We’ve been helping e-commerce merchants thrive, grow, and succeed with their businesses for a really long time — and with the global economy not exactly at its finest, I thought it would be a great idea to go back to the basics of running an online business.
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be writing a series of blog posts covering different topics that every start-up e-commerce merchant should know.
Are you an old pro in the world of e-commerce? Join in on the conversation and let us know if we’ve missed something. Here we go!
Part 1: Risks Involved in E-Commerce Business
1. Risk Awareness
Being an e-commerce merchant in today’s online world is no easy feat. Between marketing your brand and staying compliant with your industry’s rules and regulation, the last thing you want to worry about is security breaches and credit card fraud. But these threats are real and can cost you your business.
The first step is to understand that these online risks exist. This is a motto I like to live by: Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Make time to read news articles related to cyber attacks and credit card fraud. Reading about other business’s bad luck and disasters will help you prepare your own business for any type of impending electronic attack.
The next thing you need to be aware of as a start-up e-commerce merchant is how to react to a crisis. It should be obvious the first thing you need to do is stay calm and keep your composure. If you’re freaking out, then you’re employees are going to follow suit. Get a firm grasp on the situation and handle it accordingly. Form a crisis management plan so when and if the time comes, you’ll know exactly what to do. Research your state or country’s laws regarding cyber attack reports and figure out who you need to contact in the situation of credit card fraud.
2. Types of Risk
The risks of selling goods or services online come in a variety of shapes and sizes. I’ve already mentioned cyber attacks and credit card fraud as being two forms, but you can break down those types of risks even further.
Types of credit card fraud include:
- Multiple orders for low-cost items made from the same debit or credit card
- One order for many of the same item or items
- Purchases for high-cost items
- Orders that you can’t confirm via email or telephone
- Orders where the shipping and billing address differ
- An order with delivery instructions to leave the package at the door
- Friendly fraud — when a customer requests a chargeback from their debit or credit card issuing bank and claims they never received their items when they actually have
Types of electronic cyber attacks include:
- Hackers vandalizing your website
- Unauthorized users infiltrating your network
- Security breaches to steal your intellectual property
- Attacks on personal home computers searching for passwords and account information
- Phishing attacks that spread viruses and malware throughout your computer network in search of personal information
Educating Your Employees
It’s your responsibility as a start-up e-commerce merchant to educate your employees in online risk management. Once you have a firm grasp on the risks involved with hacker intrusions and online transactions, organize training sessions and make sure your team walks away with a full understanding.
Include a section in your employee handbook so your employees have something to reference when a question arises. Share resources on the Web with them, such as blog posts about the importance of using strong, unique passwords and encourage them to share similar news articles and blogs too.
Back to Basics Part 2 will be coming soon. Be sure to check back at our blog for what every start-up e-commerce merchant should know about website content.