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Comment following Home Affairs Committee report

Phillip Smith, UK country manager at Trusted Shops, gives tips on how retailers can help re-assure consumers on website security.


Comment following Home Affairs Committee report

Phillip Smith, UK country manager at Trusted Shops, gives tips on how retailers can help re-assure consumers on website security.

Britain is losing the battle against e-crime, the Home Affairs Committee announced in a report released this week. The report revealed that: “Online criminal activity which defrauds victims of money is often not reported to or investigated by law enforcement”. It found that the total cost of e-crime to the retail sector was worth hundreds of millions of pounds in a single year. 

“It’s clear from this report that cyber criminals have the upper hand in the UK. The retail industry must turn this around by taking responsibility to ensure customers shop in a safe environment. Shops that can’t provide security and give customers confidence will struggle to grow. Users are increasingly aware of security, both of their financial information and personal data."

Philip also illustrated four mistakes that make online stores appear insecure and how to fix them:
Incomplete profile – consumers should easily be able to find a shop’s legal information.
•Fix: include all relevant details on your Contact Us page such as company name, first & last name of at least one authorised representative, current address (not a PO Box number), Companies House registry number and tax identification number.

Inaccessible – lack of contact details will definitely ring some alarm bells with consumers. Users are more likely than ever to check before making a purchase.
•Fix: include a phone number and email address that are both clearly visible to consumers.

Very low prices – we all love a bargain, but if the cost of a product is so far under that of the competitors then savvy consumers will get suspicious.
•Fix: along with pricing your products sensibly and competitively the other way to battle pre-conceptions like this is to use an external third party accreditation that can then be displayed. This will give customers confidence that your deal is not ‘too good to be true’.

Negative reviews – it’s obvious, but it’s unlikely that a genuine store would have a large number of negative reviews.
•Fix: use a recognised review system that is collated by an external group and can be verified by customers. Of course, the store must also provide a top quality service every time or else risk being branded ‘dodgy’.

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