Holly Jolly Holiday?
With retailers standing on the brink of the biggest shopping days of the year there is plenty of speculation about whether Black Friday will break records, e-commerce retailers will snag a larger share of the shopping pie or if mobile shoppers will put m-commerce on the map.
A joint study by ThreatMetrix and The Ponemon Institute, released last month, hints at a holly jolly holiday for online retailers, but suggests that shoppers still harbor concerns about pressing the buy button.
The survey, which looked at U.S. consumers who self-reported that they are active users of the Internet, revealed that one-third of consumers intend to purchase more online than in-store this holiday shopping season. In all, 49 percent indicated they will use their desktop or laptop computer on Cyber Monday and for other holiday-related purchases; 37 percent plan to use a smartphone and 12 percent say they will use a tablet device.
Yet, despite ambitious spending intentions for the upcoming holiday period, three in four consumers have either some concerns (53 percent) or serious concerns (26 percent) about online fraud. Forty-three percent report they have been the victim of online fraud, up slightly from the 42 percent that was reported in a similar study earlier this year.
“While consumers continue to show a preference for the convenience of shopping and browsing online, their concern about becoming a victim of online fraud is also growing,” said Bert Rankin, vice president of marketing, ThreatMetrix. “With mobile thrown into the shopping mix… consumers and retailers alike need to be well equipped against fraudsters in every possible channel.”
The study found that nearly one in three consumers believe the fraud risk to be lower on a smartphone or tablet than on a desktop or laptop computer. When the “Elite” group of shoppers were polled (namely, consumers who could be considered extremely active users of the Internet), that number increased to 39 percent.
Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of The Ponemon Institute, harbors some concerns about those feelings. “Consumers who have a high propensity to use the Internet for shopping, banking, gaming, social media interactions and other activities appear to have a stronger sense of security online,” he explained. “While these users may be savvier when it comes to the digital channel, their safety net may not always be there... While they may think they’re taking the necessary precautions to avoid online fraud, the sites they’re visiting must also be implementing online fraud prevention tactics.”
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