Is the 2017 holiday season the tipping point? See how to negotiate data theft concerns
Picture this: A would be customer of your online web site sits down after cleaning all the Thanksgiving dishes to make a Cyber Monday shopping list. Making note of new and unique sites he’d like to try this year—due to the interesting gift ideas they offer, he remembers all the data breaches that have taken place over the past year, especially the big one. He begins to question his decisions about visiting new websites and wonders if he should rethink visiting any new sites at all. It’s not really a far-fetched concern according to intelligence from our latest consumer survey. What’s more, some observers and reports think the 2017 holiday shopping season could represent a tipping point. That point? The point where holiday sales made online eclipse holiday sales made in-store.
Still, with data security on the minds of consumers, shopping this year could look quite different than in year’s past.
- 38% of shoppers will be doing more shopping online this year than last with Millennials doing more than 50% of their holiday shopping online.
Consumers are worried about data security
- 72% of shoppers will be closely monitoring credit and debit card statements this year
- 68% of consumers will only shop websites that are well-known
- 56% of consumers are planning to set up alerts for their cards so they are instantly aware when purchases are made
What do these statistics mean for your business?
Classifying a site as ‘well-known’ doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a national brand. A website could be well-known to the user and be a site they trust. With 58% of consumers reading reviews prior to purchasing, there’s a large opportunity to place reviews prominently on your website to encourage purchasing behavior.
Large businesses can also capitalize on providing excellent customer service to shoppers as they head in- store or online. Enterprises that can make the online experience just as pleasant as the in-store experience have an opportunity to win more business. Companies that already have brand recognition among shoppers will need to deliver on those brand promises in order to promote customer loyalty.
Well-known includes the sites of small businesses. Consumers love to support small businesses due to their level of customer service. With 85% of consumers preferring small business for this reason, it’s an opportunity for small business owners to deliver on the safe and secure message this holiday season, and every other thereafter.
What can your business do to help consumers feel at ease?
While there’s little that you personally can do to reduce the number of hackers around the world, your business can take measures to ensure that protecting data security, and letting consumers know that you are, is a top priority.
Consider these tips to assure consumers they can trust your business and website for their shopping needs.
- Make note of, “advertise” or display prominently, the security measures your website uses regarding data security—and that’s whether you’re using a small or large business. Whether it’s messaging that you build in to your own site experience or messaging from shopping cart or eCommerce experience providers
- Encrypt all data. Don’t store data on servers, anywhere, anytime. Explore hosted checkout pages that never touch your servers. Tokenize any and all card data that gets stored.
- Limit remote access to your business’s servers—remote accessibility makes your business more vulnerable
- Run diagnostic tests on website to flag suspicious activity
Your payment processor can be one of your greatest partners in developing strategies for protecting sensitive cardholder data. While it’s difficult to make changes to your existing structure on the fly, tis’ the season. Employing the best security measures will help ensure that your websites experience no ‘silent nights’.