internetTrack: Consumers want reassurance to spend more online

A survey from research company NOP has found that despite growth in online sales European Web sites need to make the experience safer and easier if consumer spending is to increase.
Written by Jane Wakefield, Contributor

The third wave of internetTrack, an ongoing survey into Web habits sponsored by Ziff Davis (ZDNet is owned by Ziff Davis), Dell, KPMG and Intel, found consumers criticising companies for making buying over the Web unnecessarily difficult. 60 percent of the Web users surveyed would spend online if products were easier to return or replace. 56 percent would like transaction security to be guaranteed by all companies selling on the Web and 43 percent complained at the amount of time spent giving personal data in order to complete a transaction. 42 percent would like to see more pictures of products for sale and over a third would like to see the order process improved and made easier.

The survey concluded that simpler Web navigation, pricing honesty and plenty of engaging content are vital in winning and retaining online customers. Lisbet Sherlock, marketing services director at Ziff Davis thinks it is up to Web sites to make the buying process "as simple as possible".

Sherlock added: "Some of the questions asked in transactions are simply not relevant and Web sites should concentrate on getting people on site and establishing a pattern of buying." Despite teething problems the survey is optimistic about takeup of ecommerce. 2 million of the UK's 8.2 million Web surfers are already spending £1,700 per year online.

The survey was undertaken in the second quarter of 1999 and over 11,000 European Web users were interviewed on their use of the Net.

Click here for full internetTrak survey.

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