This technology driven era is quite susceptible to potential security threats from hackers and cyber criminals. The one particular sector which obviously stands at greater risk is the eCommerce business. With faster checkout systems plus easy buying and selling options facilitated online, people nowadays resort to a greater amount of online shopping and transactions, thus creating significant chances of security breaches and attacks. Listed below are some ways to protect your eCommerce site from cyber criminals so that neither you nor your valuable customers face any sort of data or financial loss. Read them and adopt them as part of your eCommerce site development strategy in order to keep your eCommerce business fully safe and away from becoming a cybercrime victim.
1. Opt For A Secure Platform
No doubt, there are a lot of open source platforms out there which make eCommerce website development and hosting easy. However, the risk involved in open source platform is that everyone has access to the strategic source code implementation. Hence it is highly advisable to resort to Object Oriented Programming based platforms for building your eCommerce site in order to eliminate any chances of leaks and loopholes.
2. Ensure Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance
Online shopping is primarily dependent on strong security measures, both for the eCommerce store and the customers who come to the store to shop for their desired products. PCI compliance provides for a better security option by enabling a secure checkout system. This helps protect the site from any potential sneak-in of cyber criminals into the payment details and transactions of the customers.
3. Incorporation Of Strong Passwords
Most passwords employed by customers during the ‘Signup’ process are usually simple and quite easy to guess. Incorporation of better and stronger password often makes it difficult to crack. It is also considered that greater the length of the password and greater the complexity of characters used, lesser are the chances of security breaches into the system.
4. Use End-to-End Encryption
Encryption means those algorithmic procedures which manipulate the data for complex restructuring using specific public and private keys. This ensures that even if the hacker attacks the line of communication, he /she would not be able to successfully decipher the encrypted data. Thus, one can easily avoid any security breach, by implementing such highly effective encryption codes for every channel of communication between the customer and the business-end accordingly.
5. Discard Sensitive Data
There is absolutely no need of keeping any sensitive data like credit card information of the customers, their identification numbers if any, customer’s personal information, etc. in the database. This will keep off the cybercriminals from accessing your database. Moreover, even if they at all succeed in cracking up the database, they would not find any customer information relevant to their ‘ill-intentions’.
6. Suspicious Activity Alerts
Implementation of a highly effective notification based system whenever the site detects any unauthorized or suspicious activity is crucial for the System Administrators to detect any threat or attack. Such notifications or suspicious activity alerts will help the administrators to immediately take anti-cyber attack steps. This will ultimately stop the particular cybercriminal from achieving his/her objective.
7. Implement Penetration Testing
Penetration Testing refers to ethical hacking schemes wherein a set of white hat hackers are deployed to detect any gaping security holes in the system. Incorporation of such professional hackers also ensures that there is a complete ‘proofreading’ of your eCommerce website security standards. This paves way for better security features of your eCommerce business on the whole.
8. Perform Constant Monitoring
Monitoring of your eCommerce website 24*7 helps in instant detection of any security breach. Constant monitoring also gives a better insight into the website performance levels, depending upon which the required corresponding statistics can be changed or modified for enhanced customer data security and customer satisfaction.
9. Keep ‘Updating’
It is essential that your eCommerce website stands totally compliant to the latest software updates released by the eCommerce platform. This will help you in improving the performance levels of your eCommerce site. Moreover, installing the updates is also a foolproof way of making your eCommerce site more safe and secure, away from the clutches of cyber criminals.
10. Provide Security Training
Employees, when empowered to deal with any security breach situations, can perform with the greatest efficiency to fight the situation to quite a great extent. Providing the necessary security training to the employees/staff of your eCommerce business guarantee that they will never fall prey to any fraud. Such a security training will also help the employees/staff to take emergency measures as soon as any hacking or attack is reported. This will give you time to rope in a Cyber Security Expert to clear the mess!
With the latest technological advancement, there has been some significant rise in cybercrime activities, especially on online businesses. Such things can be dealt with successfully only when one is equipped with the foundational knowledge about such crimes and how to avoid them. You should also be aware of the latest eCommerce software solutions provider so that you can select the best for building your eCommerce site. For this, you can visit the Best eCommerce Platform Software listing given on SoftwareSuggest. Thus, it is highly mandatory that every eCommerce business owner adopts the above-mentioned security measures so that they can safeguard their eCommerce business and thereby gain greater financial growth and success!!
