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The e-commerce marketplace continues to grow significantly. Indeed, though the pandemic triggered a certain boost in online shopping, there are signs of momentum. In the first quarter of 2021, e-commerce sales in the U.S. saw year-over-year growth of 39%. The rising uptake of online sales alongside the accessibility of technology is also encouraging more companies to get involved.
The result of this is your e-commerce brand is likely to face more competition in the months and years ahead. This is why it is so important to pay attention to your sales conversion rate. You need to constantly keep an eye on how your consumers are interacting with your platform and what attracts them to or drives them from conversion.
Many businesses focus on how their marketing or customer service factors into these conversions. But other elements are contributing to success or failure here — one of these is the state of your cybersecurity. Let’s take a look at why this is and how you can make relevant gains.
As with any tool, you need to better understand cybersecurity before you can use it to effectively impact your conversions. At a time in which threats are ever-growing and changing, cybersecurity is about developing agile protection techniques to counter them. The way professionals achieve this is through utilizing a combination of insider knowledge about information technology (IT) systems, awareness of the behavior and processes of cybercriminals, and analytical skillsets.
This is why it can be so important to work alongside professionals in the field. Impacting your conversion rate through cybersecurity is likely to be dependent on your ability to demonstrate not just competence but a commitment to excellence. As such, your efforts will have to go beyond the basics of utilizing antivirus software.
You’ll need to take a multifaceted approach matching the agility of cybercriminals. This will include regular assessments of company processes and tools to identify points of vulnerability. It will involve training staff to mitigate potential entry points for cybercriminals or other threats. If you fail to do so, you could lose important business and financial data, and also fail to meet the standards of your customers.
Even before you establish a relationship with a customer, you’re unknowing playing into their standards. By meeting or exceeding these standards, you can improve your conversion rate. In e-commerce, the route to conversion can vary depending on whether you’re a business-to-business (B2B) company or business-to-customer.
The former is more analytical and driven by committee while the latter is usually more immediate. In both cases, though, one aspect where the two meet is your ability to recognize and address the customer’s core needs. Your approach to cybersecurity can meet or fail some of these needs.
It’s important to take the time to review your demographics’ primary concerns about cybersecurity. After all, you’re not just selling them a product. You’re also convincing them your website is the best and safest place to obtain this. Both business and private customers want to feel secure in their interactions with you.
This isn’t just useful for you to implement the security measures and tools to get them over the conversion line, though. It also gives you information on what trust signals you should be placed throughout the customer journey that keep them moving with you. This could include providing certifications or card payment systems they are familiar with. In a digital landscape of minimal trust, your cybersecurity helps to meet your consumers’ need for safety reassurance.
One of the key concerns for consumers in the current climate is how companies collect and use their data. A recent Pew Research study revealed 81% of those polled felt the risks outweigh the benefits of private companies capturing their data. As such, demonstrating your cybersecurity protocols while handling data could affect your conversion rates.
This isn’t just about ensuring your website has a secure sockets layer (SSL) certification and that your servers are protected from various types of attacks. It’s also about carefully considering what the most sensible approach to handling data is.
One of the worst risks as an eCommerce business is unnecessarily collecting and storing consumer information. Reviewing areas where you can cut back on data you both passively and actively harvest can demonstrate your consideration for your visitors’ welfare.
Remember, you can’t just apply these elements in the background. To result in conversions, your consumers need to know you’re taking these steps with their security in mind. Include information on your data policies on your website. When you do collect information, enunciate you’re doing so out of necessity — not malicious intent.
In many cases, consumers don’t just want to buy a product, they also want to have a positive experience. Great user experience (UX) is instrumental in encouraging your e-commerce customers down the sales funnel toward conversion. Your cybersecurity can be a key component of this.
Business owners are often focused on finding features to improve their e-commerce website UX, but the performance of the website also contributes. When consumers come across performance hurdles, they tend to pull away from sites. The presence of viruses in your software and hacking can actively slow down your page loading speeds. Not to mention that more common distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks can prevent users from accessing elements of your site at all.
Using reliable cybersecurity software and professional expertise helps to make certain you have real-time protection from these issues. In turn, you can make certain your visitors have unobstructed and smooth access to all the key components to lead them through a successful journey with you.
There are various routes to optimize your e-commerce conversion rates. Effective cybersecurity is a too-often overlooked component here. Meeting the security needs of your visitors, responsibly handling their data, and providing an unobstructed UX can all influence conversion rates. Placing your attention in these areas not only keeps your company and consumers secure but also makes for a positive journey toward better conversion metrics.
By Indiana Lee, BOSS contributor