European E-Shoppers Choose Price Over Security

Despite the popular conception that Europeans distrust e-commerce, a new survey by Jupiter Communications reveals that lower prices, not tighter security, would motivate European e-shoppers to spend more online.

The survey, conducted in partnership with European research firm Ipsos, also found that Internet usage varies widely as established online populations become wiser and more sophisticated in their use of the Web.

Low Costs Motivate

In the survey, 57 percent of European Net shoppers said that better prices would motivate them to buy more products online, while only 42 percent said they would feel more comfortable buying online if e-tailers provided better protection for credit card numbers and other personal information.

“European online shoppers appear to have moved beyond the initial fear of purchasing on the Internet,” said Mark Mulligan, European data analyst for Jupiter.

The report suggests that people who spend a significant amount of time browsing and shopping online are more concerned about price than those who spend less time on the Web.

In Scandinavian countries, where Net surfing is more prevalent, 62 percent of online shoppers cited price as their number one motivator for buying online. That number dropped in the UK, Germany and France, where only 50 percent placed a higher value on price than security.

Jupiter found that 48 percent of surfers who do not shop online said that stronger security would motivate them to shop online, while only 37 percent cited better prices as a motivator.

Regional Differences

Jupiter also found that Net-savvy Scandinavians conducted more focused Net searches than their British, German and French counterparts, and spent a longer amount of time visiting information-related sites.

In the study, 49 percent of Scandinavians reported that they had used the Internet to secure travel arrangements, compared to just 24 percent of their British, French and German neighbors. The survey also found that over 40 percent of Scandinavians online visited Web sites and channels containing health information, compared to just 17 percent in the three less mature markets.

Online banking also proved more popular among Scandinavian respondents, as 26 percent banked online compared to just 14 percent in the other countries polled.

About the Survey

To gather the data for the survey, Ipsos interviewed a base sample of 19,000 adults in their homes in seven European countries — Great Britain, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland. The study’s parameters included control to ensure that the sample was random and representative of the national adult population in each country.

From the base sample, a representative sample of 6,000 Internet users was identified. Jupiter said that the methodology used ensured that all types of Internet users were represented and avoided any bias toward heavier-weight users.

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