Can Cybersecurity Impact Your Site’s Conversion Rates?

If you own or operate an e-commerce business, or are thinking about doing it soon, you almost certainly know the importance of following best practices for cybersecurity to keep information safe and reduce the likelihood of cyberattacks. However, you might not have thought about how having strong security could positively impact your site’s conversion rates. Let’s take a closer look at the connection.

1. Customers Link Trust to a Brand’s Data Protection Processes

A company that earns a customer’s trust is more likely to see repeat business. Various things can impact whether someone puts their trust in a brand, including whether the company has consistently affordable prices and excellent service. However, it’s also increasingly important for brands to assure customers they are handling their data appropriately.

In a December 2021 study, 47% of respondents globally said whether a company protected their data impacted their trust in the brand to a great extent. Overall, the research indicates that information security had a more significant impact on customer trust than any other factor.

Another important takeaway from the research was that 59% of respondents said they had become more proactive about their data in the past six months. People could do that in several ways, but one option would be to check the website to see if it seems secure. Not all of your e-commerce cybersecurity will be visible to customers, but they’ll appreciate the noticeable elements.

2. Shoppers Like Secure, Convenient Ways to Get Help

Online shopping affects how people can get assistance if they have questions about products, need to return items or require additional help. Many individuals don’t have the time or patience to call companies on the phone. However, there are numerous methods of offering secure electronic communications.

One option is to have a secure message center that people can use to send correspondence, upload documents and more. However, if e-commerce companies take that route, representatives must ensure their solutions have end-to-end message security and comply with all applicable privacy regulations. A substantial part of cybersecurity involves understanding the laws and requirements associated with gathering and using people’s information.

Another possibility is to have a live chat feature on the e-commerce site. Many decision-makers take that approach by engaging with a third-party company that can provide the chat tool to use on an existing website. However, paying attention to cybersecurity means verifying that all such communication products follow the recommended practices to keep data secure.

Even if most customers would welcome ways to get in touch with a business without leaving the website, some will think twice about interacting with such features if they believe they’re insecure or that the company will not handle data responsibly.

3. Breaches or Similar Cybersecurity Issues Could Cut Into Business

News about cybersecurity issues at the company level tends to spread quickly. That could be problematic for the affected businesses if potential customers do some basic research before deciding whether to purchase something from them. Research indicates the variability in how a person may change their shopping habits if a company they know experiences a breach.

A 2021 survey found that 60% of customers had stopped using an account due to privacy concerns. Moreover, 46% of those polled said they had done so more than once. If such accounts are for e-commerce sites, that’s undoubtedly problematic.

On the other hand, 63% would have higher opinions of brands that were transparent about how they used personal information. It’s also notable that 20% said they would recommend such companies to others.

Another 2021 study showed that the extent to which a breach personally affected shoppers impacts whether they take their business elsewhere. About 35% of people said they would keep shopping with companies that were hacked. A quarter of those polled responded that they would go elsewhere after learning of the cybersecurity problem.

However, the segment of people that would stop shopping with a retailer after learning of a security breach rose to 46% if the issue compromised their details. It’s one thing to hear of instances where some people who shop with a company had their information stolen in a breach. But, being personally affected by that outcome makes a consumer more likely to look for other places that could meet their shopping needs.

4. Trustworthiness Increases Big-Ticket Purchases

Having strong cybersecurity at a site is not the only thing that positively influences conversion rates. Customers who find websites difficult to navigate, get frustrated by too much advertising, or feel they do not function well or look nice on mobile devices may leave before converting.

However, people are more likely to trust brands they believe handle their data correctly. They also may feel more comfortable doing business with a company for the first time or continuing to shop with it if there are no recent news stories about cybersecurity incidents.

A 2022 study also showed that trust is a significant factor when people buy higher-priced items online. The data breakdown revealed that 46% would purchase a higher-priced item if they trusted the brand selling it. The trust factor had even more pull on people’s purchasing choices than faster or less expensive shipping.

After reading those results, company decision-makers may want to consider adding a specific page to a site that explains the organization’s cybersecurity strategy and details what aspects keep people’s data safe. Doing that is arguably valuable for any e-commerce company, regardless of what it sells. However, it’s vital to make people feel comfortable about transactions that represent a significant expense.

Start Including Cybersecurity in Your Conversion Rate Efforts

Sales, freebies and positive product reviews are a few of the many things that can cause customers to convert rather than leave a site before taking action. However, as the research above shows, you can’t afford to overlook strong cybersecurity as something that will also help push customers to convert.

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