When you are choosing between the different e-commerce platforms, it is obviously extremely important to choose a platform that is safe for you to choose and, for example, handles your credit card details securely. However, that is not enough. In addition to being safe to you, the platform also has to make it possible to easily create an online store that is extremely safe for your customers – after all one of the easiest ways to destroy your business is to lose the trust of your customers.
The safest e-commerce platform in 2020 – Shopify
In my opinion Shopify is at the moment the safest e-commerce platform (go to their website), and this goes for both when you use the platform to create your store and when your customers buy from the store you created with their service. There are several reasons for why I consider this to be the case.
Top reasons for why Shopify is safe
1: Shopify has been around for a long time and is listed in the New York stock exchange
One of the biggest indicators of safety is in my opinion the fact how long the platform has been operating successfully without major problems. Shopify was established in 2004 and has thus been around for more than 10 years, and there hasn’t been any type of significant security scandals with the company. On top of that Shopify is currently listed in the New York stock exchange (see here). The listing means that it is very easy to get plenty of reliable financial information about the company and its operations, as well as there is an added level of scrutiny on the company’s operations.
It is also worth mentioning that Shopify has at the time of writing this a market valuation of close to $50 billion – that is almost twice as much as Twitter is valued at. The high market valuation can be considered to be a type of a indicator of the fact that the company is considered to be reliable and honest.
2: Every Shopify plan comes with a free SSL certificate
SSL certificates offer an added level of security for using websites and they are especially useful for protecting the personal information and payment details of the people who buy from an online store. In practical terms you can see if a website has installed a SSL certificate by checking the address bar to see if the website address starts with HTTP or HTTPS – the additional “S” means that the website is using a SSL certificate. It is likely that having a SSL certificate will become increasingly important in the future as more and more ordinary online shoppers become aware of it.
The fact that Shopify offers a free SSL certificate can also be considered to be a nice way to save money. If you were to build a custom e-commerce store without any type of a platform you would have to pay the certificate separately and that can easily cost $50 or more per year. In addition to that Volusion, for example, only offers a free SSL certificate with their more high end plans.
It is worth mentioning that you won’t need any type of technical skills for activating the SSL when using Shopify, as it will be automatically turned on for your store’s check-out page (where customers enter their sensitive details)
3: Responsive and fast customer service
If something where somehow to happen with either your Shopify account or with your store created with their e-commerce solution, it is good to know that their customer service is extremely good and helpful. It would be extremely stressful and highly annoying to end up in a situation where something needs to be fixed instantly, but the customer service of the platform is not able to help you quickly.
My personal experiences with Shopify in regards to its safety
As I’ve used Shopify to build my own store, I figured that i’d also share my own experiences, in addition to those more general opinions and thoughts above. I paid (check this page for: Shopify discount information) for my Shopify subscription with credit card (well to be exact with a debit card) and was charged the correct amount and there were no surprise charges. And I also got the features for my store that I was promised.
On top of the actual paying for the subscription and getting what I paid for, it is also worth mentioning that by all accounts it appears that Shopify has not leaked my credit card information to any unnecessary 3rd party, as there has not been anything that would indicate that, that would have happened.
In addition to Shopify, in my experience, being safe when it comes to paying for your plan, Shopify has also been extremely good in that I haven’t received any unwanted emails that I would assume are the result of Shopify selling my email address to someone.
Still in addition to those things, it can be said that Shopify is also safe when it comes to pricing the products in your store: I’ve had no experiences in which the price of my products would have changed surprisingly (sudden and unwanted price changes could obviously lead to massive losses). Nor were there other unexpected errors in running my store.
So all in all it can be said that Shopify should be safe – one should obviously always be careful with everything that involves money and internet. Open your Shopify account now.
Another safe ecommerce platform: Squarespace
If you for some reason decide not to go with Shopify, it is good to know that there are also some other safe ways to create an online store. Out of these options my personal favorite is Squarespace. Squarespace is a considerably younger company than Shopify, but it has quickly become so successful that it is hard to see it going anywhere in the near future.
Like Shopify, Squarespace also offers SSL certificates for online stores and websites created using their platform, and best of all there is no extra charge and the certificate is turned on automatically when you publish your store or site.
One area where I think Squarespace lacks a bit is how long it takes from them on average to answer customer service requests. It is not unusual to end up waiting for multiple hours for a response to a question – this might not sound like huge amount of time, but given how fast news about problems with a store can spread these days, thanks to the social media, it is very important to get all the problems solved as quickly as possible.
Red flags when it comes to the safety of a platform
Although I recommend very strongly the above two platforms for those who are looking to build a safe online store, there might be cases where you are trying to evaluate how safe some other solution is. For those situations I have listed couple things that might indicate of problems with the safety.
1: There is no good information available about the company behind the platform
You should try to look for information such as contact details and physical address of the company, if those are not available on the website, it might be a good idea to stay away from the company.
2: Website and / or content looks amateurish
If there are plenty of spelling mistakes, the website is clearly badly designed or the content indicates a lack of knowledge about the subjects, it is probably a good idea not to choose the company.
3: No SSL certificate
We talked about the SSL certificate above and if even the platform’s own website doesn’t have it, I would strongly recommend to consider twice before building your store with that particular store builder.
4: Very slow or no responses to customer service requests
One thing I do whenever I’m thinking of using a certain service to build a website or store, is to test how good and fast the customer service of the company is. If the service is slow or otherwise bad, it might indicate of problems.
5: Social media channels not updated frequently
This is bit unconventional, but one thing you might want to look at is how often the company’s social media channels are updated. If the company doesn’t update their channels frequently it might indicate of problems, as social media is extremely important communication and marketing channel for any company that is trying to succeed.
Remember your role in e-commerce safety
Even though this page focuses on how safe the different e-commerce platforms, and in particular Shopify, are, it is always important to make sure that you yourself do what you can to increase the safety of your store. This starts from using the type of username and password combination that is extremely hard to guess and from having proper protection on the computer you use to operate your store. After all you really don’t want anyone to have access to you store’s back-end or access to your customers’ personal information.
In addition to those basics it is also obviously important to make sure that you handle the customer data in a responsible manner. This was always important, but now that things like gdpr exist it is even more important. You should also be careful when communicating with your customers so that no unnecessary private information is shared.
When it comes to your store’s safety the old saying “better safe than sorry” is extremely appropriate.