2004 US Customers Spend $300 Billion at Online Businesses; Security, Privacy Concerns Abound

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The fastest growing trend today is for businesses to design and create an online web store front so that customers anywhere in the US can visit, browse, shop, purchase products anytime during the day or night and have those purchases delivered to the customers’ door. There are tremendous benefits to both the customer and the business. But online pop-up ads, cookies, spy ware, security and privacy concerns stand in the way of an equally effective and efficient online method for encouraging the word of mouth advertising that has worked so well in person.

Throughout the history of US businesses, word-of-mouth advertising has been the most effective, efficient and least costly form of advertising. Satisfied customers tell their friends and neighbors about the businesses that provide the highest quality products and customer service. And those friends and neighbors are much more likely to shop at those businesses because the connection is personal, not in your face business advertising.

The fastest growing trend today is for businesses to design and create an online web store front so that customers anywhere in the US can visit, browse, shop, purchase products anytime during the day or night and have those purchases delivered to the customers’ door. There are tremendous benefits to both the customer and the business. But online pop-up ads, cookies, spy ware, security and privacy concerns stand in the way of an equally effective and efficient online method for encouraging the word of mouth advertising that has worked so well in person.

“Online businesses are really concerned about the numbers,” stated Michael Catt, president and CEO of JMCatt, Incorporated. “After completing extensive research about the online business to consumer market, it was immediately apparent that some form of online word-of-mouth advertising mechanism would positively impact the problem. Online customers needed an online venue to share information about which specific online businesses provide the highest quality products and customer service with their online friends and neighbors (and other online customers who were interested).”

As a result, http://www.CattBoxx.com was designed, developed and launched on the internet.

“It started out small and not too many customers or businesses were aware of it,” admitted Catt, “but now the numbers are really starting to climb faster than we expected. Although there are myriad potential problems with customers purchasing products on the internet, word-of-mouth advertising from customers who know which specific online businesses provide the highest quality products and customer service appears to be a creative and flexible solution.”

In 2004, 100 million online buyers (64%) of the 180 million total online users purchased products via business website storefronts. But the details of those transactions are revealing. Seven out of ten US Customers abandoned their transactions at Web Storefronts resulting in huge non-salvageable lost sales opportunities. The remaining three out of ten Online US Customers purchased $300 billion worth of goods and services from Business Internet websites representing slightly more than 21 percent of total US web sales of $1.4 trillion.

US Customers clearly expressed their concerns regarding barriers to online purchasing, including Credit Card Security (79%), Disclosure of Personal Details (77%), Distrust of Web Retailers (48%), Complex Order Processes (21%), Time Consuming Order Processes (20%) and Unfamiliarity with Web Storefronts (40%).

US Customers also expressed specific concerns about making internet purchases, including Information Sold to Third Parties (89%), Information Stolen from Web Databases (89%), Transmitting Credit Card Numbers (85%), Transmitting Addresses or Personal Data (86%) and Receiving Unwanted E-mails (84%).

These figures are also clearly reinforced and represented in the growing problem of Identity Theft in the US.

The average US online retail spending amount was $585 per customer per web storefront. Four out of ten web shoppers indicated that they were less optimistic about online security in 2004.

These numbers are causing US businesses with a web storefront presence to reconsider their approach to selling goods and services to US customers. Those businesses want options and specific information to come up with a profitable solution that will clearly increase the visibility and profitability of their businesses.

“Although we do not accept money from any online businesses to advertise on the CattBoxx.com website, we do accept money from businesses who respect and understand the impact we have on bringing quality businesses and outstanding customers together in an online word-of-mouth advertising environment,” says Catt. “Online businesses really want to see the CattBoxx websites succeed because it is good for the outstanding customers and good for the quality businesses.”

Businesses can get more information and actively support this effort anytime simply by logging onto http://www.cattboxx.net.

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Michael Catt
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