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  Only 26% of users trust e-commerce web sites. How to establish trust on a site?

Only 26% of users
trust e-commerce
web sites

How to establish
trust on a site

The future of European banks will go through networked service centres

print e-commerce


When 58% of American users claim that they trust newspapers and television news, only 26% of users declare that they trust Web sites that sell products or services.

These figures are rather alarming as far as these sites' ability in terms of eShopability is concerned as it appears obvious that, if there is no trust, it will prove particularly difficult for them to increase their looker-to-booker conversion rate.

The survey carried out by Consumer Web Watch also indicates that among users who have been online for over three years, only 31% of users say they trust e-commerce web sites.


This proves especially serious as it means that the length of time people have been online has not managed to eradicate these fears of online shopping.

Besides, the results of this survey are rather clear on this point as 80% of the respondents indicated that it is very important to be able to trust the information given on a web site.

The same percentage thinks that trust also depends on how easy it is to navigate on the site.

Indeed, trust means that a user is willing to invest time, money but also to give personal information in return for products and services that will give him satisfaction.

The more a user trusts a site, the more willing to make transactions on it he will be.

If a user has lost faith in a site, he will no longer be willing to make a purchase on it and maybe he will not even feel like going back there again.

Not only is it difficult to establish trust on a site, but it also happens to be a very fragile element.

The site needs to be able to answer a few questions:

Information about the site and the company

Who are these people? Where are they? How many are they?

Quality of the price display

Internet users want prices to be displayed as clearly as possible, taxes included, delivery costs displayed, extra costs included and displayed as clearly as possible...

Information on the products

Internet users want to have access to clear, sufficient and precise information on the products they are willing to purchase. They want to know exactly what they are about to buy.

A decent technological web site

Obsolete content, spelling mistakes, excessive response time, error message totally deprived of human touch..

Site's commitment in terms of privacy policy

Users appreciate a site to display its privacy policy in a clear and intelligible way.

Do not force users to reveal their personal data before they actually make a purchase
Some sites force users to register before they can make a purchase and ask for their email or phone number. Web sites should only ask for such information at the very last moment.


Users are concerned about how safe their transactions really are. When safety is not guaranteed, they want to have other transactional ways at their disposal, whether it is a phone or a fax number.


The option for a user to discuss with the site through a chat or an email is a key to success and it increases trust. Dry and impersonal contacts can only reduce trust.

When a site shows real eShopability qualities, it then proves easier to establish trust as users then know and feel that the company behind the site takes its customers' needs very seriously and is prepared to serve them as best as it can.

Not taking this need into account can only lead to the non-optimization of all e-commerce sites' performances.

Source : Consumer Web Watch

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   The future of European banks will go through networked service centres  

At least, this is what Forrester Research claims in its latest survey called "Reinventing Branch Banking".

Between 1999 and 2001, European banks have invested 13 billion euros to expand not only their presence on the Internet, but also their call centres.

Convinced that the banking physical distribution network was bound to become smaller and smaller, banks in Germany, the Uk and France closed down 11% of their branches between 1995 and 2000.

And yet, 73% of the European banks that Forrester interviewed in this survey indicate that the Internet only had a very limited impact on their branch distribution and 61% believe that branches will still be the dominant channel of distribution in 2007.

Nevertheless, almost 50% of the banks that were interviewed indicated that they have already started to connect their branches to online banking applications as part of a multichannel integration strategy and 24% are planning to do so in the near future.

Of course, their motivations appear mostly financial and 39% of the European banks that were interviewed think that they will manage to reduce costs by 15% by improving the quality of their customer service.

To get to this result, Forrester believes that European banks will also need to build a new type of infrastructure based on networked service centres and open platforms.

The idea behind of this is to give service centre staff customer profiles in real time, while offering them online guided sales tools as well.

To have access to real time customer data includes, according to Forrester, the ability for branch staff to collect data in real time, such as the way a customer behaves on an Internet bank as well as the history of his behaviour, whatever distribution channel is used.

By giving branches access to this kind of tools and by completing it with online advice tools, reinforced with a local command of those tools, Forrester Research believes that European banks will be able to reach the profitability goals they are trying to reach.

Please note that according to a survey by the Financial Institute and reported by emarketer.com, the number of US households banking online or paying bills online should grow from 20% to 33% between now and 2005.

Sources : Forrester Research - eMarketer

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