A recent survey published by the Office of Fair Trading highlighted a lack of confidence in online shopping, with 30% of internet users never having shopped online. The main reason given for not shopping online was that users simply don’t trust the internet for shopping, with 30% of respondents citing this as a reason. Fears over personal security (20%) and lack of trust in companies selling online (15%) were also major factors in choosing not to shop online.
The OFT found that, even among shoppers who do purchase online, 72% still had some concerns over doing so and 38% had little or no knowledge of their consumer rights. Although consumer confidence has grown since the OFT’s 2006 survey, only 54% of online shoppers say they feel as safe buying online as they do in store.
Consumers in the UK spent an estimated £43.8 billion online in 2008, an increase of nearly 45% since 2006. However, the lack of confidence in shopping online is preventing the market from reaching its full potential, which means that retailers and consumers alike are missing out on opportunities.
The Office of Fair Trading has identified increasing consumer confidence in internet shopping and awareness of consumer rights as the two main hurdles to overcome with regards to the online retail market.
On the positive side, two-thirds of internet users had shopped online within the previous twelve months and, of these, 73% purchased at least every two months. Shoppers gave a variety of reasons for purchasing online but the most popular (over 80% of respondents) were; wider choice, saving time and being able to shop from the comfort of home. Other reasons included; more production information available to help with purchasing decisions, not having to transport goods and the ability to shop at any time. Although overall awareness of consumer rights hasn’t increased since 2006, the number of people claiming to be very aware of their rights has nearly doubled to 23%.
As a responsible retailer, Printware is committed to ensuring customer confidence at all times. We recognise that trust is an important part of doing business, particularly over the internet, which is why our contact details are easy to find and our telephone number is displayed prominently at the top of every page on our website. When you call us, your call will be answered by a person, not an automated switchboard.
Our terms and conditions are also accessible from every page on our website and explain our trading terms, and your rights as a consumer in detail. You will also find detailed information explaining how to return faulty or unwanted goods, cancelling orders and making complaints, together with the phone number and e-mail address for our customer care team.
Security is of paramount importance so we use the best encryption software available to ensure that your personal details cannot be read by anyone other than the intended recipient. You can see confirmation of our EV SSL security certificate (which is only issued after a rigorous investigation and independent audit) by clicking the Global Sign logo on our Security and Payment Methods page. We also protect all the data on our server with a firewall whose specification is recognised by all the major banks and is used in conjunction with SagePay to keep your information secure.
When you pay for your order by credit card, either by phone or online, we take additional steps to reduce the risk of fraud. The card details are checked against the delivery address to ensure that they match. For a first order, we usually ask that we ship to the cardholder address but we recognise that this is not always practical. In these instances, there are a few steps we can take to ensure that the card is not being used fraudulently.
If your card is registered and with a 3d secure scheme such as Verified by Visa or Mastercard Secure, your transaction is authenticated by a password known only to you. Since we cannot ask you for this password, 3d secure authentication is only available if you place the order yourself via our website. The security checks performed on a fully 3d secure transaction are sufficient to eliminate the possibility of fraud (unless you’ve told somebody your password) and to allow us to ship your order to an alternate address.
In cases where there is no 3d secure authentication and there is a discrepancy between the card details and the delivery address, we will contact you for clarification. Depending on the nature and value of the transaction, our trading history with you and whether you’re a business or private customer, this can be anything from confirming information with you over the phone to requesting a suitable proof of address, such as a bank statement or utility bill. Sometimes this can seem inconvenient or even intrusive but we take every possible step to verify card transactions without asking for identification and, when we do, it is to ensure that your card is being used with your full knowledge and consent.
If you have any questions or concerns about doing business with us, please feel free to call us on 023 9262 3300 Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
by Anthony Morgan