The holiday season may seem a long distance away for most of the world, but ecommerce professionals know that they must start moving now if they want to be ready for the rush of purchases that will take place in November and December. As you consider preparing for this holiday shopping season, make sure you are incorporating ways to build customer trust into your strategies.
Before we delve into how to build trust, let’s look at why trust matters.
Trust and ecommerce – Protecting customers safeguards the bottom line
Major, highly publicized data breaches have created a great deal of mistrust for many forms of commerce in recent years, and issues like identity theft and cybercrime are high on the list of worries facing consumers. This may not stop them from shopping, but it may leave them thinking twice before they shop on a given website.
A study from the CA Security Council found that while more than 200 million consumers shop online in the United States, many are legitimately concerned about security. Some sobering statistics include:
- 100 percent of those polled said that they have fallen prey to a cybercrime or had a friend or family member be a victim.
- 61 percent said they tend to leave tablets unprotected.
- 43 percent will use any Wi-Fi network without regard to its security.
- 33 percent use just one or two passwords for all websites they interact with.
While these figures point to some difficult circumstances in the digital world, the study also found that consumers are aware of what the padlock included beside the web address of a site means. They will generally trust sites with a green padlock and stay away from locations after they get an “untrusted connection” message from their browser, the study found.
All told, the general public is somewhat mixed in terms of security. People seem to be aware of the need to protect against cybercrime and want to be able to trust online retailers, but they also don’t know about or take advantage of all of their options when it comes to protecting themselves. The CA Security Council explained that online retailers have a unique opportunity to change this by providing informative content and secure shopping experiences that help consumers understand what to look for in trustworthy ecommerce destinations.
Building trust represents an opportunity to create a stronger relationship with consumers, something that never hurts from a brand loyalty perspective. Three ways to create trust with consumers heading into the holiday season include:
1. Take advantage of specialized tools
Security is a linchpin of the ecommerce sector, and there are plenty of specialty tools on the market that can help websites handle consumer data without risk. Third-party solutions like Kount can provide highly specialized security functionality specifically aimed at ecommerce organizations. Strategically deploying these tools can help you keep your website locked down heading into the holidays.
2. Encrypt data
Few things build trust more than putting information into such a deep level of code that it becomes nearly impossible to access even if it is stolen. Encrypting all transactional data and informing customers that you are doing so can let them rest assured that they are safe when they use your online store.
3. Build security reminders into checkout
Adjust your checkout process to remind shoppers to use a secure network when making their purchases. Let them save their carts for later if they want to order through a different network. Getting customers from the cart through checkout can be a challenge, so you need to be careful when adding these sorts of alerts to your checkout processes, but many customers may find themselves glad for the reminder to think about risk and ability to easily come back to the purchase if they feel unsafe in any way.
These types of strategies can give consumers the information they need to make the best possible decisions when completing transactions this holiday season. Furthermore, they establish a layer of trust that can be instrumental in creating a connection between customers and your brand.
Getting ahead of the holiday rush
The holiday season is a prime opportunity for hackers to sweep in and take advantage of consumers who are scrambling to get gifts for everybody on their lists and access the best sales and promotions along the way. Adding content on your site that unobtrusively highlights security best practices can give consumers confidence that they can trust you without giving up any kind of edge you may have in the battle against cybercriminals.
Of course, all of the customer-facing advances in the world won’t help if you don’t have a secure site. Make sure you also take advantage of backend upgrades – like encryption, network monitoring and PCI compliant transaction management – to ensure you keep the trust you gain throughout the holiday season and beyond.
Make sure your site is secure this holiday season with our Holiday Health Check website audit.