Website SecurityWelcome to our first post in a new series we’ll be doing called “eCommerce Tip of the Week!”

Each week, we’ll cover one topic that can help eCommerce merchants improve online sales, ranging from website usability, to online marketing, to multichannel selling.

This week the topic is…..(insert drum roll)…..Website Security.

When it comes to securing your eCommerce website, there are two things to think about. The first is making sure that it’s actually secure, and the second is letting your prospective customers know that it’s secure. So let’s talk about the first one.

Securing Your Website

Security should be a top priority with any eCommerce site. The global standard in eCommerce security technology is SSL. What is it and how does it work?

SSL stands for secure socket layer. It works by encrypting data (such as a credit card number) that is passed between a web browser and a web server. The protocol uses a third party, a Certificate Authority (CA), in order to identify one or both end of the transactions.

To secure your website, you need to purchase an SSL Certificate. There are several options, including a variety of certificate providers, and those with different features to best suit your needs. For example, if you have multiple domains, there are certain types of certificates that will be more appropriate for you. Here is a great resource to learn more about SSL, including reviews of providers and certificates.

With most SSL certificate providers, you pay a monthly or annual fee to maintain a valid certificate and a secure website. For many eCommerce merchants, they don’t have to think too much about SSL because it’s built into their shopping cart software, and it’s part of the monthly fee they pay for the entire shopping cart package. But beyond just having an SSL website, it’s crucial to make sure your customers know that your site is secure.

Letting Your Customers Know it’s Secure

One of the main reasons that consumers abandon shopping carts during checkout is that they do not feel their information will be secure. A way to fix that issue is by prominently displaying security badges throughout your eCommerce website, especially during all stages of checkout.

Another way to make your online shoppers feel more comfortable is to have a well-defined privacy statement on your website that explains you will not sell personal data, and by displaying trust and privacy language whenever you ask for that personal data, even offering a link to your privacy statement page.

A whopping 89% of online shoppers have abandoned their online shopping carts at some point, according to a survey put out by Forrester Research last year. That’s a big number, and there are a variety of reasons why shoppers abandon carts. We’ll cover more of those reasons throughout our series, and what you can do about it. For now, it all starts with security.