E-commerce grows but trust in digital channels is uneven: Chubb

Latin American consumers leapfrog other global regions in embracing e-commerce channels

Consumers who shop on e-commerce platforms trust them more than the companies selling their goods through those digital channels, a new survey from Chubb reveals.

This trust gap is most evident among the growing segment of shoppers who have embraced social media commerce sites, with 85% saying they trust social media marketplaces. That’s in contrast to the companies that sell their goods through this channel. A significant majority of e-sellers don’t trust social media commerce sites when it comes to managing inventory (75%), handling refunds and returns (69%), shipping and fulfillment (67%), payment processing (65%), and security and privacy (58%). These are among the key findings in Crossing the e-commerce trust divide, a global survey of consumers and e-sellers commissioned by Chubb and conducted by iResearch Services.

Among consumers who shop online through both e-commerce and social media platforms, three out of four report they have experienced financial fraud, and more than half (55%) have had payments lost due to glitches. More than two in five (42%) say they frequently receive damaged goods.

“Whether it’s on social media or on e-commerce platforms, the customer journey must be simple, easy and give the consumer confidence – their trust is fragile,” said Amy McNeece, Senior Vice President, Digital Consumer Partnerships for Chubb in North America. “Delivery issues, damaged products and online scams can all shatter consumer trust in an instant, and customer loyalty is critical in the age of digital commerce.”

The study also shows regional differences, with consumers in Latin America purchasing from e-commerce platforms more frequently than those in North AmericaEurope and Asia. “Latin America’s fast-paced online shopping reveals a savvy digital consumer,” said Gabriel Lazaro, Executive Vice President, and Head of Digital for Chubb’s international general insurance business. “This has been driven by mobile and social media leapfrog behaviors during the last decade. The emerging middle-class consumer has access, thanks to e-commerce platforms, to a wider and broader range of services than through traditional channels.”

Other key findings:

  • Nothing about e-commerce is more important to consumers than payment security. Nearly eight in 10 consumers globally say the security of the payment platform is their top concern.
  • Heightened trust in social media marketplaces is not limited to Gen Z, or women. The generations born after the Baby Boomers – Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X – tend to be more comfortable with social media commerce than with other sales channels. Men tend to use social media platforms for shopping more than women by a gap of 61% to 31%. Gen Z, the youngest age group surveyed, shop through social media at twice the rate of Gen X shoppers.
  • Latin American consumers are the most frequent users of online stores among the regions surveyed. One in four (25%) of Latin American respondents shop online several times a week – twice the rate of consumers in other parts of the world. In addition, nearly three-quarters (74%) visit and purchase from e-commerce platforms at least several times a month compared to 62% of North American, 59% of European and 56% of Asian respondents.
  • Consumers say having insurance would increase their confidence in making online purchase – but they are sensitive to price.  A majority of consumers say having insurance would increase their confidence in making online purchases. Seven out of 10 consumers would like to have coverage, mainly to protect purchases of electronics, home appliances, exercise equipment and clothing. To protect those purchases, a majority say they would be willing to add one percent of the price of the items they buy.

There is one area where consumers and e-sellers are aligned: they both want a more secure end-to-end shopping experience. “The availability of online insurance can contribute to building and maintaining trust,” said McNeece. “That’s particularly true for smaller businesses that need to think about how to build and protect their brands and get repeat customers.”


The survey, commissioned by Chubb, was conducted by iResearch in November 2023 among 500 consumers who purchase through online channels, including e-commerce platforms, social media marketplaces and digital storefronts, and 525 e-sellers who sell through these online channels. The survey, conducted online and compiled by iResearch, consisted of consumers and e-sellers from North AmericaEuropeAsia, and Latin America. Thirty percent of consumers in the survey are based in Europe, 30% in North America, 25% in Asia-Pacific, and 15% from Latin America. The survey also represents a global range of e-sellers: 32% are based in North America, 31% from Europe, 20% from Asia Pacific region, an 18% come from Latin America.

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