Research from Standard Life Healthcare gives a valuable insight into how people are using email, the web and SMS text to access services.
Insurance is an area where people tend to be reticent about using ecommerce. The survey found that:
Most people (59%) prefer to contact insurance companies by phone. Nearly one in five (18%) prefer using a website, 15% prefer post and 8% prefer email. People under 34 prefer the web and email more, and telephone less, than other age groups.
Most people (68%) say that telephone is the most secure way of contacting companies. Post is next (42%), then website (28%) and email (21%).
30% of people who buy something over the internet always read the terms and conditions of a website before buying something. Another 28% do sometimes but 19% rarely do and 24% never do.
56% who rarely or never read the terms and conditions on a website when buying over the internet cite trust in a brand as the reason.
45% of people are more likely to complain because companies are more accessible using e-commerce. However 55% are not more likely to.
Email and text haven't made us afraid to confront things in person: 37% prefer face to face confrontation about a complaint, 37% by phone, 16% by letter and just 10% by email.
39 % of people under 25 use text or email to send bad news or to tell people off as do 15% of text and email users overall do.
Nearly four in five people who use it (79%) say that ecommerce has made their lives easier and less stressful. This view is most prevalent among people under 35 and while it reduces with age, it does so only marginally. As many as 65% of people aged 65 and older say it's made life easier.
14% of people with web access surf the internet and send email in the middle of the night if they can't sleep. One in five people aged under 34 are midnight surfers.
Standard Life Healthcare chief executive Mike Hall says: 'Understanding how people use ecommerce facilities and what concerns them is vital for companies that want to be responsive to customer needs. It's clear that while the use of email and the internet is still growing.”