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Confident online consumers do not bring their habits to the workplace

21 May 2014 - 13:14 by Graham Miller

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An interesting new study from YPO has found that while people love carrying out safe shopping online when they are buying something for themselves, a significantly smaller portion of the population will choose to use an e-commerce site if they need to order something as part of their job.

The study considered people working in the public sector and found that just under a fifth of people who are responsible for organising the procurement of products and services for their organisation have ever carried out a transaction of this kind online.

There is obviously a disconnect between the way that people behave when they are acting as individual consumers and when they are buying something on behalf of a larger entity. And the report found that various obstacles prevent people from embracing safe shopping online for work purposes.

The list of issues encountered includes qualms over the security of the payment process, questions over whether e-commerce activities will be compliant with regulations and the ability to keep track of receipts to be provided in the event of an audit.

Fifty eight per cent of people who regularly shop online when they are at home said that they still prefer to look through a catalogue, write out an order or even fax through requests to suppliers at their place of employment.

This is clearly something that retailers need to address, especially if they are going to be supplying public and private sector organisations with goods and services through online outlets.

Perhaps consumers should also think about how they use e-commerce sites as a result of this study, to consider that perhaps if a service is good enough to keep them safe when they are shopping at home, it should also be adequate in a professional environment.