Shoppers pay more for privacy

Shoppers on the Internet are prepared to pay more for what they buy from you if your site has a clear privacy policy. According to research from Carnegie Mellon University, shoppers want to see your privacy policy plus they will pay more for goods and services from sites where such policies are available.

The study found that prices can be around 5% higher for sites with privacy policies that are clearly stated and available, compared with sites that don’t have these policies in place. In other words Internet shoppers are happy to pay for their privacy.

If you sell anything online this means your privacy policies should be obvious and clearly stated. You may also want to create a “P3P” policy, which is a web standard privacy system that can be shown by web browsers automatically – a similar scheme to the padlock icon for security.

However, for most sites a clear privacy policy is probably all you need. Don’t opt for great long screeds of legal text, instead think about the user. What they want is instant reassurance. A handful of bullet points on each sales page should suffice.

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