Cyber Monday marks one of the most prolific online shopping days of the year for e-commerce businesses. And with increased traffic comes increased risk. Nearly 65 percent of organizations reported an increase in cybercrime on Cyber Monday in 2014.
If your company hasn't thought about cyber theft, then perhaps the upcoming holiday sales season is the prompt you've been waiting for. As recent high-profile data breaches like those of super brands Target and Neiman Marcus have shown, data security has become an important variable in the formula for customer retention. Your ability to leverage data security will play a vital role in customer retention online and offline.
Here are 4 tips for easing your customers’ fears so they can purchase with confidence on Cyber Monday (which falls on November 30th this year) and throughout the holiday season:
1. Add Security Badges and Certifications to Your Website
Symbols of trust like VeriSign, McAfee “Secure,” PayPal “Verified,” and Better Business Bureau “Accredited Business” badges can be indispensable for showing data security legitimacy. According to a recent article by MonetizePros, these badges can also impact the average order value, indicating that customers feel better about placing larger orders with sites they trust.
In this case, an image really does speak volumes. If you’ve not yet added these types of security symbols to your website, you're likely missing out on a great number of potential sales. Just be sure you're not adding them fraudulently. Search for the certifications that suit your company best, and maintain them. This has the added benefit of keeping you up to date on security trends.
If you already have trust-symbol badges on your site, consider making a few small design tweaks to further draw attention to them, and make sure they are still prominent on mobile devices. More and more consumers are making mobile purchases, and you can’t afford to skimp on trust symbols where they matter most.
2. Enhance Your Site with Customer Reviews and Testimonials
Consumers are more likely to purchase a product that has received a thumbs-up from others who have bought it. And they're even more likely to purchase a product from a retailer that makes positive and negative reviews available on their website.
No product in the history of the world has received 100% positive reviews. Many businesses avoid posting reviews on their site because they’re afraid of negative impressions, but owning up to your slip-ups publicly actually instills a great deal of brand trust for customers. “Negative reviews aren’t all bad," writes Peter Boyle of CrazyEgg in a recent blog. “In fact they offer the perfect opportunity for you to turn the tide on your reviewer, rectify the problem and get yourself a positive review to counter the initial negative outburst.”
3. Offer an Alternative to Debit and Credit Card Payments
Adding an alternative form of payment on your website could increase conversion rate by as much as 33.7%, according to some case studies. The information requested in many payment forms makes customers understandably uncomfortable. Some people will even abandon their purchase if only traditional debit or credit payments are available.
Dale Traxler, of Practical Commerce, notes that some customers simply don’t want to enter credit card information in your site. “In my experience,” Traxler says, “adding a single alternative payment method that allows shoppers to avoid using a credit cards is a good idea.”
4. Make Your Payment Form More Appealing
If your payment form gives customers a bad feeling or asks for unnecessary info, it can lead them to abandon their shopping carts and seek similar products elsewhere. It’s tempting to ask for more information than you need so that you can re-market to customers later. However, requiring customers to register for an account or provide sensitive info results in a 30% increase in cart abandonment.
Make it Easy
When customers shop at a brick-and-mortar store, they have multiple ways to gauge the trustworthiness of a business. When they buy online, they have far less tangible information to work with, and it’s your job to ease their mind. Keep your payment form simple, incorporate trust badges to indicate that your payment options are secure, and make it as easy as possible for customers to pay and go on their merry way.
Interested in more posts like these? Then subscribe to the PeopleMetrics blog and receive emails whenever we post new content:
About the Author
Clair Jones is an online marketing and customer acquisition expert who loves helping small businesses and entrepreneurs grow their website traffic through strategic content. When she isn't writing, you'll find her hiking in the mountains with her dog or tackling her latest home improvement project. Catch up with Clair on Twitter @the_clair_jones.