This guest post is courtesy of John McMalcolm, a freelance writer with a focus on small business.
Shopping online in 2014 is the most convenient way to make purchases, but it exposes consumers to the risk of fraud and identity theft. As such, a large number of people are still hesitant about buying things online.
E-commerce businesses can attract more consumers and achieve higher conversion rates by providing effective protection against identity theft and convincing their visitors that shopping online is safe.
Here is a look at how you can make your customers feel more confident about making purchases online.
Importance of an Identity Theft Protection System
The Bureau of Justice Statistics revealed that Americans lost a total of $24.7 billion to identity theft in 2012. This amount is about $10 billion higher than the combined losses resulting from all other types of property crimes.
Identity theft can have drastic consequences for your business. If your business is hit by identity theft, you may have to pay compensation to affected customers, which can result in substantial financial losses. Additionally, such an attack can undermine the reputation of your company, causing you to lose customers. Some affected customers may also decide to file lawsuits against you.
Every business is vulnerable to identity theft
Even big retailers such as Target, Sears, Kmart and Home Depot have been victimized by identity theft. Between Black Friday and December 15, 2013, identity thieves stole information from about 40 million credit and debit cards that were used in Target stores.
Reassure Customers that Shopping Online is Safe
After setting up an effective identity theft protection system, you should let your customers know that it is safe to buy your products online.
Show Security Certifications
Security certifications can be displayed in a number of ways. Your visitors will feel safer to buy from you if they see the badge of a trusted security company, such as VeriSign or GeoTrust, in your website or "https" in your website address.
Add More Authentication Layers
It is easier for cyber-thieves to login to your customers' accounts and obtain their personal information if the authentication process on your website is too simple. You can provide better security for your customers by adding more authentication layers for a new password request or password recovery.
Offer Alternative Payment Options
Due to the prevalence of identity theft, some consumers prefer not to use their credit cards to make purchases online. You can encourage these people to buy your products by offering other payment options such as PayPal.
Reassure Visitors You are a Real Company
Many people feel uncomfortable shopping online because they are unsure whether or not they are dealing with a real company.
Displaying your phone number, address and other contact details or even facts and pictures about your company in your website can help you gain your customers' confidence. Convincing customers that it is safe to shop online should be a part of every business' customer experience strategy.