Every 2 years, we conduct a survey to get inside the minds of consumers and find out what factors influence their trust in ecommerce sites.
The world has seen so much change since our last survey in 2020. So this year we were especially interested in how online shopping habits and attitudes may have shifted in response to the pandemic.
In this article, you’ll find our most up-to-date survey results gathered from nearly 600 consumers via SurveyMonkey Audiences.
Consumer concerns about unfamiliar websites are still at a high point
When stores were closed at the start of the pandemic, many people were forced to turn to online shopping. For certain groups of people, it was their first time shopping online. Others were forced to shop on new websites for the first time because the sites they would normally purchase from were understocked or had shipping issues.
We polled consumers to find out how they feel about shopping at unfamiliar sites and found that concerns are still as high as they were two years ago, with 92% of consumers reporting they had at least some level of concern, the same result we found in 2020.
More consumers are worried about shopping on their smartphones
In 2020, 84% of consumers said they are concerned about providing personal information when shopping online on a smartphone. This went up to 86% in 2022. Though many sites have adopted responsive layouts to make the mobile experience seamless for shoppers, it’s not uncommon to come across sites that are still using outdated or poor designs, something that 38% of our respondents cited as a sign of a fraudulent business. If a shopper’s mobile experience is not as seamless as the experience they are accustomed to on desktop, it’s understandable why sharing personal information would seem like a risk.
Stolen credit card information is still the number one concern
About 28% of consumers said their biggest concern when shopping online is having their credit card information stolen. The next leading fear was business legitimacy, with 14% citing it as their main concern. Since stolen credit card information could lead to immediate financial impact, it’s easy to see why so many consumers worry about this above all else.
Concerns about identity theft continue to rise
Back in 2018, 74% of consumers said they worry about identity theft when shopping online. In 2020, that number rose to 84%, and in 2022 it is now 88%. In 2020, 1.4 million cases of identity theft were reported to the FTC. As more Americans experience identity theft or know of it happening to people around them, they are starting to feel more vulnerable when giving out their personal information online.
Nearly half of consumers have abandoned a cart because of concerns about business legitimacy
Our research continues to show the concern that most often causes consumers to abandon a purchase is whether or not the business is legitimate, with nearly half of respondents reporting this in 2022, down slightly from 2020. This could stem from the fact that a number of other fears can fall under the umbrella of business legitimacy concerns. If a consumer is worried that a business might be fake, their underlying fears could be having their personal information stolen, not receiving their order, or receiving a product that is lower quality than what was promised.
Lack of trust badges remains a concern for many visitors
Over 40% of respondents said that a lack of third-party trust indicators like certifications, badges, and logos causes them to be concerned that a site could be a fraudulent business. Many sites utilize third-party services to prove that they are who they say they are, so when consumers notice an absence of these trust indicators, it signals a red flag.
Third-party verification of claims can increase sales
It’s fairly common to see statements like “your transaction is secure” and “free shipping and returns” sprinkled throughout ecommerce sites to increase the confidence of shoppers before making a purchase. But shoppers visiting a site for the first time can’t be sure if these statements are actually legitimate or simply empty promises.
We surveyed consumers to find if they would be more likely to complete a purchase on an unfamiliar site if it were to show proof that a third party verified some common claims. The statement that 61% of consumers reported would increase their likelihood of making a purchase if validated by a third party was “Verified Business.” Another statement that 57% of consumers said they would like to be third-party verified is “Data Protection,” which would potentially show them that their session is private.
Trust indicators are a great way to address all the concerns we’ve discussed in this article as they arise throughout the buyer’s journey. To help sites get a better understanding of what messages to communicate with trust indicators at each stage, we also asked consumers what concerns they have as they progress through an unfamiliar site. You can learn how concerns shift from page to page in our 2020 ebook Consumer Trust Across the Ecommerce Funnel. Download it here!
Download the charts from this post in our State of Ecommerce Trust in 2022 infographic.