RealTime IT News

For Women Shoppers Online, Security Is Top Concern

Concerns regarding transaction security are the primary obstacle keeping women from shopping online, according to a recent study.

In fact, security concerns appear to be stronger predictors of online purchasing than any other factor, including Internet experience, says the report from Internet customer relationship management company Cyber Dialogue.

Forty-three percent of men online currently order from e-commerce sites, while only 28 percent of women users do so. The study found that among the 24 million online women who have not purchased online, 40 percent state that they are concerned about the security of the information they give on e-commerce sites.

"E-commerce marketers are eager to target women because they traditionally make the majority of household purchase decisions," said Idil Cakim, an analyst for Cyber Dialogue.

"Yet based on their online shopping habits, women are reluctant to seek product information or place orders online mainly because of security concerns relating to stolen credit card transactions, personal privacy and the lack of Net regulation."

During the past 12 months, women shoppers who believe it is safe to use a credit card online spent an average of $830 on their online orders, compared to $459 for those women doubting transaction security, the study found.

"Nearly 70 percent of women who seek product information online still end up going off-line to make purchases," said Cakim. "This drift by women from the Internet to traditional off-line stores suggests that the transaction areas of online retail shops aren't conducive to acquiring female customers as online purchasers."

In addition, Cyber Dialogue found that even as the number of women online continues to swell (33.6 million), women are significantly less likely than men to seek product information online, order from the Net or use Web-based product information to complete a transaction off-line. This underscores the importance of marketing to women on the Web with different strategies than those geared towards men, Cakim said.

Nearly 90 percent of women online say that guaranteed transaction security influences their repeat visits to online shopping sites.

The findings are from Cyber Dialogue's American Internet User Survey, which consists of interviews with 1,000 Internet users and 1,000 nonusers. AIUS is a quarterly survey that has been conducted since 1994.