Even with an average annual growth of around 10% in e-commerce sales, US shoppers greatly fear shopping online. The following are reasons why that is the case:
- Cases of credit card info and identity being stolen are on the rise.
- Purchasing from an online store without a physical location is an uncomfortable idea.
- Shoppers like to feel, see, or smell the object they are paying for before they buy it.
- Help from a salesperson is required to rest assured that the purchased product may not be what they expected it to be.
- Fears that info provided online will be sold off to other parties; that will be followed by a spate of solicitation emails and catalogs into the inbox.
- Both retailers and shoppers fear being unable to track an order when a tracking service is not available.
- Getting a product that, for some reason, cannot be used or is redundant – or being unable return a product if it does not fulfill expectations – is a very real fear.
Except for the last one among these, which may be remedied through merchants offering 100% satisfaction and anything from 7- to 30-day return policies, every other fear is quite valid in a region such as North America where over half the population relies on online shopping at online-only stores.
You, the ecommerce business owner, are duty-bound to do something towards alleviating these fears and contributing your bit to the effort to make online shopping free of such threats. Allow me to offer the following tips for both customers and business owners:
- Ensure that the URL starts with “https”, not just “http”.
- Do not click on pop-ups and warnings that tell you something is wrong with the site’s SSL certificate.
- Check the address bar for a green area that may contain the owner’s name. Also check for VeriSign, BBB, McAfee, or other certification. These things indicate that the site has strong trust seals and security credentials. Click HERE for a previous post of mine on trust seals.
- Get rid of malware on your site regularly, to prevent hackers from extracting key strokes or other sensitive data. Hire an expert to do that for your online shopping site.
- Use a management software to manage passwords; such a software will fill up online forms automatically for you. No key strokes = no stealing key stroke-generated data.
- Get yourself a one-time credit card number that provides extra protection.
To round off my personal contribution to ecommerce, I promise to write more about online security in ecommerce transactions and other steps to be taken to protect yourself, your online identity, your credit card info, and your reputation as a business or a buyer.
Keep your eyes and ears open. Take care.