Published April 23, 2018

Many consumers have a hard time telling the difference between performance issues and security risks. For a number of online customers, fears about their card details or identity being stolen are a cause for concern, particularly with a number of stories continually dominating the headlines about data breaches or websites being hijacked.

As a result, there is a good chance that any kind of warning or alert will scare a customer away from returning to the storefront. Whether this is due to unfamiliarity with the terminology or confusion about the way that information is presented, it still means that the majority of customers are unlikely to go through the effort of deciding if it is worth the risk of shopping on a website. As a result, according to one study:

“61% of participants said they had decided not to purchase a product because it was missing a trust seal.” 1

These different trust seals vary in nature, but aside from labels on the site itself that the site has been verified or approved by a third party (e.g. the Better Business Bureau – BBB), the first seal most customers encounter is the SSL or TLS certificate. These certificates verify that there is a secure connection for users to browse or transfer payment information, so the user knows the site is safe to access.

When a certificate expires, web browsers alert users that they will no longer be able to access secure content on the site, which means that even if the website hasn’t been entirely compromised, customers are unlikely to visit the page until the certificates are renewed.

Not only does this cause problems for merchants directly in turning away good customers, but it can also damage their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rankings and make their website harder to discover. Search engines like Google diminish the ranking of sites that suffer from persistent security issues, as the bots they use for accessing the sites will likely encounter the same warnings a customer will. This means that sites will score poorly and be ranked lower than other sites or potential competitors, which can reduce the potential for new customers in the future.

Monitoring a website for possible security concerns is something every eCommerce site should do to avoid scaring away their real customers. With NS8 Protect and NS8 StayLive , a business can monitor their certificates for an untimely expiration, which ensures that they can continue to market themselves effectively and create a secure environment for their customers.

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