Archives for category: ecommerce
We care about your privacy

We care about your privacy

For any web site that collects user data, privacy policy notice is a document that informs users on, how the site or company behind the site gathers, manages and uses their data.

Most ecommerce site will require users to provide: Name, email address, physical address, and credit card information. Some go further to request date of birth, social security number, driving license or ID number and some financial record related data.

For anyone wanting to buy online, having to disclose all these personal information can be a great deterrent. Besides the security challenge (covered in previous post [link]), there’s a real privacy issue at stake for online shopping.

Here are some polls on how important privacy policies are to users:

According to Forrester Research, 90% of Americans want the ability to control the collection and use of their data.

According to the Pew survey, 86% of Internet users favor opt-in privacy policies.

We are watching out for you

We are watching out for you

Like we explained in the previous post, people want to know that their personal information is safe; they want to know that their data will not end up in a hand of potential criminals. People also want to know what information is gathered directly or indirectly from them when they visit a shopping site. People want to know how information is gathered from them; they want to be sure that shopping sites are not secretly sniffing their data.

With a lot of talk on, major web site selling users data to advertisers and marketers, potential online shoppers are naturally worried that buying something online will open the floodgate of companies targeting them with commercials. A 2000 FTC report on privacy online found that most did not meet the standard set in the FTC Principles.  Things have been gradually changing since then, much open and fair privacy policy; most major sites provide user notification on changes to privacy policy.

We believe the challenge for ecommerce is to build users trust in privacy policy. Shopping site must make their privacy policy handy for users, accessible from any page on the site.  It must clearly address legal requirement and include any geographical specifics.  Users should have the choice on allowing or not, information collected to be used or shared in any manner different from the original purpose.

Users should be able to contest and or provide input on any point of the privacy policy. Company should commit and apply procedures in their policy on how, what and usage of information they gather from their users. Enforcement mechanisms should be put in place internally, in addition to existing legal provision, to protect against unfair and abusive usage of users data.

At TempCart, we have a clear and precise privacy policy, click here to see the document. We review the document and procedures on a regular basis to make sure that we remain compliant with ethics and legal law in all geographical location where we serve users. We also review our privacy policy internally to make sure our employee and internal applications remain compliant with existing rules to protect user’s data.

At TempCart we do not share or sell users data with any third party. Our sellers don’t have access to buyer information; they don’t see buyer real name, email address, physical address, credit card information or any shopping record.

We strongly believe that the entire ecommerce community will benefit from a strong culture of privacy policy and procedures. A privacy policy that is clear, fair gives users a choice and is compliant with legal and ethics provisions.  Progress is ongoing in the right direction.

Since the nineties, privacy and trust organizations exists with the most influent being, the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), the Better Business Bureau and the WebTrust in Canada. These entities have been doing a lot of work in education, development, monitoring and support of good privacy policy practices on the internet.

Your privacy is very important to us

Your privacy is very important to us

As a result of a better understanding, practice and enforcement of privacy policies, ecommerce will continue to grow by empowering more people to shop online.

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The purpose of this blog post is not to pull out of my hat a miracle solution to increase ecommerce market share, I will try instead to look at ecommerce today and elaborate strategies to bring more people to buy online.

eCommerce share is 8% of all retail

eCommerce share is 8% of all retail

The state of affairs:

According to a survey by ComScore from 2011: ecommerce today represents about $142.5 billion, so about 8% of the entire retail business.  Forrester Research estimates that the United States online retail industry will be worth $279 billion in 2015.

The numbers are impressive but the share is still too small, given the effort that companies and manufacturers have been putting in bringing more business online in the past decade.

The question is how do we, in the industry, change these numbers? Why aren’t more people shopping online today? Can we increase share of online shopping by removing barriers preventing people from shopping online?

One of the main issues preventing people from shopping more online is TRUST. Trust here can be broken down in many categories, representing areas where consumers meet challenges:  Security, Privacy, pricing, product.

Security is key in eCommerce

Security is key in eCommerce

Trust in Security:

Shoppers want to know that their credit card information is secure when they make a purchase online. Most shopping sites uses SSL to insure that the transaction itself is secure, people understand this easily; most browsers will show a visual indicator near the address bar to notify the user that the site is secure.

We think the area where most people still have problem, when it come to their payment information being secure, is storage. How secure is my credit card if I buy from your site? A user one asked us.

It’s often reported on the news, that respected brand name companies had their system breached into. These breaches usually results in thousand of credit card information being compromise. Huge lost of confidence from customers.

Ecommerce still have a lot of work to do at this level. Thankfully rules and regulations on how to save and protect payment information exist in the form of PCI Compliance; See more details on PCI Compliance here .

More than the breach itself, the way companies communicates to customers after the fact matter a great deal. Openness and frank communication with users is the next necessary step when any breach occurs on a site.

Companies are not always comfortable being out front to report their failure to protect customer data. We think it’s part of the whole trust scenario, it’s critical that customer trust the companies who own their favorite shopping site to tell them the truth in case of issues. We think people understand when there’s a breach into system of a major company like Sony, that it is a break in, not an absolute failure to protect. That is why people still use Sony platform, customer understand that Sony will double efforts to protect their data. Over time trust grows back.

Not talking to customers in an open and truthful way as quickly as the breach occurs, send the wrong message to customers. It tells them that there’s more to say, it says that the company system is much more in trouble than it admits. This deepens mistrust in people confidence in ecommerce and impacts growth.

To grow ecommerce, companies need to tackle more aggressively system breach by applying rules and regulation on payment information storage (PCI DSS) and access. Additionally we must be quick and truthful in communicating with clients when a breach or unauthorized access occurs in the system.

What we do:

At TempCart, we thrive to protect all user data not just payment and financial data. We use a combination of technology from world trusted payment partners, encryption mechanism for sensitive data, Secure Socket Layer (SSL) for all web site transactions and a dedicated team to ensure that customer gets the best shopping experience. The customer is our first partner and gets the right of first to know.

TempCart customers love saving money!

TempCart customers love saving money!

To make reading on this subject more digestible to our readers, we will discuss the remaining trust issues in subsequent posts on this blog. Stay tune.

Next Post: How to grow ecommerce market share? Trust in privacy.