Almost one in three internet users are not shopping online due to a lack of trust in the internet, according to a report by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

The OFT found 30% of consumers who don’t shop online, cite a lack of trust as the main factor, a further 20% steer clear due to personal security fears and 15% simply don’t trust companies that sell online.

The research also found that 72% of online shoppers have concern about internet shopping and 38% were, at best, only slightly aware of their online consumer rights.

The OFT said while consumer confidence had grown, overall levels were too low for the market to reach its full potential.

John Fingleton, CEO at the OFT, said, “Online retailing is the future for many businesses and it’s increasingly important to the economy. If consumers are not confident online, demand will grow at a slower rate.

“We must tackle these concerns right now if the online market is to grow at its full potential.”

Gareth Thomas, Minister for Consumer Affairs, said, “UK consumers buy almost twice as much over the internet compared to their European neighbours. It’s encouraging that the OFT’s survey shows increasing consumer confidence when buying online - but people still have concerns.

Thomas added a forthcoming government white paper on internet shopping would set out proposals to better protect people from fraudsters and increase their consumer knowledge when shopping online.”

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Published 11 May, 2009 by NMA Staff

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