Pandemic accelerated shift to E-commerce with 91% of respondents purchased online in 2020, and 36% of them received suspicious messages related to online shopping
HONG KONG, Aug. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited (“HKIRC”) today announced the results of the “Hong Kong E-Commerce & Security Survey 2021” (“the survey”). The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards a more digital world and triggered some changes in online shopping behaviour, the importance of cyber security has also been raised. This survey aims to explore e-commerce adoption in Hong Kong and its close relationship with cyber security.
In mid-June, HKIRC conducted a research study through telephone and online interviews. Nearly 1,300 responses from local enterprises and individuals were successfully collected. Respondents ranged in age from 18 to 54 and they covered a wide variety of retail sectors.
Concluded from the survey findings, HKIRC recommended Six Tips for E-commerce Strategy including:
- Use multiple sales channels for e-commerce
- Use digital identity to demonstrate your local presence
- Use a dedicated business domain email address instead of general one
- Choose the best domain name to strengthen consumers’ confidence
- Secure the online store with HTTPs to increase customer confidence
- Focus on data protection measures to prevent data breach
An increased adoption of E-commerce in Hong Kong
Hong Kong citizens have been building up E-commerce habits since the pandemic. According to the survey, 91% of Hong Kong citizens purchased online in 2020. This is an increase to 28% of daily e-commerce consumers in 2020 compared to the figure a year ago (19%). Nearly 87% of the respondents expect to continue shopping online beyond the pandemic.
Market insights for capturing local markets and securing digital identities
Most Hong Kong e-commerce consumers (75%) shop via multiple channels, however only 41% of retailers provide multiple sales channels. The trusted domain name is ranked as one of the top reasons for browsing e-shops. Among them, .com.hk (59%) and .hk (25%) rank in the top two, while .com (15%) comes after .hk. Not only do individuals find these domains trustworthy, but retailers also agree that using the .hk domain extension (63%) and using email address with .hk (55%) are effective measures to demonstrate their presence to the Hong Kong market. With nearly 80% of retailers surveyed reflecting that local customers are the primary target for E-commerce, it is important for retailers to choose the best domain extensions to gain the trust of their customers and to regularly review online assets and channels to reach a diverse customer base.
As the Internet grows, so does the importance of digital identity for businesses. Both small and medium-sized businesses (83%) and large enterprises (95%) are aware of the importance of a business digital identity. Key identities include trademarks, business domain names, business emails and business social media accounts. It is also noteworthy that 33% of SMEs are still using free email addresses for business purposes, but not dedicated email addresses with business domain names.
Retailers are encouraged to protect their business digital identity when moving their business activities online and to apply dedicated domain email addresses to strengthen their online presence.
Mr. Wilson Wong, CEO of HKIRC, said: “The e-commerce boom is driving online retail and reshaping consumer behavior for the future. Our survey results show that today there is a greater focus on securing digital identities, so we strongly recommend that retailers should not overlook the importance of security controls while seeking multiple promotion channels. Companies should take a proactive approach by rolling out a strong and resilient protection strategies, strengthening customers’ confidence, and staying up-to-date on market insights.”
Cyber security considerations for accelerated e-commerce
The shift to digital consumption comes with a growing threat from cyber security risks. The survey shows that in 2020, 36% of e-commerce consumers have received suspicious messages related to their online purchases, 11% of whom have suffered a data breach as a result of their online purchases, and 45% of whom do not know if their data has been compromised.
On the bright side, e-commerce consumers are becoming more aware of cyber security. The majority of online consumers (73%) consider security and privacy controls when choosing an online store. Their top requirements of browsing online stores include the site’s adoption of HTTPs (78%) and account security (73%).
From retailers’ perspective, “cyber security and compliance” (39%) is one of the top 3 difficulties in setting up an E-commerce presence. Despite the challenges, nearly 80 percent of retailers still consider cyber security to be critical to the success of their e-commerce business.
E-commerce sales in Hong Kong are expected to sail and remain on an upward trend in the future. Digital asset management is particularly important for ambitious e-commerce retailers in establishing a strong position in the Internet world, and as such, domain name registration should be at the top of the entrepreneurial agenda. In the face of the new challenges of the digital age, HKIRC will continue to support the ecommerce development by building a secure Internet environment through various programmes such as free website security scan programme, cybersecurity information sharing and collaborative platform (Cybersec Infohub) and seminars.
Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited (HKIRC) is a not-for-profit, non-statutory company limited by guarantee designated by the Government of the HKSAR to undertake the administration of Internet domain names under the .hk and .香港 country code top level domain. HKIRC provides registration services for English domain names ending with .com.hk, .org.hk, .net.hk, .edu.hk, .gov.hk, .idv.hk, .hk and Chinese domain names ending with .公司.香港, .組織.香港, .網絡.香港, .教育.香港, .政府.香港, .個人.香港, .香港, and other domains to be introduced from time to time in Hong Kong.