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Grow Your Business by Building Consumer Trust

When you walk into a bank to deposit your payroll check or approach an ATM to withdraw money for a night on the town, you have reasonable assurance that you are safe in doing so – an armed guard, perhaps, security cameras, well-lit public access, etc.

When convenience store chains started opening 24-7 decades ago, they solved issues of security by discouraging robberies with steel-bolted safes that choked out cash in small bills, with exasperatingly tedious deliberation.

If you operate online, it’s imperative that you provide similar assurances of security. Even though it’s impractical to send out a Wells Fargo wagon to deliver products and collect payments, there are reasonable measures you can take to provide the kind of online security that evokes customer loyalty.

A recent white paper from VeriSign, a global provider of Internet infrastructure services, asks some key questions that strongly affect issues of consumer trust and loyalty online:.

  • How can I improve incoming traffic from search engines?
  • I don’t have a big name brand, how can I get people to trust my web site and do business with me?
  • Should I really worry about my web site getting attached by malware?

In a world filled with news about WikiLeaks, identity theft and vicious cyber-attacks, your customers need to feel as safe in your online environment as they do in the best of the brick-and-mortar world. In addition, a Marketing Trust Study, conducted by Yankelovich Partners, the results showed that consumer resistance to marketing and advertising has reached an all-time high. White paper Customer Knowledge as Wellspring of Innovation addresses the consumers trust issues with marketing.

A survey published by Javelin Strategy recently indicates that 80 percent of online shoppers want more assurances that their information is secure. Meanwhile, the web site, estimates that more than 10 million computers are infected with malware.

“Convincing users to click on your listing can be tough,” the white paper notes. “Building something as ephemeral and ineffable as trust is difficult, particularly if you set out to do it yourself …. (customers) need obvious indicators that a business has taken the steps needed to assure their site is a safe, trustworthy, secure place to visit and buy online.”
VeriSign is the largest and oldest provider in the field of helping assure customers that they are safe in searching, browsing, registering and buying online (enabling as many as 50 billion Domain Name System queries each day). Other companies compete in the online-security arena – both direct and indirect competitors – but VeriSign dwarfs principal rivals like Global Domains International, Network Solutions, Tucows and Application Software.

Photo: Michael Dorausch