There is little doubt that e-commerce has finally come of age and the hype of the late nineties has in many ways been exceeded. Whilst the predicted death knell of high street has not materialised, a physical, customer-present only approach to retailing is becoming the exception rather than the rule. What’s more, small businesses now live and die by their reputation.
There was once a maxim that suggested if you had a good experience you told one person, if you had a bad experience you told ten. With the advent of social media the extent to which publicity can work either for you or against you knows no limits! The key is to capitalise on that which is positive and avoid reputational ‘own goals’ like never before!
Demographically, e-commerce is far more democratic. Looking good online is a much more attainable goal than establishing a flag ship store in a glitzy shopping mall. This challenge is being able to ‘walk the walk’, live up to your own brand and the values you relay to existing and prospective customers. The important thing is to ensure that cyber security issues don’t serve to undermine your efforts by getting your name trending on social media for all the wrong reasons.
The real challenge for small e-commerce merchants is getting to grips with that which is essential. When seeking out a physical location for a store, you can gauge the neighbourhood, you can assess the soundness of the building itself, you can also for the most part see the security with your own eyes! When establishing an on-line presence, it’s all a lot more abstract. By and large you will be taking advice from those providing you with the services you plan to subscribe to. Indeed the chances are you will be relying on multiple service providers to delivery your virtual store. The question is, how much do they really understand about payments, payment security, PCI DSS and cyber security in general?
By spreading the load, you are arguably extending the risk. Shopping around for the best deals usually makes sense, however in a virtual world it is often difficult to ‘feel the quality of the cloth.’ The guy who develops your website, the platform which they build your store, the location chosen to host it and the gateway to take the payments.
FGX-Web has been expressly designed to deliver enterprise web security for small / medium businesses with an e-commerce presence. The service acts as a safety net that protects you from any of the vulnerabilities which you could be exposed to when operating in a shared environment. What’s more it goes beyond just payment security, protecting your business from attacks that can seriously dent your reputation, a reputation generally acquired through not inconsiderable expense and hard graft.
Whilst the cloud serves to lower the barriers to entry, it pays to remember that cyber security should not be assumed. Think of it like this, even in the plushest malls, each store has its own physical security and when the last customers leave at night, each retailer pulls down the shutters and looks his own doors.
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