The UK's Department of Trade and Industry is stepping up its campaign to promote safe Internet shopping after new research from Mori reveals that many consumers are still afraid to use their credit cards online.
The research, conducted among 4000 consumers in the UK, shows that while confidence is growing amongst online shoppers, fear of fraud is deterring many more from spending their money online. Credit card fraud, personal privacy and fears about bogus or unscrupulous merchants top the list of concerns for Internet novices.
The Government is keen to dispel the fears of consumers, and is introducing a new phase of its 'e-consumer programme' to support the safe Internet shopping message, including the publication of a checklist of simple security measures for consumers who shop online.
Consumer Minister Melanie Johnson says: "Our research shows that consumers have greater confidence in the safety of online shopping than they did a year ago. Our checklist for safe Internet shopping aims to help dispel lingering fears about the safety of buying goods on the Internet."
The Mori research also offers a new insight into the extent of Internet shopping for overseas goods. The research into UK consumers' global shopping habits, the first of its kind, reveals that after purchases made on holiday, the Internet is the most common way of buying things direct from abroad - ahead of business and shopping trips and telephone ordering.
Favourite countries for buying on the Internet are the USA, France and Spain, with the main motivators being lower prices and convenience.