Online retailers urged to highlight security

Online retailers urged to highlight security

Better statistics are needed if online shopping is to reach its full potential

A lack of detailed statistics on the risks associated with online shopping is denting the online shopping market’s growth potential, according to experts.

In 2004, 37 per cent of people in the UK shopped online. By 2006, that figure had
increased to 45 per cent of the UK respondents surveyed by the European Commission’s statistics office.

But another nine per cent were put off by security fears, say figures published last week.

The web retail sector is losing customers unnecessarily, according to Roland Perry, director of public policy of e-Victims, a web site dedicated to helping people affected by electronic crime.

“If all perceived fears were put to one side, the amount of people shopping online would jump, because we are losing a section of business,” said Perry.

“If such a high percentage of high-street shoppers stayed at home ­ because of a bird flu scare, for example ­ it would be the end of the world,” he said.

The e-Victims site was launched last month to collect intelligence on trends in security risks.

The service aims to be able to show when there is an increase in specific scams and where these occur.

“It would be interesting to see why people are being put off and whether it is actual personal experience or just a response to scare stories,” said Perry.