Is consumers’ growing concern for online shopping safety a good thing for brick and mortar retailers? Could some of those customers be willing to pack in their PayPal accounts and abandon their online shopping carts, and find their way back to Main Street USA? A recent Harris Interactive survey commissioned by McAfee makes it seem likely, reporting, “84 percent of consumers say they are at least somewhat concerned about providing their personal information when shopping online. And less than 33 percent of shoppers believe most websites are safe for shopping, an 11 percent dip from 2009.” That leaves only six percent of consumers that aren’t worrying about Internet security. And while you hope that means more customers will hit the storefronts, there are no guarantees. Plus, as multi-channel browsing has become a growing trend, more and more brick and mortars are investing in a B2C site, and it would be a waste of money if consumers online security concerns were not addressed and the B2C sites abandoned.
Easing Online Customer Concerns About Fraud
The economy has online shoppers fretting over their purchases, not only because of budgetary concerns, but also the possibility that their security will be jeopardized, allowing someone to scam them for all they have left in the bank. So what can e-tailers do to reassure their customers and prevent this kind of crime? The Harris Interactive survey highlights the fact that, “Retailers can assuage consumers’ concerns with a trust mark on their site that assures shoppers that the site is trustworthy. In fact, 33 percent of shoppers say they would buy from a small independent retailer that featured a trust mark over a more well-known site without the seal.” Security experts also offer a range of tips that can help keep businesses safe, while Visa offers ideas specifically for retailers through its Security Sense program:
1)Keep track of exactly what sensitive data you collect and store, such as names, addresses, identification information, payment card numbers, bank account details and Social Security numbers. Think carefully about what data you actually need, and do not store sensitive data you can do without. For example, don’t use credit card numbers as ID numbers, in a customer loyalty program. Retailers should never store the “full track” of magnetic swipe data, the card validation value, or user PINs.
2)Make sure you are using secure services and tools that have been validated as adhering to industry standards. Use verification services that make sure the purchaser has the correct billing address and is physically holding the card.
3)Keep your payment system and data isolated so that only those employees who need access can get access. Eliminate remote access if you can, and make it secure otherwise.
With care and vigilance, you can make it harder for criminals to target your business and your customers, and for your effort they’ll thank you and more likely do business with you.