Safe and sound: how to protect your users online shopping experience.

E-commerce is a burgeoning field: more sales than ever are taking place online. Last year, over 100 million Christmas cards were sold, with a huge portion of those online. So, it’s of paramount importance for you to ensure your business is able to cope with the increased demand for online sales. As more and more people make the transition to e-commerce every year, this trend is showing no sign of slowing down.

But, with all of these new potential customers, businesses face an increased risk of exposure to malicious hackers, dangerous viruses and more. So, it’s vitally important you take every precaution to protect your potential customer. Here are three best practices for a safe online shopping experience:

1. Choose your platform wisely.

There’s a reason so many businesses use WordPress and Magneto – they’re incredibly secure platforms. Choosing to host your site on a reliable, proven web hosting service provider can be a wise move: most already have pre-built e-commerce features, meaning it’s fast, simple and easy to get set up and start selling your products. Once you get the basics right, the rest (design, sales funnels, marketing campaigns etc.) will fall into place. The foundation of strong security is an essential first step, however.

2. Make sure you have SSL certificates.

SSL certificates are the industry standard with regard to secure, online transactions. These certificates authenticate each user’s identity, encrypting their data during shopping and in transit. Ensuring you have up to date SSL certificates is an essential part of any e-commerce operation. Potential customers will feel safe in the knowledge their shopping is protected – the secure connectivity between the end-user and your site makes sure of that. Security is an enormous factor in consumers’ buying decisions, so SSL certification has the knock-on benefit of optimising potential sales figures. Websites complete with proper security tend to be indexed much higher in search engine rankings, too. However, a word of caution here: SSL certificates take a few weeks to authenticate, so ensure you give yourself enough time to receive them ahead of the launch of any new sites.

3. Transparency is key.

The best way to protect your potential customers is to educate them. Be completely transparent about prices, payment methods, product information, and ways of getting in touch. Once you’ve ensured your website as a whole is secure, sharing important information when relevant can be an excellent preventative measure for combating cybercrime. A top tip for avoiding email scams is to make sure you contact your customers of a certified, recognisable address. Everyone is extremely busy, and usually only give emails a cursory glance, and so it’s vitally important users are vigilant, never sharing personal details with unverified sources. If you follow all these pointers, your customers’ online shopping experience should be completely safe, smooth and easy.
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