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BizReport : Ecommerce : May 12, 2009

OFT: British mistrust of Internet holding back online market

Online shopping isn't exactly new-fangled and mysterious anymore. It's become part of everyday life for many people around the globe. However, years down the line, consumers still have a lack of trust in the Internet, particularly in the U.K.

by Helen Leggatt

oft logo.jpgA new report from Britain's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has found that Internet shopping is being held back primarily due to a lack of consumer trust. Thirty percent of those surveyed by the OFT identified lack of trust as the main reason holding them back from shopping online while 20% cited personal security concerns and 15% lacked trust in online merchants.

Despite the findings, the British still buy twice as much online as people in other European countries and confidence is improving. Among those who did shop online, 54% felt it was as safe as shopping in-store, compared to 26% in 2006.

"It's encouraging that the OFT's survey shows increasing consumer confidence when buying online - but people still have concerns," said Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gareth Thomas. "That's why we will be setting out proposals in our forthcoming consumer White Paper to better protect people from fraudsters and increase their consumer knowledge when shopping on-line."

As the OFT's Chief Executive, John Fingleton, observed it is important that consumer concerns are addressed if the online market is to reach its full potential.

Tags: Office of Fair Trading, OFT, online market, online shopping, security, trust, U.K.

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