Building a successful online business is about more than having the right marketing strategies and a nice website. It’s also about building a base of repeat customers who are loyal to your services or product.
But fostering lasting customer relationships isn’t easy – especially online, where websites struggle to attract and retain visitors. One of the best ways to encourage customer loyalty is by reassuring your visitors that doing business with you is safe online.
In Australia, the need for heightened security measures for online businesses was highlighted in a recent report by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD). With information rolling in on the ever more sophisticated tactics of cyber-hackers and thieves, it’s crucial to protect yourself and your customers.
Show Customers You Care about Their Safety
More often than not, this means proving to your customers that their security is important to you. You may have to spend extra money to make your online shop secure, but small investments right now could add up to better conversion rates in the future.
Start by securing your web shop’s domain. Make sure you have a trustworthy .com or .com.au ending, and that your domain name doesn’t contain any intentional misspellings (‘Z’ for an ‘S’, for instance). This is an easy way to make your business appear reputable at first glance, like investing in good signage for a real shop front. You should also read our recommendations on keeping your online business safe for a few tech tips.
Moreover, you should add a security lock to your URL. Having an SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate will indicate to customers that you care enough to invest in encrypting their sensitive data – like credit card numbers – as it travels from server to server. The padlock icon and recognizable HTTPS, rather than the standard HTTP URL is a great way to signal that your site is trustworthy.
Don’t Ask for too Much Information
While it’s great to show interest in your customers as individuals, you don’t want to infringe on their privacy. Don’t ask for any information you don’t need to complete a transaction or deliver a service. For instance, you don’t need to know your customer’s date of birth, unless you plan on sending them a greeting card!
Another way to protect your customers, and yourself in the long run, is to ensure that you offer a secure payment method on your shop. Instead of asking customers to enter their credit card details directly onto your site, opt for a trusted third party option, such as PayPal.
Another option is to accept payments made with prepaid cards alongside more traditional avenues. Paysafecard removes the need for a customer to share credit card details in the first place, making it as secure as exchanging cash from hand to hand. Giving your customers the freedom to decide how much they want to share with you, and potentially the whole Internet, is a sure way to earn their trust. What’s more, it could keep you in business.