Safest e-commerce platforms in 2018 – Is Shopify safe?

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 2018 - 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 right now (early 2018) a market valuation of more than $13 billion. 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.

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.

About the Author Atte

Hi! I'm Atte from Finland and I run my own small e-commerce store. This website is my tiny way of sharing my knowledge regarding e-commerce and helping others get started with their journey.