is convenient

22

24

22

28

36

Shopping online saves me time

19

19

18

24

31

The internet is the best place to find bargains

12

10

8

8

13

Downside of online shopping
I don’t like giving my credit card number or personal information online

44%

32%

36%

35%

25%

I prefer to see the things I buy before I buy them

39

24

32

26

22

Shopping online is complicated

6

4

5

4

2

Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project Survey, September 2007

For additional information and access to a PDF file, please visit PEW here.

Scott Howard aka ScLoHo has 25+ years of experience in marketing , advertising, media and works directly in the radio and digital world from Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Contact him at Scott@ScLoHo.net or 260.255.4357.

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