Monday, September 22, 2008

More on the Tealeaf/Harris Interactive e-Commerce Poll

Intolerance for online transaction issues jumps among British consumers in 2008
Intolerance for online transaction issues jumps among British consumers in 2008

Survey highlights £11.9 billion revenue opportunity for GB businesses that focus on improving online customer experiences.
An independent annual survey into online consumer behaviour conducted by Harris Interactive, and commissioned by Tealeaf highlights an increasingly unforgiving attitude towards online sites.

The study reveals that nearly 9 out of 10 British online adults (89%) who have conducted transactions online in the past year have experienced problems. Of those who have experienced problems, nearly half (49%) say they would abandon their transaction entirely or switch to a competitor (either online or offline) if they experienced a problem, a significant increase of 12 percentage points in just one year (37% in 2007). The 2008 rate of abandonment suggests that £11.9 billion in revenue could be affected by issues on shopping sites alone -- a huge opportunity for companies to harness, by ensuring their websites work. On the Web, the competition is a click away.

The ecommerce sector is buoyant in the UK, with shoppers spending over £26.5bn online in the first six months of 2008 (up 38% on 2007). Remarkably, the Tealeaf survey also found that, among all online adults in Great Britain, general preference for conducting business online (52%) has surpassed preference for conducting business in-person (41%) by more than 10 percentage points.

Simultaneously, expectations for online experience are also high. A full 87% of all online adults believe there is no reason why an online transaction cannot be completed first time, and 90% of those who have conducted an online transaction in the past year expect the same, or better, levels of customer service online as they do offline.

In addition to losing customers to the competition, companies that fail to provide high levels of online customer experience will likely see their reputation suffer as a result. Online transactional problems may lead to negative feelings towards companies -- 83% of online adults who experience problems conducting online transactions say they feel frustrated when they experience problems. The effect of this can be far-reaching, with 77% sharing their experience with others and with more than half (53%) telling their friends and family specifically in order to discourage them from using that website or doing business with the company. Of those sharing their experiences, 56% use online channels to share complaints or reviews. Unlike one-on-one conversations with friends or family, these digital conversations can be viewed by millions and live online indefinitely, therefore amplifying their impact.
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Skim Scam

The Calgary Sun - New debit scam caught on video
They're a scourge to society and nefarious PIN pad peekers are nothing if not inventive.

A surveillance video recently obtained from an Airdrie convenience store shows a startling debit fraud scam far more sophisticated than so-called "shoulder surfing" and skimming machines, prompting the RCMP to warn retailers and customers alike.

"We're in a constant race, along with the banks and the financial institutes, to defeat what they're doing next ... this is an advancement for the criminals," Sgt. Patrick Webb said yesterday.

The footage, dated Sept. 11, shows three men entering the store just before closing time -- two acting as lookouts and distracting the clerk, the other covertly inspecting the business' PIN pad.

A fourth suspect, a woman, enters and uses a bag to shield the PIN pad from the retailer's view -- and ultimately, the man at the counter swipes the store's device and replaces it with a dummy pad.

It's a scheme likely to give crooks access to information from dozens of debit cards from a single retail location in just one day, said Const. Lane Menard of the RCMP's commercial crime section.

"Now that they've taken this pad, they go to a separate location, open it up and place some technology inside that allows them to copy the information from swiping your card, as well as a transmitter where they can receive all that information," said Menard.

"They will return the next morning with that original PIN pad, take their covert one and everything functions, and we're none the wiser."

In the case captured on video, a customer visited the store shortly after the card-swiping quartet departed and, when the debit pad didn't work, the retailer promptly notified authorities.

Mounties determined the dummy pad was actually stolen from Surrey, B.C., merely a day before.

In 2006, 119,000 debit cards in Canada had information lifted -- a small percentage considering the millions in circulation.

But, Menard said store owners should secure their PIN pads or keep them out of reach, while consumers should check their accounts for any
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