Are You Doing Enough to Protect Your Online Shoppers?
A recent survey carried out by leading marketing technology firm Bizrate has shown that over 60% of consumers in the US have serious concerns over security when shopping online.
This is a disturbing figure that reflects how volatile the online retail industry is and how the trust held by online shoppers is gradually slipping away as more and more internet giants are suffering from security breaches and leakages of confidential information held on behalf of customers.
As an online retailer it is more important than ever to address the security concerns of your existing and prospective customers in every way possible.
Be sure to offer the most secure platform possible for your shoppers
The first step is to actively provide and maintain the highest level of security when it comes to your online store – this includes the safeguarding of the store itself, any customer information that you hold and also the processes that are used to handle customer transactions.
Having these procedures and security measures in place helps to protect your customers from any fraudulent activity or data breaches and will ultimately help to protect your customers as well as reassuring them that shopping online is as safe as any other retail outlet.
Achieving a higher level of security and safety from your retail store
- Carry out regular maintenance on all of the infrastructure that powers your online store including your web servers, perimeter defences and website backend.
- Perform regular safety audits of your infrastructure including periodic penetration testing
- Achieve and maintain PCI DSS compliance or the equivalent data security standard
- Use a third party payment process that will handle the storage and processing of sensitive transactional information – such as PayPal, Stripe or Sage Pay.
Ensure that you are educating your shoppers when it comes to online security
Having the right security measures in place is a great start and will allow you to take comfort in the knowledge that you are keeping your shoppers safe, but you also have the responsibility of making your shoppers aware of the fact – otherwise how will they know that your store offers a safe and secure means of shopping online?
This is where educating your customers comes in and it is perhaps just as important as keeping your store safe and secure – not only does customer education increase the trust that your shoppers have in your website and your brand, but it also helps to promote safe online shopping as well as setting a good example to other online retailers.
Ways you can educate your shoppers about their online security
- Provide a secure connection for visitors to access your store – this can be done via the use of a trusted SSL certificate and a requirement for visitors to connect via https.
- Take part in an online security program such as TRUSTe (http://www.truste.com/), Trust Pilot, Bizrate Customer Certified or Better Business Bureau – 69% of shoppers look for a trust symbol such as those used by these companies when shopping online.
- Use a well-known payment processor such as PayPal – seeing these familiar providers can also help to put shoppers at ease when purchasing online
- Publish comprehensive information on the security and data privacy policies and procedures that you have in place
- Ask for customer feedback in terms of how secure and safe they feel when shopping at your online store
Having a combination of these measures in place can help to put your customers at ease when shopping online and can also increase customer loyalty and online spend as a result.
Gregory Bair, President