Risk & Purchasing Online

Consumers who are contemplating about purchasing online perceive some level of risk like those who are intending to purchase from physical stores but there some risk types which are unique to online shopping. Risk of losing personal and private information and that of transnational security could be experienced by online shoppers to varying degree. The incremental use of online platforms and intermediaries by businesses for selling their products and services mandates a better understanding of consumers’ perception towards risk when shopping online.risk

Trusting an online entity or an E-commerce website is a prerequisite for customers who are intending to purchase online. Due to the lack of tri-ability because of the intangibility associated with online shopping, it is more difficult to covey cues of quality to consumers who are not able to touch and feel a product and should only rely on the information provided by the seller in the form of image or text. Moreover risk of losing credit card information and other personal data during an online transaction could still be highly scary for many consumers to an extent which hinders them from any online transaction. Risk of doing a transaction online could even change a consumer’s mind  at the middle of purchase process when the seller is almost sure that its product would be sold in a few seconds as it is already been added to the basket and just a few more clicks from the buyer are needed to finalize the purchase. What happens in consumers’ mind in terms of risk perception and what online retailers or businesses with online presence should do to deal with that risk is something we would address in our next post (Kim & Byramjee 2014)

Kim, S, & Byramjee, F 2014, ‘Effects of Risks on Online Consumers’ Purchasing Behavior: Are They Risk-Averse or Risk-Taking?’, Journal Of Applied Business Research, 30, 1, pp. 161-171, EconLit, EBSCOhost.


6 thoughts on “Risk & Purchasing Online

  1. This is certainly a big worry with many consumers and I think most banks have stepped in to provide insight and insurance how the fails of internet shopping. There are certainly inherit dangers of internet shopping but what I think is an essential element to this is purchasing consumables from providers that are well known – Amazon as an example. Nothing is secure as we know and unfortunately many consumers do not know what to look out like shopping on a secure site, what is a secure site? would the average consumer know to look out for HTTPS secured certificates etc. or just believe the blind about “we offer secure payments”.

    Physical shopping is also at risk, have a read at the link below covering RFID tokens.

    There are also other risks like physical loss of cards etc. I believe the bank needs to play a large role on consumer education and internet safety when dishing out their cards. This would certainly big a big value add for any bank to do.


  2. Consumers relationship trust plays an important role on consumers’ behaviour especially in terms of online business.Online shopping provides a convience stage for clients to purchase what they need,however,a lot of concerns and considerations have occured as well and more importantly,as compared with traditional shopping,online shopping is more difficult to be monitored,without reliable trust relationship between customers and suppliers,the business can not be made successfully.


  3. I believe that the older generation perceive more risk to online buying than then younger generation. With the aging population these are the people who most need to be targeted. I believe one of the biggest problems is when there is no way to phone the company, or if there is a phone number it is an overseas number which entails an expensive call and different time zones. Also, they are often very slow to reply to emails. Companies more easily contacted would be more trustworthy (so long as they follow up), although, of course, this has cost issues.


  4. Providing a secure online trading platform is very important if online businesses are to attract and retain the trust of their customers. Consumers often fear the loss of credit card information and other personal data which would make them vulnerable to credit card fraud, such fraud would have far reaching consequences for the consumer.

    So how to online platforms give consumers the security they desire? How do they prevent security breaches? Will online trading platforms ever feel as safe as physical stores?


  5. Stimulating post, it highlights the fact that online shopping can be very dangerous. Services such as Paypal offer safety nets to online shoppers, the information is never let out and is coded by encrypting the data. Although even this does not guarantee 100% protection, it reduces the risk of identity theft and fraud. It also provides cover for refunds and helps resolve problems between seller and buyer, should they be faced. However, even though there may be a fair degree of protection available, over the net shopping may never feel as safe as brick and mortar shops. The experience of actually touching and examine a product you pay for it is one, in my opinion that can’t be matched!


  6. I actually feared went I first started to shop online. What if things go wrong and I lose my money and credit card details. What if any fraud takes place? I had many questions like this. But as time passed I researched in some of the reliable websites. I came to know one thing that buying a product from a well known website is always a safer option. Even if its little bit expensive then other sites still I wil prefer to go with a reputated websites like ebay, kogan, and ofcourse companies websites like harvey norman, dick smith, etc.
    Buying things online is always preferable option to me because you get deals, you save your time, transportation cost and even you can select from varieties of products and websites.


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