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Privacy and Security Determine US Household Ecommerce Behavior

by on May 30, 2016

Security remains of the utmost importance to consumers all over the world. So much even that it is influencing their online shopping behavior. A new report by the US Department of Commerce shows how the lack of trust in privacy and security will result in declining ecommerce activity.

With so many online shopping platforms to choose from, it’s hard to distinguish between legitimate and fraudulent offers. However, American Internet users are more concerned about online security and privacy than ever before. Online activity, in general, is being limited wherever possible, which also affects ecommerce.

US Households Hold Off on Ecommerce

When people think of online shopping, they will always look for the best deals at any given time. But over the years, ecommerce has become much more than just scoring big discounts. Consumers trust these online platforms with their personal and financial information for every order they place.

Given the growing number of database leaks and data breaches, customers are getting anxious. If their personal and financial details are stolen, it is impossible to tell what the hackers may do with it. Identity fraud is a grave threat, and ecommerce platforms have to provide secure environments for their customers.

Speaking of which, identity theft is the top concern to consumers using the Internet. Credit card or banking fraud comes in second place, followed by data collection and loss of control over personal data. Personal safety is perceived as  a potential threat by 13% of participants

A recent survey for NTIA showed how these concerns affect the online behavior of over 41,000 US households. The number of reported online security breaches is quite staggering, with 31% of respondents being targeted five times or more. Only six percent had not been the victim of an online security breach between 2014 and 2015. That number is unacceptable.

But the biggest concern for the ecommerce sector is how consumers avoid conducting financial transactions online. Nearly one in three US households hold off on all online purchasing due to privacy and security concerns. As a result, 26% of respondents do not buy goods or services online anymore.  

It is crystal clear security and privacy concerns in the ecommerce sector have to be addressed. Fintech startups and entrepreneurs may want to start thinking about how they can bring a positive influence to these issues.  Secure payment methods are one thing, but safeguarding consumer privacy is a whole different ballgame.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

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