Study finds low level of trust among shoppers

Websites still have a long way to go to reassure consumers about online privacy, according to a new US report.

Active Research’s survey of more than 900 Internet users found that over half – 57 per cent – won’t share any information with websites that allows them to be personally identified. This includes basic details such as name and contact information.

E-tailers have the highest level of trust, at 48 per cent, followed by content sites with 35 per cent. Portals and search engines come in third with 31 per cent.

The good news for online marketers is that an overwhelming majority of Internet users – 74 per cent – are happy to share less sensitive personal information, such as gender, age and postcode.

The survey also confirmed the growing generation gap online. People in the 20- to 34-year-old age group are more relaxed about sharing general data than those over 45. A massive 85 per cent of the younger crowd are willing to supply information, compared with just 45 per cent of the still very wary older group.

The growing army of online pollsters will be encouraged to know that the majority of consumers – 91 per cent – are willing to share their opinions anonymously if they have some influence over the organisation requesting their views. This suggests that feedback could be a critical differentiator between successful and unsuccessful online pollsters.

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