More and more people are deciding to move their operations from a traditional brick and mortar store into the realm of online retail. While it has become a larger and larger part of the retail pie, there are some things about selling your goods through a website portal that every retailer should consider before moving to this new retail platform.
While the technology of creating as well as running a website can be handled by a webmaster, or probably anyone under fifty years of age in your employ, there is a bit more than simply creating a point of sale online webstore to being a web retailer. You do have to create and keep up to date an inventory of what you have both in the store and on your website. There are applications that can tie your inventory to the software that tracks your sales, especially if you use Square software to run a cash register at the store as well as your online store.
But what about security? There are a number of issues with a website store. This is especially so today with the growth of mobile devices that allow you to shop as you go. Awareness of these issues is paramount if you are looking to expand from that earthly store into the world of online shopping.
Security for Your Customers
It starts with letting your customers know you now have a way for them to shop online, and encouraging them to do so. You can use social media and newsletters to help with this. But that is a whole other article. You also want to encourage your customers to practice safe shopping. You can do this by letting them know how to find applications for shopping on safe sites, such as the ones that Google and Apple maintain for their systems.
You can also remind them that they should only shop at sites that display the symbol “HTTPS” before their IPS address. This lets them know that the site has been secured against most types of hacking because the site only communicates between their computer or smartphone and the server for your website. That increases their security and helps you to keep your customers happy.
Reporting Suspicious Activity
Even with all the precautions we take, sometimes something slips by us. A customer may report that they ordered something from your site while they were sitting at a Starbucks. Now their smartphone has been compromised and they are seeing more purchases that they never made. This is when it is so important to remind our customers to read their bank statements frequently and thoroughly so they can spot suspicious behavior with their account as soon as it shows up.
Since public Wi-Fi networks, often referred to as hotspots, like the ones that are offered in coffee shops, are easy to hack it is never a good idea to shop or do financial transactions while using them. If you did, and you see that not only did your customer get hacked but you now are worried about your own data, get active. Talk to your bank to find out how they can help you to identify where the hack is coming from and how to stop it.
Taking the Opportunity
The world of the web is a great opportunity to grow a business, but it has its consequences as well. Take precautions to make your website safe and secure before you open it for business. And never forget that your customers are your partners in this venture, so they too need to be aware of the consequences of not being secure when shopping online, especially from a mobile device using public Wi-Fi.