How to Make Sure your E-Shop Is Secure – and Attract More Clients

Running an e-shop these days may be commonplace for a lot of professionals out there, but the task is never easy. An e-commerce site owner has to tackle a handful of challenges on a daily basis, including the fundamental question of how to attract more clients. While trying to address that question, you may find answers in places you did not think you would: Cybersecurity, for instance, seems crucial to clients – yet when it comes to security, your e-shop is only as strong as its weakest link. So what exactly should you be looking for?

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Investing in Cybersecurity Gains Customers’ Trust

Customers actually value cybersecurity more than you would expect. According to an article published in the Harvard Business Review, promoting online security can go a long way towards establishing trust with your clients and ultimately boost sales. As per the same source, consumers show willingness to invest time and efforts into adapting to a new payment technology if it meant increased security, while 2 out of 3 online shoppers said that they would change their online habits if that would guarantee safer shopping on the web. It seems that getting in touch with your clients to inform them of the security measures in place or enhanced steps you are intending to take might be a good way to build a relationship based on trust and gaining their loyalty – which translates to happy customers that will return to your site.

Furthermore, the same HBR article reveals that almost 90% of clients expect stores to stay ahead of the curve by incorporating the latest technological developments with regard to financial safety, while 95% expect cutting edge tech from their banks to ensure that their financial details are secure, and 83% say that they feel enthusiastic about the advent of new technologies that will aid in protecting their financial information and keeping it safe. Consider reaching out to your clients to let them know that you are doing everything you can to keep them safe, as well as reminding them often; for example, visual reminders like the logo of the security company you are collaborating with to keep them safe on your site banner or including security updates and amendments in your newsletter might be good ideas.

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How to Improve your Site’s Security

Security is good for sales, it seems – but how exactly to do you go about achieving it? When running an e-shop, the payment process and the collection of personal data to conclude transactions are the absolute number one things you need to pay attention to. Choosing a secure platform and hosting provider for your e-shop is a good place to start building on security – pick service providers that value safety and offer protection measures. You also need to ensure that adequate security mechanisms are in place: Ask your clients to come up with strong passwords while setting up their customer accounts and take extra care by introducing two-step authentication, for instance. This is a process also used by major companies like Microsoft or Google and it essentially means that users will have to provide a further method of verification besides your ID in order to log into your account.

For the payment phase, the first thing to do is make sure you have set up your site to implement SSL, an encryption protocol that allows for secure transactions. This will also allow you to change your URL to a secure connection (in the form of https) and display the lock icon before your URL – both well known signs that a website provides a secure connection. Next on your list is getting certified for the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) that will enable you to partner up with major credit card providers and handle card payments. If you are working with a third party to handle the payments, then make sure that they are up to scratch, too.

Incidentally, this is also precisely what you need to do for all third party service providers: make sure their security standards make the cut. You might have built a strong and comprehensive security strategy, but be compromised due to low standards by a partner company. A good way to establish that the organizations you collaborate with are safe is to ask for compliance certificates, like a report on SOC 2 compliance. This is an auditing process by external parties that is unique to each organization and – unlike the one-size-fits-all requirements of PCI – can provide a more detailed picture of how each company manages data and the degree of security involved. It is developed around five “trust service principles” – security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy – and assesses, among others, technical measures like encryption and network/web application firewalls.

Lastly, do not forget to let your clients know that you have taken all these steps for their convenience and safety. Explain why and how you have upgraded your security levels – otherwise, you might not reap the rewards you have expected.

What Clients Need to Know – Online Shopping Tips

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