Online spending expected to be down this Christmas

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Reservations over identity theft and fraud persist.

Internet shopping will increase by six per cent this Christmas but spending will be down overall, according to a UK study.

The YouGov survey, commissioned by VeriSign, said online identity theft and lack of trust in web security will cause shoppers to spend less than a third of their total holiday shopping budget online, but still buy over the internet.

Almost one in four (22 per cent) of respondents say they are being held back from shopping online this Christmas due to reservations over online ID theft and fraud, while 14 per cent stated that they will not shop online because they do not trust e-commerce sites.

It also found that 32 per cent of consumers are deterred from shopping online due to not being able to try before they buy, with 27 per cent concerned that goods bought online will not arrive in time for Christmas.

Respondents over the age of 55 are the most fearful of online identity theft and fraud, with 32 per cent saying this will hold them back from shopping over the internet. The 35-44 year-old age range is the most brazen, with 47 per cent saying that nothing will hold them back from buying online this Christmas.

Martin Mackay, vice president of VeriSign EMEA, said: “There is no reason why consumers should be put off from shopping online this season. With some of the best deals available on the web, from travel to toys, consumers should feel safe shopping online as long as they are aware of the security signs to look for, such as the VeriSign seal, on the web page.”

Andrew McLelland, director at IMRG, said: “The research shows that fears over online safety are still holding consumers back this Christmas. More and more people are browsing online but not necessarily spending a lot. If people don't trust the site they are browsing, they simply won't buy from it. If there is even the slightest hesitation the total amount spent will dramatically be reduced.”

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