by Linda Bustos
A study by TNS Research in August of 2006 shows that 87% of online shoppers are concerned with credit card fraud and 85% of online shoppers are concerned about identity theft when providing their credit information online. As an online retailer, you must work to gain trust of your customers in order to enable success of your e-commerce business. It certainly won't do if 65% of your site shoppers discontinue their orders before paying because of the check-out process!
How do you gain the trust of your online shoppers? Most online customers have learned to check for the "https" in the URL address as well as the little closed padlock graphic of the VeriSign Secured Seal. There are other security companies providing secure transactions online, but other studies have shown that 79% of United States online shoppers recognize the VeriSign Secured Seal, which is much higher than any other secure mark. In addition to the "https" and closed lock image, the newest web browsers are also able to support the green address bar whenever an authenticated certificate is detected- to give shoppers yet another method of verifying a secure website for online shopping.
If you have an online store or other retail site that accepts online orders and credit cards, you definitely want to provide a secure shopping environment for your shoppers. Using SSL technology protects your web site while helping customers trust you. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and what it does is encrypt the customer's information and credit card data as it is sent over the Internet, while at the same time the SSL certificate contains unique information that is authenticated by an authority to verify the identity of the owner of the certificate.
When a website accepts payments without the SSL encryption, information submitted by the customer is sent in a way that people might be able to access it. It would be like sending cash through the mail inside a translucent envelope! You might have a few honest people who just send it on its way, but all it would take is one person to see the cash inside the clear envelope and take it out before it reaches it's destination. The other part of SSL technology- the verification of the owner's certificate is how online shoppers can be assured that the business they are shopping from is real, and therefore can be trusted. Without third-party verification, asking customers to shop your site is like asking for someone to send their banking details without knowing who they're giving the information to- it isn't going to happen because there is no reason to trust them!
Some online retailers have reported that their sales have risen about 10% after placing the VeriSign Secured Seal on the payment pages of their website in comparison to the sales achieved prior to the placement of the seal. This is proof that customers recognize and trust the seal as indication they are shopping on a secure, trustworthy site.
As stated previously, there are numerous providers of SSL technology, however, VeriSign is by far the most popular with over 93% of the Fortune 500 companies using VeriSign for SSL protection on their websites, and 40 of the world's largest banks using VeriSign for internet security issues. Not only is VeriSign trusted by the largest corporations and banks, but it is recognized by online shoppers which is the first step to providing customers with a trusting shopping environment. Additionally, VeriSign will work with many Internet browsers- including some that are older- to the extent of 99.9% of web site visitors receiving either 128 bit or 256 bit encryption.
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