Online shopping is fast becoming a popular way to browse products and make purchases in the UK. A British Retail Consortium survey found that almost one in five non-food purchases were made online in December 2013 and overall the online market showed 19.2% growth from the previous year.
It may be because consumers have less time to go out and shop, or it may be that it’s simply more convenient to have things arrive at their own front door; whatever the reason the online market is continuing to grow. While this is welcome news for high street retailers who have seen their foot traffic fall in recent years, it also presents challenges in terms of ensuring customers’ personal and financial details remain secure online.
Internet security is a worldwide issue with the targeting of private data by Malware and hacker activity becoming increasingly aggressive. Consumers are generally more sophisticated in their knowledge of the risks to their private data than they used to be and are also more aware of what to do to protect themselves. While the majority of online shoppers will have some kind of virus or data protection software on their own devices they will also look for data security features within the e-commerce site they’re buying from as well.
The most consumer trusted sites have what is known as an SSL Certificate. Where a site has one of these a padlock icon will be visible in the address bar and the address is also usually haloed in green. So it’s easy for consumer to see it at a glance. An SSL Certificate means that the site has software installed which encrypts data as it flows between the web browser of the shopper and the retailer’s web server. This protects personal information from being seen by snoopers or being misused by hackers. It’s not just the pc users that are interested in this either. Many businesses now have multi domain sites, for example sites which are tailored to capture the increasing number of consumers who use mobile devices like I-phones and tablets to do their online shopping. For retailers like these multi domain SSL options are available which will protect customer data across multiple channels. As the online market continues to grow, the presence of SSL Certified e-commerce sites is good news for all.