Consumers want to know who they’re buying from

June 6, 2016 06:00 PM

U.S. shoppers are far more likely than British shoppers to make a purchase through an online marketplace.

That’s according to a report from British identification software vendor HooYu titled “Are Trust & Identity Holding Back Further Growth of the Sharing Economy?” The report, produced in conjunction with online market research firm Atomik Research, surveyed 2,000 shoppers online earlier this year, half in the United States and half in the United Kingdom.

HooYu’s data shows 38.66% of all U.S. shoppers had bought or sold an expensive item through a peer-to-peer online marketplace such as Craigslist, compared with 10.57% of British shoppers. While millions of consumers share, swap and rent goods and services online, 68% of British consumers have not yet conducted an online peer-to-peer transaction, such as buying something from an online marketplace or renting a holiday property, the report says. In the United States, that percentage falls to 31% of consumers who have not conducted such peer-to-peer online transactions.

When dealing with an online marketplace seller that the shopper hasn’t fully vetted, shoppers in the U.S. proved to be more trusting than their British counterparts, the study finds. 12.09% of all American shoppers said they were “happy to trust” when asked “When dealing with somebody who you have never met before, how trusting are you prepared to be without obtaining further assurance about somebody’s identity?” compared to 8.18% of all British shoppers. Meanwhile, 19.27% of all American shoppers responded “not at all” to that same question, compared to 32.44% of all British shoppers.

“Where the transaction is fleeting by nature such as auction and marketplace sales, the level of trust required is lower,” HooYu writes.

Online marketplaces on the whole are gaining momentum, with Amazon and eBay together accounting for 42.8% of all online sales in the U.S. in 2015 when factoring in Amazon's own sales. You can read more about Internet Retailer’s exclusive report on online marketplaces here.




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