When it comes to being a business owner, there are always going to be risks involved but if you’re the owner of an e-commerce store, you’re going to face risks that a traditional brick-and-mortar business wouldn’t have to deal with. But regardless of how you look at it, a risk is a risk in the business world and as a business owner, it’s your responsibility to protect what’s rightfully yours.
To compare similarities of risks, both business types have the potential of selling a product that could potentially bring harm to customers. Also, in both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar businesses, owners need protection against lawsuits. In opposition to that, with e-commerce stores, the potential of a customer’s personal information being compromised is far more likely to happen than it is to happen with traditional retail stores.
Why are e-commerce risks so high? Well according to oberlo.com, it’s because so many people shop online, increasing the risk. In 2019, 1.92 billion people shopped thus far, and that number is expected to go up to 2.14 billion by 2021! With numbers as large as that, it’s important to keep your customers’ personal information and especially their financial information safe.
If you own an e-commerce store, here are some of the biggest risks you could potentially face, so be aware of these.
– Data Breaches
A breach in data is when sensitive information (personal/financial information) is used by an unauthorized user. Now, the question is, why do data breaches even happen. Well, according to Norton, security breaches can happen for a number of reasons including weak passwords and out-of-date software. To protect your customers’ sensitive information always makes sure you’re utilizing only high-quality security software.
Do you remember the Equifax breach that happened in 2017? That was a nightmare for millions of people… people’s account information and social security number were leaked! Around 145.5 million people were affected by it. Can you guess how that massive breach in data even happened? It was the server’s security patch.
– Product Defects
Unfortunately, product defects are things you can’t really control unless the product is something you made yourself. With product defects, if you have to recall a lot of products, it can have a major negative impact on your bottom line. Just imagine the impact it would have on your business if you offered free returns?
There was a major product defect back in 2016 with the home and decor company IKEA. If you can think back, they had to recall 29 million of their chests and dresser furniture pieces due to it being a tripping hazard. Unfortunately, due to those furniture pieces tipping over, it was ultimately the cause of death for three children.
With cybersecurity, your e-commerce store is at risk of attacks from hackers. Can you guess where a hacker’s biggest target area is? If you guessed the servers and databases of e-commerce sites then you guessed right. E-commerce businesses are targeted because a lot of the business owners have the mindset of knowing that it happens but thinking it couldn’t happen to them… that’s where they’re terribly wrong. If you’re not already, you need to pay attention to cybersecurity and learn how it can help keep your business protected.
The likelihood of fraud is extremely high with online shopping. From stolen credit cards to store credits being hacked, fraudulent activity is not only a risk for customers but it’s also a threat to your bottom line! Fraud, of course, happens in brick-and-mortar stores but if a card doesn’t match a person’s ID, you’ll definitely know that it’s fraud but it’s just harder to tell with online shopping.
To Be Safe, Protect Yourself and Your Business
As a business owner, whether you’re an e-commerce business owner or the owner of a brick-and-mortar store, you should know the importance of protecting yourself and your business. That’s why you need some type of business insurance… you just never know what could happen in a day’s work. At the bare minimum, you need general liability insurance.
Just because you own an e-commerce store, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have employees that could potentially get injured or if you have a brick-and-mortar store in addition to your e-commerce store, it could suffer property damage… Both business types need business insurance and without it, your business could be responsible for 100% of the costs in damages.
So be smart.. Protect yourself and your business and get business insurance.