Helping your online customers feel safe

Amidst a global pandemic and in a burgeoning economic crisis, people are feeling anxiety in all aspects of life. It is a situation that is driving consumers to the internet to purchase online. However, even here, your customer may be concerned that their details are not safe and that your site may not have the right security. Indeed, an Ipsos MORI poll found that a fifth of the British public feels more at risk of cybercrime and fraud since the beginning of the lockdown.

Concerns noted in the poll did not just revolve around the misuse of personal data. Those surveyed also worried about someone accessing an account without permission, the impact of viruses or other malware and the chance of buying counterfeit goods.

As most small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are going to rely on an online customer base for future business security, business owners must take steps to help consumers feel safe. Here we cover some of the essential steps you should take lessen the anxiety and promote confidence.

Ensuring your site is HTTPS

One of the first lessons people are taught about the digital world is to look for the “S” at the end of HTTP before entering any details into a website. Therefore, you will need to set up Secure Socket Layers (SSL) on your website.

There are five steps to achieving HTTPS. You need a dedicated IP address, you need to buy a certificate, activate, and install the certificate and update your site. Many website hosts offer this service for you, and you can seek support from customer services.

Gaining Cyber Essentials Certification

Security banners on your site offer the reassurance that you have taken steps to keep your visitors safe. Cyber Essentials is probably one of the more reassuring banners to display on your website because it is both a government-backed and industry-supported scheme.

Having Cyber Essentials certification is a statement to your customers that you have done all you can to secure your site against the threat of cyberattacks. If you seek out Cyber Essentials Plus, you are stating that you have put your website through a rigorous test of your security features.

Write reassuring copy

It helps if you are clear about what you do to keep your customers secure on your site. Therefore, you should have a clear and unambiguous statement about your policies. For instance, you should display your refund policy prominently.

Another reassuring tool is the idea that there are people behind the computer. So you could display a telephone number that customers could ring. If you have bricks-and-mortar store, you may want to show the location on a map. Consider including photographs of your team to reassure your digital visitor that there are people ready to help, should they need it. People trust other humans much more than a computer.

Prove your credibility

The trust that people put in people is also a vital tool to be utilised. There is the impact of social proof, which is understanding that we are more willing to act if someone has done the same thing before you.

If you have testimonials on your website, you are proving your trustworthiness. If you can get a respected expert to recommend your site, you have added proof of your reliability.

The essential takeaway

Investing in strategies to reassure people and give them confidence will offer much higher returns than any other smart strategy. And, in a time such as this, you may want to do more rather than less to ease people’s concerns.

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