In the space of a few months, the world has been transformed drastically by the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Whilst the UK is slowly beginning to emerge from lockdown and return to their lives, the crisis has undoubtedly reshaped the retail industry and changed the landscape of shopping entirely. Shoppers have relied on online shopping in the past few months, signifying a shift in consumer behaviours. In fact, data from ACI Worldwide found that E-Commerce transactions in the UK have increased by 168% in May compared to the same period last year.
And while traditional brick and mortar stores have prepared to protect their customers by implementing social distancing measures in-store, online retailers have to deal with a different kind of threat, emboldened by the lockdown – online fraud.
Fraud risks causing cautious customers to keep away
The possibility of online fraud is enough to deter customers from shopping online entirely. This is a significant risk for retailers. ClearSale has found that the retail industry stands to lose nearly £3billion from lost business if customers have a single experience of fraud on their site.
Before the lockdown, UK consumers were divided in their belief about whether online shopping is safer than shopping in stores on the high street. In fact, ClearSale’s research showed that 28% believe online shopping is somewhat or a lot more safe than high street shopping, whereas 26% believe the exact opposite. However, the last three months have seen a drastic shift in customer behaviour, according to research by Acxiom, nearly half (48%) of UK consumers prefer shopping online and intend to continue going online instead of in-store. The increase in people shopping online has not gone unnoticed, and there is a greater risk of online fraud.
In line with this, the report from ClearSale showed that 79% of UK consumers are more likely to use an online retailer if they knew it had fraud protection. By going the extra mile, retailers can convince consumers that they are safe and secure when shopping online, not through low-price deals and fast shipping, but through ensuring the safety of consumers that will reinforce their confidence in you.
A secure website solidifies customer confidence in you
In order to combat online fraud whilst maintaining that all important customer experience, many online retailers need to focus on a multifaceted approach to online security. Customers are very serious about security and the best thing you can do for your customers is make sure they are safe online. If you ask for any personal details, make sure the customers know that this enhances their security on your website, and they will be more understanding.
Fraudsters are becoming smarter and more tech savvy, increasing both the level of sophistication and the methods by which they are able to strike. It is therefore essential that online retailers have an understanding of payment trends and fraud practices in order to better protect themselves. Using a SSL (Security Socket Layer) provides a secure session and protects the client’s personal data from being stolen.
Do not be afraid to ask your customers for more details, such as security questions to verify their identity. As long as it is relevant to their security, it will be worthwhile and will give customers that extra reassurance that they are protected. Steps such as Two Factor-Authentication will ensure that stolen data, like passwords, is useless without additional confirmation.
Online fraud is a big concern for UK shoppers. And so it should be – it pays to be vigilant, particularly in difficult times like these. By creating a safe and secure atmosphere on their website, customers will be reassured that they have come to the right site and are more likely to return. Moreover, partnering with independent anti-fraud softwares that can also provide a security system tailored to your website is best for your customers.
Ultimately, it is all about protecting your customers whilst providing them with the best customer experience that will make your business stand out amongst the rest. A happy customer equals a loyal customer and putting their security first and reassuring them that they are well protected will encourage more customers to visit your website.