CBRE Research Suggests Link between Propensity to Shop Online and to

Warsaw, 5 October 2011 – Security concerns remain the biggest obstacle to the further development of online shopping in Europe despite ever-increasing use of consumer technology products and advances made in the security of credit card payment methods such as ‘chip and pin’, according to new research by leading global property adviser CBRE.

The CBRE preview findings come at a time when governments and industry groups across Europe are aiming to kick-start economies, with consumer spending seen as a vital ingredient for creating economic growth. While the digital revolution is driving the popularity of shopping online in many European countries, for millions of other consumers the fear over online security is the barrier that prevents them from fully embracing the online shopping experience.

The report is the first pan-European research of its kind, polling more than 10,000 people to understand consumer attitudes to online shopping in 10 European countries. Some of the purchase categories considered in the definition of ‘online shopping’ include: shoes and clothes, books, music and entertainment, groceries, electrical items, cosmetics, pharmacy, and computer games.

When CBRE asked consumers what prevented them from shopping online, security emerged as the top issue - more important than cost of delivery, ease of delivering goods, and lack of a credit card. For those consumers that frequently use the internet to buy products online, security of payment remained a key issue, with people in Spain (48%), Italy (36%), Germany (35%), Great Britain (32%), France (30%), and Sweden (29%), most concerned about internet security stating this issue among their top three concerns.

The CBRE findings also suggested there is a connection between propensity to shop online and to bank online in Europe. The countries that have a higher percentage of people that buy products online such as Sweden (69%), Germany (66%), Great Britain (58%) and France (56%) also have higher levels of internet banking than the countries in Southern Europe where internet use is lower, while in some Eastern European countries online banking has barely taken hold. Given that online banking engages people on a daily basis with money management online, the CBRE research suggests higher levels of use of online banking could help people overcome their fears of shopping online.

Peter Gold, Head of Cross Border Retail, CBRE commented:

“Understanding the latest consumer dynamics on a pan-European basis helps us to shape retail thinking on tomorrow’s trends. In the age of YouTube, the iPad and Facebook, it is no surprise that Europeans are increasingly using the internet to help make informed browsing and purchasing decisions. However, despite the consumer’s love affair with technology gadgets, it is fears over online security that continue to be the biggest obstacle to online shopping.

“Given that people use online banking on a daily basis to manage their money, there could also be a case to argue that greater consumer take-up of online banking would help people overcome their fears of shopping online. At a time when European government’s are struggling to get their economies moving, and consumer spending is accepted as a key creator of growth and confidence, banks may have a key role to play, not just in lending to small business, but in quite a different way – engaging more people in everyday online banking and money management.”