Are you Keeping Ecommerce Info Safe?

used with permission from
by Bridget Weston Pollack

Ecommerce has become commonplace as businesses and online tools have made it easier and easier to exchange goods and services with customers around the globe.

While some consumers may have advanced knowledge of online security practices and feel confident shopping on various ecommerce sites, other consumers may not feel as comfortable. It’s up to you as a business owner not only to convince potential customers to shop with you, but also to protect their information online. Follow best practices to protect your customers’ sensitive online data.

Invest in an SSL Certificate

If you’re collecting usernames, passwords, email addresses, and payment information for online transactions, calm customer anxieties by investing in a secure socket layer certificate, or an SSL certificate. Conscious shoppers look for the “https://” URL prefix and green address bar that indicates the presence of an SSL certificate as an added layer of protection from malicious interception.

An SSL certificate doesn’t guarantee to a customer that your business will keep their info safe. But it does ensure that their information will be safe in transit between their computer and the business taking their order.

Investing in this extra service will cost between $50 and $150 a year; a small price to pay to provide customers added peace of mind.

Be Transparent

You won’t find too many customers who are keen to spend time reading the small print of a company’s terms of service and privacy policy. But it’s still important to spell out your policies and procedures on a terms or policies page on your website.

Your privacy policy doesn’t have to be complicated, but it should explain what information is collected from users and customers and how your company uses that information. For instance, your email opt-in and opt-out policies should be stated here. If you’re using a third-party payment service for ecommerce, you may want to refer customers to that service’s terms of service and privacy policies as well.

Once you’ve posted your privacy policy, make sure all staff members adhere to it. A policy is useless if it’s not in use!

Welcome Customer Contact

No matter what you state on your website or sales page, some potential customers may just need reassurance they can trust your business. Make it easy for customers to get in touch with you by live online chat, email or phone.

And if you receive questions about how you do business online, welcome them! Answer promptly, and volunteer to seek more information if you don’t have the specifics a customer wants.

Your willingness to interact one-on-one with customers, along with your online security measures, will work together to create a shopping environment that’s comfortable and trustworthy.