With many Americans home-bound for the holidays, online US sales are expected to continue their massive increase throughout November and December. But Internet-infrastructure and security firms are warning retailers that consumers expect security in their interactions with applications and sites in addition to a seamless shopping experience.
While nearly three-quarters of online shoppers think retail sites are as secure now as in the past, about 15% of consumer have abandoned at least one purchase because of perceived security issues, Internet-infrastructure firm Akamai stated in its mid-year "Shopping Behavior Holiday Report" released on Nov. 17. Privacy concerns took a toll as well, with 14% of shoppers declining to buy due to concerns over how a site might handle their data.
Consumers are becoming more aware of security as part of the overall experience, says Tara Bartley, senior manager of e-commerce at Akamai.
"A lot of retailers have talked about short-term solutions, and I think that that will significantly shift in the coming months," she says. "When retailers had more budget this year, they put it toward marketing, but to keep their customers, I think they will put more toward security next year because they will have to."
Despite any security concerns, online shopping is expected to grow sharply during the holidays by as much as 25% to 35%, while total retail sales will only rise slightly by 1% to 1.5%, according to estimates from consulting firm Deloitte.