December 27, 2011, 3:14 PM

More than half of shoppers don’t trust Facebook stores

A survey finds that only 24% of shoppers don’t worry about fraud on Facebook.

Stefany Moore

Associate Director of Research

Lead Photo

Facebook stores have a challenge when it comes to shopper trust, as more than half of online consumers do not think those stores are built to protect them against fraud, according to a new study by fraud prevention firm ThreatMetrix and think tank Ponemon Institute.

In an August survey of 722 shoppers who deemed themselves active online users, 53% said they distrust shopping in Facebook stores because of the fraud potential, while 23% said they are unsure whether the social network was safe for shopping. 24% of survey respondents say Facebook is doing enough to protect shoppers from fraud.

“With new account registration, you have [criminals] who will sign up with social networking sites like Facebook in order to gain access to current user information,” says Alisdair Faulkner, chief products officer at ThreatMetrix. “Having a comprehensive fraud prevention strategy is vital for social networks and strategic to their operations, especially if a user experiences spam directly within the site.”

The survey also revealed that shoppers have been slow to embrace Facebook as a place for shopping, as only one in five consumers say they have purchased something directly from a Facebook storefront. “Consumers have yet to adopt social shopping habits because it’s largely unavailable, with many retailers still trying to figure out their strategy in offering their products via social outlets like Facebook,” Faulkner adds. “And with the current consumer perception that Facebook isn’t doing enough to protect against security breaches, Facebook storefronts still face hurdles in gaining widespread adoption.”

When asked which company, Facebook or Google, was more effective at protecting shoppers against fraud and other abuses when shopping online, 51% said Google, 26% said Facebook, 13% said they were equal and 10% were undecided.

Google does not complete online transactions for shoppers, as its new social network Google + has no embedded storefronts and its comparison shopping engine, Google Shopping, directs consumers to retailer web sites when they click Buy.

Comments | 2 Responses

  • This information is based on a survey of 722 people. How can this kind of data even be considered for publication? What exactly can a survey of 722 people represent when the number of Facebook users in the UK alone is approximately 30 million? As a statistic, the 722 people surveyed, represents less than 0.02% of UK Facebook users. There is a danger publishing a headline "More than half of shoppers don’t trust Facebook stores" when this is clearly a misrepresentation based on totally misleading statistics. Additionally, it is damaging to the people trying to conduct e-Commerce business on Facebook. ThreatMetrix should be thinking of alternative ways to win new business that does not involve the destruction of the online reputation of Facebook Commerce.

  • As a Facebook fan, I appreciate your concern about forming an impression on consumer trust in Facebook Storefronts from a sample of 700+ adult-aged respondents. As a researcher, the ideal would be an assessment from every Facebook user. But, it would be impossible to accomplish this. Thus, we utilized scientific sampling methods to examine specific issues. Our sample plan consisted of individuals who self-reported being Facebook users at the time of our survey. Even though our final sample represents only a small percentage of the total Facebook user population, we believe our sample was large enough to extrapolate population characteristics or parameters. We believe the result showing that 24% of sample respondents said they believe Facebook's Storefronts are committed to protecting them against fraudsters and other abuses when shopping online is an unbiased estimate subject to normal statistical variation and error. Please note that our full research report provides the limitations of survey sampling methods. I would be very pleased to discuss our Institute's survey sampling and quality control methods. Respectfully, Dr. Larry Ponemon Chairman & Founder Ponemon Institute

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