Retail Success Launchpad: The Importance of eCommerce Website Security and Performance

Ecommerce website security and performance are essential to your retail business’ success throughout the peak trading period and beyond. What steps should you take to ensure you are ecommerce ready?

These are turbulent times for retailers, but in many cases the retailers who are thriving are those that have strengthened their online operations. Online spending has soared to record highs, as increasingly consumers have shopped from their laptops and smartphones rather than venturing into town and city centres.

We will soon be entering the peak trading period – the vital sales period that can make or break retailers’ years. Your retail business’ success this peak trading period will be predicated more so than ever on your online presence – the ability for consumers to find you online, navigate your website easily and quickly, and make purchases securely.

In this blog we will explain how ecommerce website security and performance are essential to your retail business’ success throughout the peak trading period and beyond, and suggest the next steps you should take to ensure you are ecommerce ready.

Understanding the New Retail Landscape

Today’s retailers are operating in a market where consumers are becoming increasingly savvy, increasingly sure of what they want, and increasingly demanding of anyone they purchase from. User experience is everything – 53% of mobile users abandon websites that take more than three seconds to load. Your website’s uptime, performance and security are essential elements of the user experience you deliver.

Any downtime can be costly – Amazon’s one hour of downtime on Prime Day in 2018 may have cost it up to $100 million in lost sales. With many retailers pivoting to online sales and contactless payments in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it’s essential to ensure that proper consideration has gone into compliance and security – especially as cybercriminals have increased their focus on the retail sector in the hope of stealing valuable credit card information.

The Importance of eCommerce Website Security

As you prepare your ecommerce website for the peak trading period, cybercriminals will be preparing to target it. Retail was one of the most targeted sectors for cyber-attacks in 2020. Data is the new currency for cybercriminals, who focus not just on money and goods but also customers’ personal data that can be stolen and sold online.

Cybercriminals target retailers both remotely and at their operating locations, such as stores and warehouses. Attackers often target point-of-sale (POS) systems, installing malware that steals credit card information when the POS system is used. They will also target ecommerce websites and the databases that sit behind them, searching for weaknesses they can exploit to steal personal data that can then be sold on the black market.

Ransomware is one of the most popular cyber-attack methods that cybercriminals use to target retailers in 2020. And the relatively new trend for double-extortion ransomware attacks, in which attackers threaten to leak stolen data onto the internet in order to shame target organisations into paying a ransom, introduces a significant reputational threat to retail businesses, too.

In such a turbulent operating environment, your retail business must take the necessary steps to ensure you mitigate the risk of data breach resulting in financial, operational and reputational damage.

Next Steps Your Retail Business Should Take

As a retail business, you need to ensure the uptime, performance and security of your ecommerce website to enhance user experience while minimising the risk to your business and your consumers from cyber-attack.

Six Degrees is a trusted secure cloud partner to prominent retailers throughout the UK and beyond. We understand the cyber threat to retailers, and we regularly advise our retail clients on the hostile digital landscape in which they operate.

By engaging with Six Degrees through our retail-focused services, you will maximise your online revenue throughout the 2021 peak trading period and beyond. To help you get started we’ve compiled a set of 10 essential questions you should know the answers to, to ensure your retail business stays trading.

Our Cyber Intelligence Report covers the latest trends in ransomware attacks against the retail and manufacturing sectors, and this handy infographic provides the information you need to protect your retail business from ransomware attacks.

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