PHP (Hypertext pre processor) is a server side scripting language. Dynamic websites are made rather easily using PHP. The best part about building your website using PHP is that it has a lot of frameworks suitable to each of the various categories
Can you guess, what is the importance of keywords in optimizing e-commerce website?
Well, it takes more than just a good idea to create a popular website. For success, the websites need a steady influx of traffic, and this can be accomplished with SEO. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) enables the search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing to search the website and rank it on the first page.
It has been found that more than 97% of the population chooses their desired website within the first page. The selection ranges from one to three, and this is the reason that these websites receive a maximum number of audience. The innate purpose of SEO is to rank a website among the top results. This is based on common search phrases that are relevant to the site.
Ecommerce websites or electronic commerce is websites in which buying and selling of services and products are operated over the Internet or other networks. Drawing on the technologies of electronic fund transfer, online transactions, electronic data interchange, Internet marketing, inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems, e-commerce websites also encompass email, mobile, and customer support.
The SEO of electronic commerce websites begin with the search for a particular niche. The importance of Keywords lies here. Since the website contains thousands of pages, it is important to target the exact words that would increase the visibility of the site. The enlisted points talk about methods about how to perform research, and how to implement them for better results.
If you have an e-commerce website based on wordpress cms, then you must install wordpress SEO plugins like Yoast SEO, SEO Framework or premium woo commerce SEO plugin from Yoast.
Researching for Keyword
First popularized by the search engines Infoseek and Alta Vista in 1995, keywords became popular to become one of the Meta elements in SEO. In 1997, the providers of search engines realized that information in the Meta-elements was unreliable and drew users towards spam sites. Stopping support for the meta-elements, in July 2002 Alta Vista withdrew its support. In September 2009, Matt Cutts of Google announced that keywords would not be taken into account anymore.
Searching keywords for websites are important. Popular phrases that are similar to the content of the site is best for the long run. They should not have too much of competition, and the entire SEO façade is built on this step. The trick that is involved here is including keywords that the audience would actually think for. The phrase should be unique, and if the e-commerce website sells something related to tires, Search Engine Optimization Specialist can use something like the “Michelin X Coach XZ,” which would probably have lesser competition.
Increased Search= Increased competition
If the keyword for which you are trying to rank has high monthly searches volume then most probably, it will have great keyword difficulty, and so it will be harder to rank. It is the reason that when searching for the relevant niche it is important to use tools that would give the total globalized monthly searches and competition present for the particular topic. Phrases or words that have low competition and higher global monthly searches are perfect for the website. The Google Adwords suggestion Keyword Tool will provide a list of all similar phrases. You can also use other tools like the Alexa Search.
Analytics and Yahoo! Answers would help in identifying the relevant phrases to the e-commerce website. Referring to competitor’s website and considering the requirements of the consumer, the keywords can be finalized.
Importance of Keyword Mapping
Ecommerce websites usually have multiple pages and different content in each of them. This is where Keyword Mapping comes into play. Crucial for on-site SEO, it is important to assign relevant meta words to each page so the website encompasses the phrases that are needed.
When single keyword is focused in the entire website, there’s an increased chance of search engines ranking the word.
Where to use meta words?
After the keywords have been decided, the next step is on-site SEO. With the hundreds of pages in the website, it is important to add the keyword in places wherein the search engines would look for. Mostly they are used in the following pages:
- URL: The ecommerce URL usually do not contain the keywords but contain product ID or numbers. The optimized website would include relevant keyword (related to the page) in the URL.
- Title Tag: Since each page has a Meta Title, keywords should be included at the beginning of the page.
- Body Content: The body content should be relevant and not be sprawling with keywords. Including a concise content that includes short description about the page is desired.
- H1 and H2 Tags: They are on-page heading of the web pages and they correspond to the CSS or cascading style sheets. The keyword should always be included here.
- Images: Products usually come with an image. The keyword can be included in the text.
Utilizing keyword in off-page optimization
There are two places where keywords are used. One is in “link building” and the other in content marketing.
