The Importance of Security in E-Commerce

Recently I was given the opportunity to collaborate on an interactive marketing program for a small garment manufacturer that just launched their first e-commerce site. The client wants to start selling their products direct to the consumer immediately, rather than continuing to depend upon the retail stores who are their traditional customers, and who are not doing a very good job online.

Although the site is very pretty, I uncovered many issues that will definitely impact sales once the site is up. First of all, what should require the user to click once or twice requires four or five clicks. To drill down to the individual item she wants to buy, the user has to navigate a very complicated and confusing route.

OK, so let’s say the user is so motivated that she is willing to get click through to the point of sale. The biggest problem I see is the lack of security on the site. The pages that require entry of personal information are http not https, and moreover, there is no security symbol from VeriSign or any other site security company.

The public is becoming more and more knowledgeable about credit card fraud and identity theft. It is crucially important that online store owners understand that. Before I am willing to spend my client’s money on marketing, I am insisting that they deal with this security issue.

After all, if you lead a horse to water, you better be sure it’s safe to drink!

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