Online fraud: Do you need to be concerned?

The digital age is a time when anyone can do almost anything using a smartphone. Customers can pay their bills online and even store their credit card information on their smartphones. While these are all very convenient, protecting customers’ data is not. It all begins with customers trusting the retailer they purchase from.

The risks of fraud and data protection increase as small and independent retailers meet consumer demand for new technology. It is important for customers to be reassured that they are purchasing from trustworthy retailers. If their data is not being protected, you may have to say goodbye to future sales.

It’s a big deal

In aSurveyEmailage conducted a survey with 1,000 individuals in leadership positions in small- to medium-sized businesses in Canada and the U.S., finding that almost half of them (48.4%), believe they are not big enough to be targeted. 38 percent of respondents still don’t consider fraud a top business concern.

Rei Carvalho (CEO of Emailage) spoke out about the findings. “This research shows that many small- and medium-sized businesses are not concerned about fraud prevention. These businesses have much smaller profit margins. Even a small percentage of their revenue can have serious repercussions on their businesses and impact their long-term growth.

Companies with fewer than 49 employees suffered a particularly severe hit in the past twelve months. They reported losing an average $37,258.14 to fraud. According to the survey, fraud losses suffered by larger companies in the U.S. were on average $26,640.40, and $14,673 in Canada. This research disproves the notion that small businesses don’t need to be concerned about online fraud and provides advice for these businesses on how they can protect themselves from online threats.

Here’s what you can do

A survey revealed some common fraud prevention solutions that small and medium-sized businesses can use, including email verification, third party payment processing, IP trackers, banning fraudulent account, reconciling accounts daily, and IP address trackers. Email verification is the most popular solution, used by almost 40% of businesses.

Carvalho stated that harnessing these technological solutions could be an ideal way to help small and medium-sized businesses protect themselves and their customers against the damaging effects fraud. It also saves time, money, and labor. SMBs will be able to offer a great customer experience and have the security to thrive in the future with such systems.

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Many consumers aren’t confident that their data is well protected

A recent survey by astudyAccording to NTT DATA Services, and Oxford Economics only 20% of consumers feel confident that their data is properly protected by retailers with which they do business. They’ll be less likely than others to shop at your store if they don’t feel secure with your business handling their data.

Matt Leach, Vice President at NTT DATA Services, stated that trust must be earned beyond the point where it is sold. To be able share personal data, retailers must demonstrate a meaningful value proposition to consumers. This has been done by supermarkets for years through discounts. So there is a reason for customers to share their personal information.

Nearly all of the retailers surveyed experienced a security breach in the last year, but only one-third of them have strong protections for customers’ financial and personal information. Leach says that these companies have breached customers’ trust and customers will choose to move on to other retailers if they are offered the option.

Moving forward

In the opt-in market, trust with customers will be one of your greatest competitive advantages. According to NTT DATA Services’ report, trust grows when you learn more about your customers and can better serve them. While it is important to use customer data in order to provide a personalized experience, it can be difficult.

Retailers need to ensure that their security systems are in good working order. They also need to improve the way they use customer data. Customers expect organizations to use their data to improve services and products. You might personalize products or give employees the skills and tools to use data to make informed recommendations. Your goal should be to improve the customer experience.

Leach stated that personalized shopping and recommendation enabled by consumer data are what retailers need to offer experiences. “This data allows retailers to differentiate themselves.”

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Instagram launches In-App Checkout

Online sellers rejoice. Instagram announced “Checkout”, a new feature that allows users to purchase directly from their posts, without leaving the app. Although the feature is still in beta, it has huge implications for online shopping. Instagram has been adding more consumer-focused features over the years such as product tags, and the latest shoppable update to Instagram Stories. Instagram announced last fall that they will be creating a separate shopping app. It was only a matter time before Instagram’s original Instagram could be shoppable.

Instagram is the Next-Gen Catalog

Before the internet, shoppers relied on physical catalogs to get inspiration, find new products, and plan their purchases. Today, paper catalogs are almost obsolete. Shoppers are now searching online for products and the latest trends. In many cases Instagram is the preferred browsing platform.

Instagram allows shoppers to see the outfits of their celebrities and friends. Many bigger accounts link to the brands and products they are wearing in every picture. Today’s customers don’t trust the brands that make claims about their products. However, they trust endorsements and recommendations from others they follow online. Consumers have all the power in today’s shopping environment. One way retailers can connect with customers and introduce them to potential customers is Instagram.

Independent brands love this consumer-driven environment because it is a more democratic process. In order to appear in product catalogues, independent manufacturers had to first get their products into Macy’s. If enough people like your products, any brand can be well-known on Instagram. According toBigCommerce60% of Instagram users claim they have discovered new products through the platform, and 200 million Instagrammers visit at most one business profile each day.

What is “Checkout”?

According to Instagram’s press release “Checkout” will provide seamless shopping experiences for customers. In the past, shoppers could only buy products from Instagram by clicking on a link to the retailer’s website. Many shoppers ended up abandoning their purchases as a result.

Instagram Checkout allows you to “Tap to view a product in a brand’s shop post. You’ll see a “Checkout on Instagram” button on the product page. The press release states that you can tap it to choose from a variety of options, such as size and color. After selecting, you can proceed to payment without leaving Instagram. The first time you go to check out, all you need is your name, email address, and billing information.

Once a customer has placed an order, the information is saved to the app so that they can shop again. The Instagram app will notify the consumer about any shipments or delivery.

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Instagram sellers will only be able to receive information that is necessary to process an order, such as the address and contact information of the buyer. Retailers will not be able to see payment information. The retailer will not see any payment information. Shoppers have the choice of sharing their email address for marketing purposes.

Instagram will also charge retailers a seller’s fees. The exact amount is yet to be determined. However, it is clear that the seller fee will be paid by the retailer and not passed on to the customer. According toTechCrunchAccording to Instagram, “Instagram plans for merchants to integrate Shopify, BigCommerce and ChannelAdvisor with CommerceHub tools using the Checkout feature.”

When will it be available?

Checkout is currently in beta. It’s only available to select retailers like Zara, Kylie Cosmetics and Warby Parker. Instagram has not yet set a date when this feature will be available to the public. Keep checking back for more details.