Ecommerce Strategy Purchase

The right time to focus on cybersecurity for your ecommerce store was yesterday. But as we enter 2019 and beyond, it’s increasingly important for merchants to protect their customers—and their own livelihoods—against increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks.

Online retailers risk facing serious consequences if their stores compromise customer information. Not only is a data breach costly, but it will also tarnish customer trust. The average cost of one stolen record in the retail industry, such as a credit card number, is around $172. And the trust and confidence of new and returning customers are nearly priceless.

Here’s more on why you should prioritize optimizing your ecommerce security strategy in 2019, and some tips for doing so.

Customer Concerns in Cybersecurity

Driving conversions goes beyond offering products people want to buy at a price they’re willing to pay. There’s also the trust factor. Many online shoppers are selective about which stores they trust with their personal and financial information—and understandably so.

Cybersecurity is absolutely something customers consider when they decide whether or not to patronize a business. According to a 2017 Accenture report, 62 percent of holiday shoppers “expressed concern about the security of their personal information when making online purchases.” Furthermore, 30 percent said they’d actually avoid brands that had recently experienced a data security breach.

Ask yourself: What is your store doing to assuage these concerns and minimize the chance you’ll fall victim to a breach? Furthermore, how are you demonstrating these efforts to your customers to boost confidence and positively influence purchasing decisions?

Start with Ecommerce Cybersecurity Basics

Yes, a website theme from Shopify or another top provider looks great—but more importantly, leading platforms come with built-in cybersecurity features to make checkout safer for website visitors. Level 1 Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance allows retailers to securely accept payments from major credit cards. Hosting your online store securely is the first step toward managing risk.

Here are a few more ecommerce cybersecurity tips from CIO to consider:

  • Avoid storing sensitive customer data; only keep enough to accommodate chargebacks and refunds.
  • Use an address verification system (AVS) and require buyers to provide their card verification value (CVV) to reduce credit card fraud.
  • Require returning customers to set strong passwords containing complex characters.
  • Train your employees in cybersecurity protocols and enact formal policies to establish best practices pertaining to customer data.
  • Use real-time analytics to monitor your website; set up alerts for fraudulent or suspicious behavior so you can detect problems early.
  • Protect your website against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which disrupt traffic flows by overwhelming servers.

The platform or web hosting service you choose for your online store affects how retailers tackle cybersecurity, but merchants are always responsible for staying abreast on the latest developments and utilizing the right mix of tools. The best time to beef up cybersecurity is before a data breach.

Boost Buyer Confidence with Trust Seals

The last step is conveying the cybersecurity measures you’re talking to your customers via language and imagery they can understand. People want to know their information is safe at a glance. Displaying trust logos near checkout can help.

These trust badges, also called site seals, “include privacy seals, brand association badges or Secure Sockets Layers which facilitate encryption between the user’s browser and the receiver’s server.” They’re essentially visual patches meant to increase perceived security. Optimizing your ecommerce security strategy in 2019 will help you boost conversions and prevent costly cyber attacks on your online store.