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ID verification frustrates online shoppers

21 March 2012 - 09:16 by Simon Crisp

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UK consumers abandoned around £214 million worth of products at online checkouts in 2011, after becoming frustrated with the forms and checks put in place to ensure that their identities are genuine and they are not trying to act fraudulently.

Clearly it is necessary for retailers to ensure that they are offering online shopping, which does not compromise the integrity of customers' private information.

However, the report from the International Fraud Prevention Research Centre, indicates that e-commerce sites are relying on outdated and clunky methods to confirm identities, which is putting off large numbers of shoppers each year.

With a billion items left unsold in 2011, it is clearly something which retailers will be looking to address if they want to improve the customer experience and increase the conversion rate of visitors who eventually make a purchase at the checkout.

The real issues come into play when the ID verification methods being used require the customer to perform some other action, such as sending in documents or getting in touch with someone over the phone. At this point, most users simply give up on their shopping experience with a particular site and head elsewhere to get their fix of safe shopping online.

Plainly, it is unreasonable to request that retailers remove this type of security measure, which is why the authors of the report are calling for e-commerce sites to simply update the ways in which they deal with identity protection, rather than eliminating them altogether.

There are already a number of ID checking services which are less convoluted and time consuming for the shopper to complete, while still offering the requisite levels of security, which will keep identities safe and ensure that no one is fraudulently claiming to be someone else, in order to rip them off online.