Regardless of what you are selling in your eCommerce business, one truth is constant – you want people to visit your virtual storefront and buy things from you. Unfortunately, as Entrepreneur Magazine reported, one of the number one reasons that shoppers will abandon their carts is because they have security concerns about giving their credit card information to a website.

The harsh truth is, if your eCommerce website doesn’t feel safe to your customers, they won’t buy from you. And malware, also known as malicious software, can definitely damage any safety a visitor might otherwise have while hanging out in your digital storefront.

Consumers are becoming quite savvy at determining whether a website is safe. If they click on your link and are redirected to another website (a common sign of malware), there may be no hope in recovering them after that experience. Other signs of malware that can cause a customer to leave your page include website defacement (aka digital graffiti), pixelated images, frustrating pop-ups that won’t quit, and grammatical and spelling errors.) These issues give people feelings of discomfort.

Unfortunately, malware isn’t always something obvious that a website visitor would know is even there. They might not even realize something is wrong until their information has been compromised or your business ends up in the news prompting them and others to avoid your website.

All of this said, below are five ways malware can destroy your eCommerce business. It is because of these reasons you need malware removal tools to help protect yourself and give your visitors peace of mind when transacting online.

5 Ways Malware Can Ruin Your E-commerce Business

1. Sales can all but stop when malware is present

This was alluded to in the intro, but it’s so important it bears repeating twice. If your website causes your customers to feel threatened or insecure in any way – you’ve lost them. This can be especially detrimental when it’s the first time someone is landing on your digital storefront. After all, you have to work really hard to draw in new visitors every day, and first impressions can determine whether they will buy from you and become lifelong customers, or if they will run for the hills visiting your competitors along the way.

If you are using malware removal tools to strengthen your website’s security, you can help ensure new and returning visitors feel more secure about handing over their credit card information. This way you can continue making money and remain in business.

2. Bad online reviews directly related to security concerns can hurt your sales too

Let’s face it, people are posting and reading reviews now more than ever before. In fact, PR Newswire reported 71% of Americans to believe the online reviews about a company matter more now than they did before the Covid-19 pandemic swept the globe. One of the worst reviews you can get on a website like Yelp or Facebook is “I didn’t feel safe on this website,” or “this website was sketchy, and I was too scared to complete my transaction.” Bad reviews like this are typically directly related to malware, and they can damage or even destroy a business completely. That’s why it’s getting extremely important to protect your company from ransomware attacks.

3. Malware can open you up to fines and lawsuits

Did you know that the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) includes specific penalties for businesses that put their customers’ private data at risk? These penalties can be as high as “$100 to $750 per consumer [and] per incident” or the fine assessed can be the amount of actual damages incurred due to the breach – “whichever is greater.”

Furthermore, the CCPA stipulates that a lawsuit can be brought against a company who suffers a data breach such as ransomware – a type of malware. What this means is if malware is on your website, and you knowingly do nothing to remove it, your business is at risk for needing to pay damages. In other words, when you knowingly put that data of your customers at risk, you could be held liable in a lawsuit. A lawsuit can in turn bankrupt and/or close an eCommerce business completely.

4. Your website can be removed from search engine result pages (SERPs)

When Google, Bing, or other search engines are crawling your website, one thing they are looking for is malware. If they find it on your eCommerce shop, they might flag it and remove it from SERPs. Now, anytime someone is searching for the very thing you are selling, you can kiss page one of Google results goodbye because your eCommerce site simply won’t show up! And just like that, you’ve lost another prime opportunity for a sale. If your eCommerce business relies heavily on organic traffic, this can be incredibly damaging to your visitor numbers, and your profits as a result.

5. Visitors who type your address into their address bar might not be able to access your eCommerce store

Depending on the malware present on your website, even clicking your web address from social media or typing it into an address bar could redirect your visitors somewhere else. If an advertisement has malicious coding within it, or if a file has been uploaded that initiates a redirect, you will miss out on untold amounts of web traffic.

The Worst Malware Misconception – It Won’t Happen to Me

So many eCommerce business owners are guilty of the misconception that a malware attack won’t happen to them. In fact, many believe their website is too small to be a target. The reality is anyone can become subject to an attack and find themselves in deep need of malware removal tools for an eCommerce website. Here are just two statistics that might prove the point that small businesses – even yours – need to be mindful of malware attacks and how to prevent them:

  • 43% of all data breaches, including malware and ransomware attacks, happened to small businesses per Business.com
    They also reported that 60% of the small businesses that did get hit with a cyberattack went out of business within just six months of the incident occurring

The simple fact is a hacker or cybercriminal could care less about how many visitors you have to your eCommerce website. What they really care about is whether or not they can penetrate the doors to your storefront and get out with as much data they can auction off or use for themselves as possible. Bottom line – they are in this for the money, and they are trying every virtual door around them to see if any of them magically open for them to do with what they will.

The Best Time to Buy Malware Removal Tools is Before an Attack

While most eCommerce business owners might not have malware removal top of mind until an attack occurs, the best time to invest in tools for removal and prevention is before the inevitable attack happens. And, your best option for tools are ones that automatically scan for and remove threats on a regular basis. The idea behind automatic tools is that they can catch and eradicate problems while they are still small – and hopefully before any significant damage can be done.

Conclusion:

Hopefully, this post has inspired you to at least start thinking about malware, and actions you can take to prevent them from destroying your reputation, your website, and perhaps your business. Though the threats to websites will never stop, all hope is not lost. You can build a fortress around your digital storefront – your customers, and your bottom line will thank you.

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