Why Soaring Online Sales Are the Best Indication of Consumers' Confidence in Data Security

A survey recently reported on a tech security site claimed that 77% of UK and US consumers don’t feel safe shopping online and are ‘shying away from their favourite retailers’ as a result.

It also said that 59% of the 10,000 people surveyed are uncomfortable sharing sensitive financial and personal information.

Well, first off that’s a lot of people to question so the results should be representative. But secondly and actually do you know what, I don’t believe a word of it!

The survey was commissioned by a consultancy whose CEO commented, “Businesses now need to step up and make securing customers’ data a top priority. The consequences of not doing so threaten the integrity and performance of businesses and the Internet as a whole”.

I am very sure that the likes of Amazon, ASOS and the other online retail leaders do their best to ensure that is the case. After all, they have no reason not to.

I really doubt that this many people are thinking of deserting online retail in such numbers. In fact figures quoted elsewhere suggest very much the opposite. As my own Google research showed.

For example, online shopping retail sales in the US are predicted to grow steadily to $370 billion in 2017, up from $231 billion in 2012. Online retail revenue saw an 11 percent year-over-year growth rate for the first quarter of 2014, with online orders up 13 percent compared to the same quarter last year.

In Europe, online business is booming, with the UK leading the way. According to the Center for Retail Research, online sales in the UK will reach nearly £50bn in 2014, $10bn more than the next biggest market Germany.

Other industry watchers are even more excited, with the IMRG Retail trade body IMRG breathlessly expecting the £100 billion threshold to be broken.

Well as they say there are lies, damned lies and statistics, but it doesn’t take a genius to work out that online retail is huge. You've only got to look at the state of our high streets to see physical evidence of that.

So where does this leave the claim that shoppers are about to lose faith with online retailers? About as likely as a Turkey voting for Christmas!

I’m all for keeping consumers safe when shopping online. Anyone connected with any service that connects consumers to business should – including the contact centre industry – but the online retail industry is only going one way and that’s upwards. And we should embrace that, it’s what the public has chosen.

Instead of building on fear, uncertainty and doubt, why not say what the industry is doing to make all those millions of pounds, and customer details processed online more secure. I’d buy some of that, that’s for sure.

And so would all those millions of eager online bargain hunters.
Paul Fisher
Paul Fisher

Paul Fisher is the founder of pfanda, the content marketing agency for the information security industry.

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