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Overcoming Your Online Shoppers’ Biggest Fears

Q&A with Shane Lundy, Vice President of Business Development for buySAFE

Do consumers have different attitudes about buying online than buying offline?

Absolutely. Shopping online is a fundamentally different experience than shopping in a store where you can walk out with the item you’ve just purchased. According to Cybersource, 73% of consumers say that shopping online is riskier than shopping offline. There are many factors involved when a consumer is deciding whether or not to make an online purchase: the reputation of the merchant, the technology that secures the website, the price of them item, the options available in case something goes wrong, etc.

What are the biggest concerns that consumers have when shopping online?

A variety of research indicates that the three primary concerns of online shoppers are:

  1. Will my personal information (identity) be kept safe, secure and private?
  2. Will the retailer provide good service reliability and fully honor all their terms of sale?
  3. Am I getting the best price?

Here are some startling statistics…

Security of personal information:

  • One in every 47 Americans this year will be a victim of identity theft that originated online (Federal Trade Commission)
  • 83 percent of online users worry about their identity being stolen from an online purchase (VeriSign)

Merchant Reliability

  • 60 percent of all online crime complaints are for merchant non-performance (FBI)
  • 85 percent of consumers state that trusting the merchant is most important (VeriSign)
  • 92 percent of shoppers have concerns when shopping on a new and unknown website (McAfee)
  • 99 percent of customers would terminate relationships with companies that fail to build customer trust (CMO Council)


  • 45 percent of shoppers view price as most important (BizRate)

What is the potential for e-commerce if these concerns are eliminated?

Despite the tremendous growth that the e-commerce industry continues to experience, we are far from our full potential! The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that of the 10 trillion dollars of commercial activity in the United States, 3 trillion dollars could be done online. However, online commerce only accounted for 200 billion dollars in 2010. That means we have achieved less than 7% of our potential. Online consumer confidence is a major contributing factor to this.

What are some of the current solutions that are designed to address buyer confidence?

They are many solutions designed to improve buyer confidence online. SSL encryption ensures shoppers that their personal information is being transferred in a secure manner. Site scanning solutions let shoppers know that the servers that store their personal information are adequately protected from hackers. Privacy certification lets consumers know that the merchant is engaged in responsible privacy practices. These services all work by attempting to prevent the problems associated with online shopping.

How does buySAFE address the issue of buyer confidence?

buySAFE addresses the primary concerns of online shoppers by providing a third-party endorsement of an online retailer’s reliability and backing it up with a buySAFE Guarantee that includes blanket identity theft protection for 30 days, a full guarantee of the terms of sale and a lowest price guarantee.

Is buySAFE a replacement for other solutions such as SSL and PCI-compliance?

No. buySAFE is highly complementary to other trust and security solutions for online retailers. The fundamental difference is that while most other services provide solutions for the prevention of problems, buySAFE provides a solution that offers both prevention and resolution. Consumers understand that no matter how much prevention is put in place, things will sometimes still go wrong. They will only remain confident if they know that there will be an immediate and efficient resolution in the event that a problem occurs. This is what buySAFE offers.

Who is currently using buySAFE?

buySAFE is currently being used by over 5000 online retailers. We have merchants in wide variety of verticals. We have merchants all of all sizes, from the smallest emerging businesses to several merchants in the Internet Retailer Top 500.

What are the key benefits that they are seeing from your solution?

buySAFE has been proven to have a significant impact on website conversion rates and customer satisfaction. Our solution includes built-in automated A/B testing which we’ve used to run over 500 A/B tests. We’ve discovered that the average conversion increase is 6.1%. That translates to a very meaningful increase in revenue and profitability. In addition, 78% of shoppers say they are more likely to shop from the store again after receiving a buySAFE guarantee. Our merchants also see a reduction in charge backs and cancellations.


About buySAFE

buySAFE transactional guarantees are used by thousands of online retailers to increase conversion and customer satisfaction. With over 5 billion online impressions of buySAFE each year and over 5,000 buySAFE Merchant sites, buySAFE is widely recognized as the sole provider of its unique guaranteed shopping programs. buySAFE is backed by the financial strength of Liberty Mutual, Travelers, ACE USA, Assurant Specialty Property and Symantec Corporation.

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Posted in PCI Compliance, Security & Privacy, Solution Providers, User Experience | Leave a comment

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