New domains fail trust test for 52 per cent of consumers

According to a new study from global cyber security and risk mitigation firm NCC Group, over half of consumers (52 per cent, up three per cent from last year) do not feel comfortable visiting websites ending in new domains,

In fact, just 2 per cent of the 10,000 consumers surveyed in the Trust in the Internet Study 2016 said they feel extremely comfortable visiting the new generic top-level domains (gTLDs).

Rob Cotton, CEO at NCC Group, said: “Trust in the new domain endings is getting worse. This will put organisations off from moving on from legacy domains which is a problem for registries whose businesses hinge on selling them. If thenew endings are to be successful they need to somehow establish a reputation of trustworthiness.

“.brand domains are faring the best when it comes to consumer perception, but there aren’t enough currently being used for this trend to continue. Doing nothing isn’t really an option as this comfort will erode though lack of use. For the generic domains the message is clear: you need to differentiate on more than just the name, otherwise consumers are very wary.”

More than 900 new domains are now live on the internet, having been rolled by ICANN, the organisation responsible for the management of the domain system, since October 2014. Consumers are apparently most comfortable with .brand domains such as .hsbc, while .ninja was met with the most discomfort.

But there are things organisations can do to win consumer trust. 50 per cent said they felt more confident if companies clearly communicated the steps taken to secure personal data and 46 per cent cited the importance of a branded logo.

Cotton continued: “Security is clearly an important issue for consumers. While ‘secure’ logos have in the past proved to be nothing more than logos, the appetite for them from respondents shows that companies need to do more to show that the safeguarding of customer data is front of mind.”

“Security is going to play an increasing role in the fight for consumers online. Companies that prioritise it now – and see their domain strategy as part of their wider security strategy – will be the best positioned to win that fight.”

Image source: Shutterstock/niroworld