You can’t serve your customers in eCommerce without taking a little bit of their data. You need to know how to charge them for their purchases, and where to send their packages. Many people shop online, but consumers are becoming a little more discerning about which eCommerce retailers they’re willing to shop through. They need to know before they make a purchase that they can trust you with their information, and that trust starts with you putting the right safeguards in place.
Be Careful About What You Collect
The less data you have, the easier that data is to manage. Make sure you’re only collecting what you absolutely need, and always be transparent in your efforts to collect that data. Let your customers know what you intend to use it for, and allow them to opt out of providing data that isn’t essential to becoming a customer. The less you have, the better off you’ll be if something goes awry in the future. Make sure you aren’t storing things that can be used once and deleted.
Develop a Social Media Policy
Your eCommerce business is certainly active on social media, and your customers are going to leave comments and questions that require a response from your support team. Make sure that the individuals responsible for answering those comments know what they can and can’t talk about on social media. When in doubt, make sure your support staff knows to direct the conversation to a private email. If a customer inadvertently overshares personal information in their comment, make sure the support person knows to delete the comment before privately contacting the customer.
Use a VPN on Your Office Computers
One of the easiest ways to prevent data from being stolen from you is by using a VPN. VPNs keep all of your internet traffic in a narrow channel that other people outside of your business won’t have access to. VPNs don’t let strangers in, and they make it much more difficult for bots and hackers to grab onto your customers’ data. There are all kinds of VPNs for different operating systems. Make sure you research what VPNs work well for Windows 10, or find the best VPN for the kind of smartphones you use for work.
Avoid Outsourcing Sensitive Jobs
You probably rely heavily on email marketing in your eCommerce business. It’s a great way to keep in touch with your customers and let them know what’s going on. Many eCommerce companies have a lot to handle, which leads to them outsourcing their email marketing to an outside firm. While most outside firms and freelancers understand and respect data privacy, you still can’t control the way they handle things. Don’t risk allowing someone else to become a liability to your customers. It’s better to handle your marketing in-house.
Know What To Do if Things Go Wrong
You don’t always see a data disaster coming. Sometimes, it’s completely out of your control – no matter how careful you’ve been. How you respond speaks volumes to your customers. Big businesses often have larger budgets that they use to help them recover from data breaches. If you don’t, you need to be aware of what you can offer your customers. Let them know exactly what happened when it happened, and how you intend to fix the problem. The faster you act and the more updates you provide, the more at ease the affected customers will be.
There’s no such thing as being too safe. Keep in close contact with your IT team, and make sure you’re acting on their suggestions as quickly as possible. New threats emerge every day, and the best way to keep your customers’ data safe is to stay one step ahead.