More than one fifth of U.S. Internet users will take a pass on online shopping this holiday season due to security concerns, according to a new study released Wednesday.
The concerns most cited by respondents were identity theft, spam, credit-card theft and spyware, according to a survey of 1,005 U.S. Internet users conducted by London-based market researcher Taylor Nelson Sofres PLC.
Among the 78 percent of U.S. Internet users who will shop online during the holidays, 69 percent will curb their purchasing activities due to fears over possible misuse of their personal information, according to the survey. The poll was commissioned by nonprofit organization TRUSTe, which certifies Web sites that comply with the group's privacy protection principles.
Specifically, security concerns will keep some shoppers away from smaller, lesser-known online retailers, out of fear that these vendors are more likely to misuse personal information than their larger, better known counterparts.
The survey, conducted online between Oct. 27 and Nov. 1, has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
A study released last week reached similar conclusions. Commissioned by the Business Software Alliance and conducted by Forrester Research Inc.'s Custom Consumer Research, that study found that 25 percent of U.S. consumers won't shop online during the upcoming holiday season because of concerns over buying goods online.
Still, online shopping is growing this holiday season, compared with last year's. Between Nov. 1 and Nov. 28, nontravel spending by consumers reached US$7.93 billion, a 24 percent increase compared with the same period last year, according to market researcher comScore Networks Inc.
Specifically during the Thanksgiving weekend (between Thursday, Nov. 24 and Sunday, Nov. 27) and on the following so-called "Black Monday" (Nov. 28), spending grew 26 percent over the same period last year, comScore said Tuesday.