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September 22 , 2009

Convert 11% more "digital window shoppers"
McAfee proves security trustmarks work

The world's largest dedicated security company, McAfee, Inc. has revealed the power of security to get consumers to click "buy," in its study Digital Window Shopping: The Long Journey to Buy.

McAfee found a majority of shoppers are "digital window shoppers," or consumers who start shopping on a site, leave for a period of time and return later to complete the sale. McAfee studied the behavior of 163 million shoppers and found that sales conversions were 11 per cent higher for digital window shoppers who were shown a security cue, like the McAfee SECURE trustmark. Further, the longer it took customers to complete a sale, the more responsive they were to security cues.

"Online retailers who ignore the role security plays in converting digital window shoppers to customers are missing out on billions of dollars they can't afford to lose in this economy," said Shane Keats, senior research analyst for McAfee. "Many will take traditional measures to get customers to return, like reducing shipping costs or offering coupons, but more can and should be done."

Retailers should re-examine abandoned shopping cart rates. McAfee's study found that 65 per cent of all shoppers wait a day or more to complete a purchase, and the average delay is 33 hours and 54 minutes. Instead of panicking, e-tailers should understand the reasons for abandoned shopping carts and implement strategies to combat consumer fears.

"Retailers shouldn't misinterpret abandoned shopping carts - many of these potential sales return later to finalize the sale," said Keats. "Understanding this delay is critical for merchant analytics."

Every year e-tailers lose billions from consumers with purchase intent due to security fears, not price. In a recent Harris Interactive study, 63% of consumers said that even in an attempt to get a good deal they won't purchase from a Web site that doesn't display a trustmark or security policy. In 2008, online retailers lost $21 billion in online sales due to identity theft and online shopping fears, according to Javelin Strategy and Research.

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