1997-10-16 - pna.show_story?p_art_id=409724&p_section_name=Sci-Tech

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From: Jim Choate <ravage@ssz.com>
To: cypherpunks@ssz.com
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UTC Datetime: 1997-10-16 03:46:17 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 11:46:17 +0800

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From: Jim Choate <ravage@ssz.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 11:46:17 +0800
To: cypherpunks@ssz.com
Subject: pna.show_story?p_art_id=409724&p_section_name=Sci-Tech
Message-ID: <199710160356.WAA08989@einstein.ssz.com>
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   LA Times
   Consumers Don't Trust Internet Enough To Share Their Credit Card
   ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 14, 1997-- More than one out of
   three Americans have become users of the Internet during the last
   year, primarily for information gathering, but decidedly not for
   shopping, according to a national survey reported today by a leading
   consumer researcher.
   "There is clearly something addictive about the availability of
   galaxies of information for the asking," said Britt Beemer, chairman
   of America's Research Group, the firm that conducted the research
   project, in his keynote address before the 21st Century Commerce &
   CALS Expo USA at the Orange County Convention Center.
   "However, it's a very different story for shopping," he adds, "where
   very few people (2.8 percent ) feel comfortable in using the Internet
   to make a purchase in cyberspace."
   Beemer, who pioneered the influence of fear of crime on shopping with
   his annual survey on the subject, says he is "surprised more people
   weren't actively patronizing the Internet to eliminate worry about
   their personal safety, particularly for shopping at night."
   When asked about the degree of trust they had for shopping at a store
   in the mall compared with a purchase via the Internet, respondents
   opting for the store (72.1 percent) outnumber Internet shoppers (6.7
   percent) by more than ten to one, the survey indicated.
   According to Beemer: "Most people (77.9 percent) are reluctant for
   security reasons to give their personal credit card data via the
   Internet to a virtual salesperson, but many others (26.9 percent)
   don't want to buy something they can't see and touch; 14.9 percent say
   they always buy in stores; 11.6 percent report they like to pay cash;
   and 11.1 percent simply enjoy shopping too much to let their computer
   have all the fun."
   The few products that do sell at all via the Internet include computer
   software, books, apparel, and home furnishings, but the percentages of
   people actually buying are nominal, Beemer says.
   Consumer use of the Internet to get information in influencing various
   purchasing decisions does appear to be increasing, with many people
   (45.9 percent) reporting they sought information prior to shopping,
   and 9.6 percent indicating they were searching for both information
   and advertising.
   Those who use the Internet say the reason they do so is to acquire
   information (68.4 percent); to chat with and meet people (7.1
   percent); and to keep track of their finances (6.1 percent).
   When it comes to information gathering, 41.0 percent are seeking the
   news of the day; 23.7 percent are getting data on companies; 12.8
   percent are looking for help in school work; 6.4 percent are checking
   out stock and bond prices related to their financial status; and 5.8
   percent are surfing for travel information, the study points out.
   "There is some hope down the road that people's fears and concern
   about using the Internet for various personal business purposes will
   ease," says Beemer.
   "When asked whether they would expect to make financial transactions
   in the future, nearly six out of ten said `no,' but nearly 10 percent
   (9.4 percent) answered in the affirmative," he reports.
   The survey was conducted during the last week of September, 1997 of a
   national sample of 1000 respondents. Of this number, 41.7 percent had
   no access to a computer either at home or at work; 24.6 percent both
   at home and at work; 17.7 percent at home; and 15.9 percent at work,
   only. The study has a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percent.
   America's Research Group is a leading consumer research firm,
   headquartered in Charleston, S.C. Its staff has interviewed three
   million Americans over the past dozen years, giving ARG the largest
   database of retail trends in America. Britt Beemer is the author of
   PREDATORY MARKETING, published early this year by William Morrow.
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