Research from the Telstra Business Intelligence report on Managing Risks Online shows that customers are more concerned about online security since COVID-19. This suggests that when people are shopping online, they are looking to spend with businesses they can trust and who prioritise customer data protection. Let’s take a look at three things you can do to show customers that your business is secure online.
Make a good first impression and showcase your business legitimacy
The aesthetics of your website plays a huge part in the way people perceive your business, so it’s worth making it look professional and legitimate. There are a few business website essentials that customers are looking for: a well-designed layout, simple navigation, key business information (like opening hours and how to get in touch), and informative copy that tells your story. FAQs, testimonials and reviews can also help boost your company legitimacy.
How to start:
- If you’re building a website from scratch, consider outsourcing to an expert who is well versed in best online practices to guide you through the process. You can also outsource your copywriting.
- If you prefer to DIY, many cloud-based platforms (like Squarespace or Wix) offer affordable or free design templates.
- Consider giving your content an update every few months to make sure your site remains current and legitimate.
Secure your website with an SSL certificate
An SSL (or ‘Secure Sockets Layer’) certificate provides data encryption, so that any data entered on a website remains private and unmodified. You can tell if a website is secured with an SSL certificate if there is a small padlock in the address bar at the top of the browser window, and the URL will also begin with ‘https://’ (instead of ‘http://’). It can help keep your customers’ personal information secure, minimise the risk of a website security breach and help meet customer expectations. In fact, the Managing Risks Online report found that 86% of consumers would avoid dealing with a business if they felt their personal data wouldn’t be kept secure.
How to start:
- Many website hosts provide SSL certificates and automatic configuration. See if your website is already covered or if it’s included in a new site build if you’re starting from scratch.
- If you’re configuring an SSL certificate yourself, consider speaking to an expert to make sure it’s running properly. Let’s Encrypt is a good resource for manual configuration.
- Keep an eye on when your SSL certificate expires. You can check its status by clicking the padlock icon. It should read as ‘valid’.
Are you keeping customer data secure?
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Offer preferred secure payment options
When shopping online, people want to know they can purchase an item securely, using the safe payment options they prefer. In fact, limited payment options may mean missing out on sales; the Telstra Business Intelligence report on Customer Experience found that 17% of consumers said they would not consider a small business they haven’t used before if their preferred payment method is not available. Offering well-known and secure payment options (like PayPal and Afterpay) can help establish customer trust and speed up the check-out process, improving the customer experience.
How to start:
- Weigh up various secure payment providers and find one that suits your business. Consider transaction fees and compatibility with your website platform.
- Buy now, pay later methods could be a good fit for your business, especially if your demographic is Gen Z or Millennials. Telstra’s research found that 1 in 3 consumers are using buy now, pay later methods at least sometimes, and usage increases for younger consumers: 50% of Millennials and 42% of Gen Z use BNPL at least sometimes.
- Clearly state the safe payment options you offer on your website upfront.
These three things can go a long way in showing customers that your business is secure online. After all, it’s an increasing priority for your customers, so it should be a priority for your business.