Cost-conscious businesses looking to enhance customer confidence in Web retail might look to TRUSTe's online privacy solutions.
Privacy and user protection company TRUSTe has announced the launch of
Privacy Services for Small and Medium Businesses, which the company said gives small
businesses the chance to attract more customers by offering them a safe online
service and does not include the TRUSTe seal.
Once the business passes Web-based privacy and security scans, the business
is awarded the TRUSTe Verified Seal. TRUSTe also offers A/B testing to measure
the level of transactional improvements from displaying the trustmark. Other
benefits include regular updates on privacy issues, an account portal and
consumer dispute resolution services. Pricing starts at $49 per month.
SMBs with a more demanding privacy program can apply for TRUSTe's flagship
Web privacy certification program, where they receive one-on-one privacy
consultations from online privacy specialists, customization assistance for
privacy disclosures and practices, unlimited display of TRUSTe's Web Privacy
Seal, consumer dispute resolution services and more. Pricing for the
certification program starts at $849 per year.
A recent Marketing Sherpa study found that 53 percent of consumers worry
about sharing personal information, and in a recent survey by TRUSTe, the
company found that 56 percent of small business owners with Websites have no
site. Company CEO Fran Maier said few
entrepreneurs give enough attention to Website privacy and security, nor do
they understand the associated risks.
"As e-commerce sales rise and small businesses migrate to online models,
TRUSTe is making affordable, easy-to-use privacy services accessible to
companies of all size and type," Maier said. "This inexpensive solution will
help small businesses build their brand reputation in order to address the
needs and concerns of online customers, leading to greater trust and increased
sales conversion rates."
While the company claims half of the top 50 Websites are certified to
TRUSTe's practices, including enterprises such as Disney, eBay, Facebook,
Intuit, Microsoft and Yahoo, the company has focused attention on the needs of
smaller businesses. Wesley Cutlip, CEO of
StoneRose Productions, said the retail industry has changed dramatically within
the last 10 years, and credibility is paramount to compete.
"Privacy services from TRUSTe are a perfect solution for us-for everyone
starting out-because it's easy to lose business when a Website does not look
secure to a potential customer," he said. "As an entrepreneur with a limited
budget, improved standards in consultation dealing with any aspect of business
is key in making my dollar work for me. TRUSTe's SMB privacy services are
simple to integrate because they're so easy to understand, and using their
services allows more time for me to concentrate on my customers."
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.