How Will Online Security Impact Holiday Shopping? #SMBsurvey -
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How Will Online Security Impact Holiday Shopping? #SMBsurvey
online securityHow will recent online security breaches affect holiday shoppers' ecommerce plans?

First in a series exploring the results of’s second annual Small Business Decision Makers Survey.

High-profile online security breaches at major retailers such as Target, Home Depot and Kmart are making the news seemingly every day. With concerns about the security of their personal and financial data dancing in their heads, are consumers less likely to shop online this holiday season? One-fourth of consumers in’s second annual small business perception survey  (#SMBsurvey) say they are “likely” to change their online shopping behavior this year, and 32 percent say they will seriously consider doing so.

While Target is still reeling from the effects of a data breach during the 2013 holiday season, big retailers aren’t the only ones who need to be concerned about online data security. Consumers plan to shop at both small businesses and large ones this holiday season, and will be purchasing both offline and online, the survey found.

The good news for small businesses: News of data breaches at big-box retailers is motivating many consumers to “shop small.” Respondents in the survey are more than twice as concerned about online security at large retailers (27 percent) than at small retailers (12 percent). As a result, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) say they are influenced to shop more on small business websites this holiday season

With new customers flocking to your business website, you’ve got to make sure they have a good experience. What can you learn from the security challenges that major retailers are facing?

  • Increase your investment in the security technologies and services you need to protect your customers from potential security and privacy threats.
  • Emphasize security by prominently displaying security certificates on your business website’s home page as well as on checkout pages.
  • Be sure your privacy policy is easy to find on your website and is updated as necessary.
  • Communicate with customers to assure them about the security of any financial and personal information they share with your website. For example, timely emails before the holiday season gets underway can ensure users you are taking all necessary precautions, making them feel comfortable about shopping with your website.
  • Take advantage of proven resources to help your business stay up-to-date with security issues and precautions. A third-party online services provider that makes it their business to stay on top of the issues can give you much-needed peace of mind. Services such as’s WebLock can help.

Now more than ever, it’s important to continually assure your customers that your ecommerce website is secure so you can maintain their trust, confidence and loyalty as shoppers.

Click on the infographic at right to enlarge and view more detail from the survey.

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Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at, follow her on Google+ and, and visit her website,, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.
Rieva Lesonsky

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