How to Arm Your E-Commerce Site for this Holiday Season

Nov 22, 2016 8:15:00 AM

Online retail sales in the US are skyrocketing, and with increased online competitive environments this holiday season, the growth will only continue. Based on the Forrester Research eCommerce Forecast, the projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of e-commerce over the next five years is 10%, translating to $480 billion in online sales by 2019.

Holiday shopping officially kicks off on Black Friday, with Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday following close behind. Is your e-commerce site armed for maintaining optimal site speed even with 10x the normal traffic and having the proper resources if something goes majorly wrong? 

This holiday season, e-commerce companies should prepare beyond site maintenance and upkeep prior to the shopping world's top weekend.

1. Backup data/review configuration changes made to database

What customer information you store and how securely it’s stored is one difference between a hackable site and secure site. Your database server should be capable of handling multiple requests at a time, with even more traffic this time of year. Test the projected traffic spike on your servers through simulation to assess what you can handle before the big shopping days.

2. Be prepared for chargebacks

A lot of impulse buying happens this time of year. Regardless of customer chargebacks resulting from buyer’s remorse or slow shipping, your e-commerce company needs to have a record of every component of a customer transaction. This means instilling better recordkeeping to help determine exactly what the customer bought, when, as well as how they’re affiliated to your site. Did they sign up as members of your site, or did they check out as a guest? Make sure to properly arm yourself with this information in the event of a chargeback that needs disputed.

3. Use a trusted legal system of record

Tracking sensitive transaction data from purchases is made easy through products like Stripe that connects your e-commerce platform to handle your online business’ checkout. Just like Stripe handles the transaction data, there needs to be a system of record built into your sign-up and check out flows to regulate the details of usage that your customers have agreed to. It's only getting easier and easier to up security on your website as integrating into your software is an option for any feature.

PactSafe is the cloud's legal system of record that automatically stores these exact records for every agreement online users come across - it's like stripe, but for the legally binding contracts that don't include money, such as Terms of Service or Privacy Policy. 

4. Ensure that your e-commerce system is robust

Just as chargebacks arise from price tags customers may no longer wish to claim or feel unjustly charged for, the same can go for the agreed upon online terms of use.

Having secure records of who visited your site, what they agreed to and when can be the difference of possibly confirming or denying fraud cases surfaced from your site or app. Critically analyzing your site vulnerabilities should not stop after downtime, and major infrastructure is secure. Lack of data encryption, conspicuous notice of privacy agreements and more can lose you customers and invite costly legal fees.

 

Not sure if your e-commerce site's online legal would make the cut in court? Let us know! We would love to help. 

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Amber Ferrari

Written by Amber Ferrari