Sunday, February 03, 2008

Credit card checker puts sales at risk

E-commerce sites not doing well on usability tests ...

"E-commerce retailers risk losing 15% of sales from the ‘3-D secure’ credit card verification scheme being introduced by Mastercard and Visa unless usability problems are addressed, claims optimum.web, the usability division of RedEye.

This figure could rise to more than 27.5% if the proposed card checking systems are not implemented in a user-centric way on retailers’ sites, the company says.

Optimum.web’s findings follow usability testing conducted on a high profile e-retail site, which had seen sales fall following the introduction of the card verification systems, and expert heuristic reviews of sites across a range of sectors including travel, dating and property.

The usability testing unearthed a range of usability issues on the e-commerce site, but most notably of all it found that 12.5% of users would abandon an online purchase when presented with the first verification screen. A further 25% would not participate willingly until forced to do so, and a proportion of these would probably abandon a purchase at that time.

Following the success of ‘chip and pin’, Mastercard and Visa are encouraging retailers to adopt the 3-D scheme to reduce online fraud. The verification screens are served up independent of the host site and this, says Keith Simpson managing director of optimum.web, is the root of the problem.

“Users are rarely warned before being served the 3-D secure screens so there is a real problem that many view them as part of an elaborate phishing exercise. The design of the screens is generic with no links or association to the site from which the user is trying to make a purchase. It’s no wonder that some users get scared and opt out,” adds Simpson."    (Continued via E-consultancy)    [Usability Resources]

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