Consumer Trust In New gTLD Domains Is Getting Worse says NCC Group

ICANN's new gTLDs--more bad news--

Consumers still not comfortable with new domains [Press Release] (emphasis and links added):

Over half of consumers (52%) express discomfort in visiting websites ending in new domains, according to new research from global cyber security and risk mitigation expert NCC Group.

This is an increase on last year (49%) and this state of unease is underlined further with just 2% of consumers claiming to be extremely comfortable visiting them.

The research, from the Group’s Trust in the Internet Study 2016, was carried out by IDG Research Services and questioned 10,000 consumers across the US and UK regarding their attitudes to new generic top-level domains (gTLDs).

ICANN – the organisation responsible for the management of the domain system – has been rolling out new domain endings since October 2014 [sic][since January 2014 (general availability)]. Following 1,930 applications, more than 900 are now live on the Internet, with users able to visit sites ending in the likes of .london or .ninja

Consumers were most comfortable with .brand domains such as .hsbc, while the generic .ninja was met with the most discomfort.

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 the new 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.”

There were some factors that increased confidence in new domains. 50% of consumers felt more confident if companies clearly communicated the steps taken to secure personal data, while 46% said a branded logo indicating the site was safe would boost confidence.

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.”

Source: NCC Group plc - "NCC Group is a global expert in cyber security and risk mitigation, working with businesses to protect their brand, value and reputation against the ever-evolving threat landscape. Through a unique range of services, the company helps businesses to prepare for and respond to cyber threats, providing freedom from doubt that their most important assets are protected and operational at all times. NCC Group is passionate about making the Internet safer and revolutionising the way in which organisations think about cyber security. Listed on the FTSE 250, NCC Group is a trusted advisor to more than 15,000 clients worldwide. Headquartered in Manchester, UK, with over 30 offices across the world, the Group employs over 1,800 people."


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