Create the safest shopping environment for your customers.
It’s safe to say that 2016 hasn’t been a great year for data security. From Ashley Madison to Apple, a series of high-profile data thefts and leaks has created an undue sense of vulnerability among consumers when conducting transactions online. This is particularly troublesome for ecommerce brands, whose very existence depends on persuading potential customers to type in credit card details and complete purchases over the internet.
Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to show your site is a safe trading platform when reselling domain names or web hosting services. These include:
- Use SSL technology. Even inexperienced web users know an https:// address in a green bar with a padlock beside it indicates rigorous security. They don’t need to know the specifics of Secure Sockets Layer registration, or understand the technical aspects of 256-bit encryption certificates. Never redirect customers to a third-party site for payment; this can trigger “you are now leaving a secure site” messages that can create anxiety and potentially lead to abandoned shopping carts.
- Offer multiple payment options. The phrase ‘credit card fraud’ is bandied around so much nowadays that some people feel psychologically safer using debit cards. PayPal has largely overcome its inglorious association with spam to become a widely trusted method of payment, and Bitcoin has survived various assaults on its reputation. Customers will feel more confident completing a transaction if they can choose their preferred method of payment. However, conversely it is worth bearing in mind that PayPal-only sites ring mental alarm bells. It’s also advisable to prominently explain shipping and returns policies, for clarity.
- Add a human face to the site. An anonymous corporate website will hold less appeal than one with customer testimonials, or senior employee profiles on an About Us page. Naming customer service staff tells people they can contact a particular individual if something goes wrong, while a mission statement by a manager or director also underlines a commitment to doing things properly. Use first-person plural terms like ‘we’ and the second-person ‘you’ to suggest a connection with customers, and develop empathy by stating ‘we know how important security is’.
- Choose a professional hosting company. A website is often only as good as its hosting provider. Choosing a company who constantly monitor their servers for viruses and malware is as vital as finding a host capable of providing sufficient bandwidth to handle sudden traffic spikes. Multiple data centers with military-grade security protect data from being lost, while the latest firewalls and software can prevent sites from being hacked or forced offline by Distributed Denial of Service attacks. A dependable and user-friendly content management system will facilitate real-time changes to web content – the ability to edit individual pages is a service every online trader needs.