Trustmarks Make Consumers Feel Safe and May Level the Playing Field for Small or Lesser Known Retailers When Compared to Bigger Sites
SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 29, 2009 - The economic downturn has not affected the way consumers shop online, according to a study released today by McAfee, Inc., (NYSE:MFE), the world’s largest dedicated security company, and conducted by Harris Interactive®. Seventy-two per cent of consumers1 said the economy has not changed the way they shop online. Instead, fears about online security and personal information are the biggest drivers behind terminated online sales. Nearly half of consumers have terminated an order or abandoned their shopping cart due to security fears. Even in an attempt to get a good deal, 63 per cent won’t purchase from a Web site that does not display a trustmark or security policy.
“Online retailers need to understand that consumers with intent to purchase are terminating their orders because they don’t feel safe online,” said Tim Dowling, vice president of McAfee’s Web Security Group. “Our research suggests that economic concerns and price have not affected the way people shop online, but instead security concerns are the driving force behind whether a transaction is completed or terminated. All Web sites, regardless of size, need to take measures to prove to customers that their personal information will be safe and secure when doing business online.”
Consumers Expect Trustmarks
There are a growing number of consumers that now demand trustmarks and refuse to shop on sites that don’t display them. The Harris Interactive® research revealed that one in five consumers refuse to purchase from a site that does not display a trustmark. To assuage consumer fears, e-tailers can prove their security measures and build trust with consumers by displaying a trustmark; in fact, about 60 per cent of consumers feel safer when shopping on sites with a trustmark.
Leveling the Playing Field for Small E-Tailers
The Harris Interactive® study also showed that, while all online retailers, regardless of size, need to demonstrate their security measures to customers, trustmarks can be a particularly important tool for smaller companies to equalize against their larger competitors. More than 90 per cent of consumers are concerned about their security when shopping on new or unknown Web sites, and 47 per cent of consumers look for trustmarks to feel safe when shopping on a lesser known site. By displaying a trustmark, the lesser known site can prove credibility to potential customers and gain market share from larger sites. In fact, one-third of consumers would rather buy from a smaller Web site with a trustmark than a larger, more well-known e-tailer.
“Our research shows that trustmarks begin to level the playing field for new and lesser known sites,” said Dowling. “For these sites, trustmarks like McAfee SECURE are necessary to build trust so customers will feel confident that their personal information is safe.”
Choosing the Right Trustmark Leads to Increased Sales
A recent Yankee Group whitepaper found that trustmarks, like McAfee SECURE™ with daily vulnerability scanning, deliver the highest level of protection, compared to reputation, privacy and SSL trustmarks. On average, sites that utilize McAfee SECURE services see a 12% increase in online sales conversions, and the trustmark is used by more than 14,000 e-tailers.
Sites that display a McAfee SECURE trustmark must pass rigorous daily tests for vulnerabilities that pose a threat to sensitive customer information. McAfee also conducts daily network perimeter scanning, testing for more than 10,000 network and Web application vulnerabilities, security testing to ensure protection against malware, and business practice review for Web site owners and online retailers. With the McAfee SECURE service, e-commerce merchants can also demonstrate PCI-compliance, the standard for the payment card industry.
The trustmark appears on the e-tailer Web site, and also in McAfee® SiteAdvisor® search results allowing merchants to stand out in those results. Online retailers can get additional exposure in McAfee’s secure shopping portal at www.mcafeesecureshopping.com. McAfee SECURE shopping only features e-tailers who have been certified using the McAfee SECURE services and directly reaches security-conscious shoppers.
The McAfee SECURE service is available today for Web site owners. Pricing is based on the number of IP addresses or page views. For more information, please visit: www.mcafee.com/mcafeesecure.
This Consumer Online Shopping survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive® on behalf of McAfee, Inc. between May 19 and May 26, 2009, among 516 adults, ages 18+, who shop online at least occasionally. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.
About McAfee, Inc.
McAfee, Inc., headquartered in Santa Clara, California, is the world's largest dedicated security technology company. McAfee is committed to relentlessly tackling the world's toughest security challenges. The company delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that help secure systems and networks around the world, allowing users to safely connect to the Internet, browse and shop the Web more securely. Backed by an award-winning research team, McAfee creates innovative products that empower home users, businesses, the public sector and service providers by enabling them to prove compliance with regulations, protect data, prevent disruptions, identify vulnerabilities, and continuously monitor and improve their security. http://www.mcafee.com
McAfee, SiteAdvisor, McAfee SECURE and/or other noted McAfee related products contained herein are registered trademarks or trademarks of McAfee, Inc., and/or its affiliates in the US and/or other countries. McAfee Red in connection with security is distinctive of McAfee brand products. Any other non-McAfee related products, registered and/or unregistered trademarks contained herein is only by reference and are the sole property of their respective owners.
1 For the purposes of this survey, “consumers” refers to U.S. adults ages 18+ who shop online at least occasionally.