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E-commerce growth dependant on positive customer feedback

11 July 2011 - 15:12 by Mike Price

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Consumers who use sites which offer safe shopping online and share the news of their positive experiences with friends and family are the driving force behind the expansion and continued success of e-commerce, according to one expert.

PayPoint's Michael Norton, spoke out about the way in which customer feedback is more likely to influence other users to shop with a particular online retailer than traditional marketing methods.

Mr Norton also said that balancing the need for security during safe shopping online had to be weighed against the level of convenience offered to the shopper. Preventing card fraud by getting all the relevant details and codes from a customer each time they head to the checkout is an example of how this clash of interests can occur.

However, it seems that consumer trust can travel via osmosis from one person to the next, with happy customers more likely to recommend sites and services to those they know and thus generate more business for a particular firm, instilling the trust by proxy.

Online fraud is still a big problem in the UK, but over the past couple of years there has been a gradual drop in the number of reported cases. However, last week it was reported that consumers could be facing tougher times ahead as cybercriminals are expected to ramp up their efforts over the next four years.

By 2015 it is anticipated that online fraud will cost the UK economy around £200 million, which is an 18 per cent increase compared to the current annual figures.

The thing which will make fraud easier to commit is the proliferation of social media as a tool for retail, according to the experts. This will require consumers to become even more web savvy if they are to avoid being stung.