Only 18% of South Africans shopping online care about trust

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South Africans distrust online shopping, according to numbers revealed by Effective Measure in its e-Commerce Industry Report.

The survey was conducted between December 2015 and March of this year with 13 975 responses recorded by the firm.

By the numbers, 59% of shoppers say they would be shopping online more often if there was an “on delivery payment option.” With that said however, 39% of shoppers reach for their credit card before considering an EFT payment (31%) or using a service like PayPal (9%).

What this tells us is that shoppers don’t trust making payments online, even if they do make purchases online regularly.

But why this lack of trust? Perhaps it’s the platform they’re using to do their online shopping.

Nicolle Harding, from Effective Measure explains that of online shoppers, 57% of users prefer completing a purchase on a desktop. “There is a perception in the market that people mostly search on their mobile devices. This is backed up by research from Google suggesting 70% of Google searches are attached to location. The research shows that the adoption rate of people following through with browsing and making a purchase on a mobile device is still low.”

This is weird because 38% of respondents in the survey are mobile first, meaning that their primary means of internet access is their smartphone.

Perhaps then the reason that consumers switch to a desktop/notebook to checkout, is safety.

However, looking at the assurances shoppers look for, a trusted platform (something such as a Visa or a bank’s logo) is only important to 18% of shoppers.


Looking at offline shoppers however, we find that 23% of respondents don’t trust online payments with a need to touch and feel a product accounting for 37% of offline shoppers not going online and “I’m just not used to it” being the reason for 41% of shoppers not abandoning bricks and mortar for binary.

The deadliest sin, online

So why do we stop caring about security? Quite simply, as we spend more time online we get lazy and complacent.

We use the same passwords across multiple sites, yes, we’re looking at you Mark Zuckerberg, we forget that freeware can contain malware which can sniff out your online banking password as you type it.

So while Visa and other companies want to make it easier for you to shop online, we think that they should be making it harder.

With so many dangers lurking around the internet becoming lazier because we want to be able to pay with one tap is incredibly dangerous.

Forgive the tinfoil-hat attitude we have but we’re simply trying to spread a bit more responsibility around as Africa progresses to a more digitised environment.

So next time you head to your favourite e-tailer verse yourself in the safety aspects of your activity. Enable two-factor authentication, use unique passwords, only key in passwords and sensitive information over an HTTPS connection and above all, keep your security software up-to-date and install it on your mobile as well.

[Image – CC BY/2.0 Perspecsys Photos]


Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.