Link Building: Link building can be defined as the accruing of links to build an online reputation. Keywords are needed to find the relevant sites and to bid for them, which would bring about ranking of the webpage.
Content Marketing: Target Keywords are used in content marketing. Content marketing incorporates the marketing strategies that include the sharing of content in the form of articles, blogs, press releases, social media, videos etc.
Keyword is an integral part of SEO. Depending on the selection of these words, or phrases, the success of SEO will depend.
So you have spent countless hours designing and creating your perfect product. You have even made a few bucks from your e-commerce store. But are your sales not taking off as as you expected?
If this is your situation, then it’s time to consider if you really know your customers. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I know what their fears and motivations are?
- Where do they look for information?
- Who they trust for recommendations?
If you can’t answer these questions, then you are not even halfway to targeting your customers. Even the best product or service out there cannot remedy that. But, if you use what we call “market segmentation” (or slicing and dicing that market), you can reach your customers in the most cost-effective way.
Without understanding and targeting a niche market, even the best products can fail—but no need to fret. By using market segmentation, you can reach your most profitable customers more cost-effectively.
What is Segmentation?
In essence, segmentation is the process of dividing a large market into small groups of people who share similar characteristics.
You can imagine the process as filtering the market through a funnel that has a wide opening and narrow end. A large group goes in and only a few come out on the other end. Marketers analyze these few peoples’ shared traits to create a unique strategy to reach and influence them.
How to “Filter” Your Market
You can segment based on customers’:
- Demographics, like age, gender, or parental status;
- Geography, such as neighborhood or country;
- Psychographics such as attitudes and beliefs;
- and behaviors, like shopping habits or product usage patterns.
This post will give you more details on each of the segmentation methods.
At this point you may be asking, “so how do I find all this information and how can they drive sales?” One of the best ways is through personal interviews and analyzing your customers' behaviors.
The Case for Using Behavioral Segmentation
Let’s say you are selling young women’s clothes online. You have specified that your customers are 18~25 year-old females living in a city and are interested in fashion. These are demographic, geographic and psychographic traits, respectively. Yet this information is not enough to help you sell.
Why? Customers’ buying decisions can vary widely. For instance, an 18-year-old college student will shop differently than a 25-year-old who works at a corporate company. You might also want to consider their purchasing power; i.e., a working woman would have more budget for shopping than a dorm-living college student.
This is why behavioral segmentation will be most useful, especially in improving sales.
How to Use Customer Behaviors to Your Advantage
First you need to define what your current business goals are. If you were just starting out, then your goal would be to raise brand awareness and drive customers to your store.
You can start with questions like these:
- What language do your customers speak ? These are your keywords. For example if they are looking for a fitness tracker, what do they type into Google ?.
- When are they most likely to shop? Adjust your marketing budget based on time. For instance, if studies show online shoppers are most active around 8PM, you should probably pump out ads close to that hour.
- Where do they look for information? For example, which blogs do women frequent for outfit inspirations? Your goal is to find where they are and get yourself in front of them.
- Why did they abandon the shopping cart? Using site analytics, maybe you discovered that many customers drop off after seeing shipping costs. Use this information to rethink your operations strategy or improve your website design.
Feel free to design your own questions that align with your business. Here are the main types of behavioral segmentation you can use:
- Customer needs (e.g. are your customers more interested in comfort or functionality?)
- Occasion (e.g. sports drinks for post-workout)
- Usage rate ( e.g. using face wash 2 times a day, everyday)
- Brand loyalty status ( e.g. Apple fans )
- Customer life stage ( e.g. college graduates vs new parents )
- and buyer readiness stage ( e.g. do your customers know your brand? Do they trust you? )
Remember, Actions Speak!
Learning how to segment your customers and understanding them beyond obvious traits can significantly change your sales game. Thanks to robust e-commerce analytics nowadays, you can discover many useful insights.
The good thing about marketing is that it is a trial-and-error process. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. With every ineffective campaign you can learn something new. Just ask many questions and especially drill down on customer behaviors. Once you implement strategies based on actions, you can see an improvement in your sales.
If you have any questions, please feel free to go over the footloose entrepreneur blog at http://footlooseentrepreneur.com/blog. Would be waiting for your comments!