November 26, 2008, 12:00 AM

Secure checkout is a key factor in attracting online shoppers, survey says

79% of online shoppers indicated that a secure checkout is very important in attracting them to a web site, according to a new survey by Harris Interactive on behalf of Volusion.

A secure checkout, product quality and an easy-to-use web site were rated as key factors in attracting online shoppers to a web site, according to a new survey by Harris Interactive on behalf of Volusion Inc., an e-commerce systems provider. In the survey of 2,462 U. S. online shoppers 18 years and over, 79% indicated that a secure checkout is very important in initially attracting them to a web site, with 59% citing product quality as very important, and 48% calling easy-to-use web site features very important.

In addition, the survey found that social networking could play a greater role for online shoppers. 50% of those surveyed said that special sales and exclusive products would encourage them to shop online via a social networking site.

“Beyond easy navigation and checkout, consumers want online shopping to be integrated with the way they communicate with their peers, making their preferences and interests known on social networks (such as MySpace and Facebook) and enabling retailers to develop a more intimate relationship with them,” says Kevin Sproles, CEO and founder of Volusion.

In the survey, which was conducted from Sept. 30 to Oct. 6, 80% of those polled said that they could be enticed to shop online more frequently whereas 20% said nothing could encourage them to shop on the web more frequently. Of those who could be encouraged, 50% said special online-only offers would increase their online shopping frequency followed by 43% who said greater privacy and 40% who said easier return policies could encourage them to shop more, according to the survey.

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