This holiday season, experts predict that total retail sales in the US will exceed $1.1 trillion between November and January alone. eCommerce sales are expected to contribute over $144 billion, which is a 14% increase from last year’s online sales, and major sellers have already begun to roll out their holiday campaigns and products in anticipation of the rush of shoppers.
However, for small and mid-size businesses, the holidays might not seem so merry and bright due to eCommerce security concerns. 61% of cyber attacks specifically target small businesses, and if your site is compromised, you could risk damaging your reputation, losing your products, facing lawsuits, and breaking your customers’ trust. To reduce the chances of a security breach, be proactive and plan to protect your store with the following tips:
Keep Your Store Updated
Protecting the environment, updating software as needed, and applying recommended security patches right away are all important ways you can maintain the security of your site. Make sure you regularly update all the software on the server too, as this will prevent any “weak links” in your system. Magento’s Security Scan tool can also be a valuable way to find any other potential issues, and it can give you the peace of mind you need before Black Friday rolls around. Other recommended security practices include:
- Using only secure communications to manage files (SSH/HTTPS/SFTP).
- Creating strong passwords and regularly changing them.
- Limiting access to specific users, or restricting access by IP address.
- Using a Web Application Firewall to analyze suspicious web traffic or behaviors.
- Utilizing the best store configuration strategies.
Prepare Your Cloud Environment
Updating to the latest version of ece-tools will make sure your site is prepared to take on increased traffic without sacrificing loading speed. Magento Commerce Cloud Pro users can expect to receive at least double the CPU and memory from November 15-December 5 and December 20-January 5 automatically, at no extra charge. These two date ranges are expected to receive the highest amounts of web traffic, but retailers can fill out a Support Ticket if they believe they’ll require additional capabilities.
Magento can also ensure that shoppers will always be able to interact with your site this holiday season, even if you have to make crucial changes to your store, thanks to Zero Downtime Deployments. Merchants who utilize this feature can work on projects and push changes without affecting their customers’ shopping experiences. For additional security, you can back up your site with a Snapchat restoration, which can quickly restore a specific environment in case something goes awry.
Optimize Your Checkout Experience
Even if the rest of your site appears to be well-designed and trustworthy, a less-than-perfect checkout can deter shoppers and make customers think twice about purchasing the items in their cart. Your checkout needs to be quick, simple, and mobile-friendly in order to cater towards the millions of people expected to do holiday shopping on their phones this year. To make sure you can retain your customers, maintain a secure checkout, and create seamless experiences across all devices, consider these steps:
- Offer multiple payment options, such as PayPal, Apple Pay, or Google Pay.
- Turn on the payment platform’s fraud detection tool.
- Be sure to test the payment processing capacity to check if your store will be able to handle increased traffic.
- Combine both automated and manual reviews to look over orders.
- Offer different financing options for customers when their orders are over $99.
Prioritize Customer Experience
After you ensure that your site is secure and ready for the busy holiday season, don’t forget about the most important aspect of your eCommerce store: your customers!
No matter what time of year it is, customer experience is a key factor that can either make or break a sale. But as the holiday season rolls around, it’s even more important to prioritize your customers’ needs and create amazing experiences to start building lasting relationships with every buyer.
To help you keep your store on the “Nice List” this year, check out The Journey of a Gift guide, which was created by several notable Magento partners, including PayPal, Zendesk, Algolia, Cybersource, and more! Simply download the free guide to get an inside look at the best practices and strategies for delighting your customers and optimizing your store for the holiday season and beyond.