IT directors and security professionals who work for online retailers may have noticed a shift in the e-commerce landscape in recent years. Since online shopping first took off in the mid-to-late ’90s, the process was always about enabling customers to complete an order as quickly and efficiently as possible. The focus was on helping users find what they wanted when they wanted it, and then finish the transaction in a streamlined way.
Social commerce, on the other hand, focuses more on facilitating a community of customers. The goal in social commerce is to make it easy for people to browse and connect with others who like the same products. A great example: the popular social media site Pinterest, which is like an online shopping mall where like-minded people can hang out together. Meet you at the food court.
Although social commerce seems like a natural progression from e-commerce, Network Computing notes that many shoppers are hesitant about combining social media with shopping. The vast majority of the concerns are centered around security. This is where IT security professionals come in.
Imagine the hero status you’d gain if security measures you implemented helped drive your employer’s social media sales. Oh, it’s possible. Start by reading the following suggestions that can help reassure customers that shopping this way is safe and secure:
Let customers know about your security features
Facebook is testing a new “Buy” button that enables people to purchase products directly from companies without having to leave their Facebook pages. To make this option viable, Facebook has reportedly bolstered credit and debit card security. Despite these reassurances, credit card security is a real concern for many people. According to ACI Worldwide, 30 percent of customers don’t trust an online retailer to keep their information secure, and the popularity of reputable identity theft prevention services show that people are understandably cautious about giving their personal data to anybody.
In addition to credit and debit cards, offer PayPal and checks as payment options. And make sure the customer knows up front what the grand total will be for the sale, including shipping and any applicable taxes; don’t provide any surprises at checkout.
Assure them the product is in stock
Another common concern social commerce shoppers have is product availability. Clearly post your company’s policies in regards to back orders or products that have sold out completely, and make prompt contact with buyers if an order will be delayed for any reason.
Post the exchange and return policy
Customers also want to clearly see your company’s exchange and return policy. Customers like to know ahead of time if the product doesn’t work or meet their needs in some way, they can return it or exchange it for something else.
When it comes to social commerce, removing obstacles and making customers feel secure is essential. Let them know you are taking their security seriously.