April 21, 2003, 12:00 AM

Visible site security measures boost online sales, study finds

Posting “Hacker Safe” certification increases sales by an average 20.4% and up to 33% in some categories, says ScanAlert.

Sales at online retailers who visibly addressed shoppers’ fear of Internet hackers increased as much as 33% in some categories, according to a new study sponsored by Napa, CA-based Internet security company ScanAlert.

“This study of actual buying behavior proves that investing in security does pay; it’s no longer hypothetical,” according to ScanAlert CEO Ken Leonard. “Online shoppers are seeking safety from hackers stealing their credit card data and will definitely reward those retailers that provide it.”

ScanAlert reviewed how 300,020 visitors to 11 retail web sites reacted to third-party certification of the sites` security from hackers. The retailers saw an average increase of 20.4% in sales after visitors saw the company’s “Hacker Safe” certification mark posted on the site.

The sales increase following posting of the certification mark varies among product categories. The increase at sites offering higher-ticket items was greater than increases at those offering less costly items, suggesting that those making more expensive purchases have greater concerns about credit card security. At ClubFurniture.com, for example, a retailer of high-end furniture, sales increased by 33%, while at Binoculars.com, an online opticals store, sales went up 32%.

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