Small business owners are 100 percent responsible for their customers’ personal information and credit card data. One of the biggest myths is that security is tied solely to credit card information. The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Council will be the first to point out that it is as much about the personal information of your customers as it is about their credit cards. At the end of the day, banks can be a safety net if someone were to get your customers’ credit card information. Unfortunately, there isn’t a safety net if personal information is stolen from an online business.
PCI compliance is still a misunderstood concept. While there is plenty of material available on the topic, a small group of people have most of the information. History shows us that when this type of situation occurs in the marketplace, a lot of people end up buying services that don’t help at all. If your credit card company, ecommerce provider, hosting company, bank or other provider offers you a new service to assist in maintaining PCI compliance, simply ask the following question. “By purchasing this service, are you guaranteeing that you will pay for any fines or loss of business I might suffer if my online store becomes compromised?”
More often than not, the answer will be no. So why would you pay money for something that won’t help you with the problem? The answer is lack of knowledge. Most small business owners don’t have enough time to run their stores, much less to keep up with the security requirements for maintaining an online business. As a result, when a service provider approaches an online businessperson about a new service to secure it customers, it scares many business owners into purchasing it.
The first step
The bottom line is this: online retailers must find the time and take responsibility for protecting their customers. For ecommerce, be sure you are using a PA DSS (Payment Application Data Security Standard) certified application or a business that is PCI DSS certified. That is the first step. After picking the right ecommerce provider, you must take control of the rest of your customers’ security. This can be achieved by going through the PCI DSS process to get your business certified.
Pinnacle Cart, for example, carries the PA DSS certification and works with hosting companies that are PCI DSS compliant. Still, it does not have control over its own destiny. If the company it uses decided to stop offering PCI DSS hosting, Pinnacle Cart would be forced to spend a lot of money moving customers to another data center. To gain control of its security, the company is working on becoming PCI DSS compliant. The process isn’t easy and it costs money, but the return on investment will come to any business that commits to the process. You can show your compliance on your website like a badge of honor, and you will likely see an increase in website conversions.
Mike Auger is president and CEO of Pinnacle Cart, a hosted shopping cart and ecommerce software application that allows you to create, manage and effectively market your business. www.pinnaclecart.com.
View article published in Independent Retailer: http://bit.ly/ecommercesecurityPosted on: No Comments
Doing your homework is the most important step in selecting a shopping cart provider. With so many options available, selecting the best shopping cart can be a daunting and time consuming process. It’s important to understand not all eCommerce systems are created equally. Therefore, it’s important to evaluate your options and make sure you select the right software for your business.
Here’s our list of the top 3 things to look for in a shopping cart provider:
1) Is it secure?
This is the most simple, but often overlooked, selection criteria. To avoid fines, fees and possible legal action, make sure the software you are using is both PA DSS and PCI certified and compliant. If the eCommerce company you’re looking at isn’t bragging about their certifications, odds are it’s not compliant. Compliant solutions don’t cost any more than non-compliant solutions so if you don’t see “PA-DSS / PCI Compliant” it’s best to move on.
2) Is it scalable?
When searching for an ecommerce provider, many merchants think too short term. Sure a “hosted only” solution will be able to get you started, but once the sales start rolling in do you have the ability to scale without being charged astronomical fees? Having your provider host your store does have its advantages. For example, maintenance and support is typically easier in the hosted model, but stores with high transaction volumes need dedicated and distributed solutions to ensure high accessibility. Once your store is clicking, odds are you’ll rarely need to contact your provider for issues outside of hosting. Some providers prey on successful stores knowing they have no choice but to pay them whatever “hosting” fees they ask. They also understand moving to another solution can be time consuming and difficult so they tend to charge higher rates to stores making more sales. Make sure when the sales start rolling in, you can move your store and scale to the needs of YOUR business, not the needs of theirs.
3) Do they offer support?
Most ecommerce providers offer little to no support. Even worse, some providers offer only “pay-per-incident” support. Think about this for a second…why would you trust your business to a company that has a financial incentive to provide you an inferior product? Under the “pay-per-incident” model, the more tickets and support calls they get, the more money they make. Bottom line, stay away from any company that doesn’t give you access to free support resources.
While this list is short, it’s important to keep these very important things in mind when selecting the best online shopping cart for your business.Posted on: No Comments
Come Sail Away, Come Sail Away, Come Sail Away with Me..
Great song, terrible thing to have happen to customers. Pinnacle Cart has developed a marketing tool to recapture customers get caught up in some other moment and abandon their shopping cart before completing their intended purchase.
In our newest version, 3.7.5 (coming soon!) we have developed a marketing tool to recapture those customers that do not complete the purchase process.
Enter Drift Marketing (cue the reggae tunes – sail away, drift, get
it?) Drift Marketing is a new term, but an easy concept. Essentially, it’s taking an action to bring a customer back to your storefront to complete their order.
Let’s consider our imaginary store, MyWorldFamousSpiceCollection.net. Tony Customer is shopping in your store. Tony adds a couple of your world famous spice blends to his cart. After also adding one of your hand embroidered “Kiss The Chef” aprons, Tony navigates to the checkout page. As Tony reaches for his wallet to get his credit card information, he realizes the ribs he’s got on the grill outside are in grave danger. He dashes out the door to save the ribs and his transaction (and your sale!) is long forgotten.
Or is it?
As a store owner, nothing is more frustrating than seeing orders and dollars sitting in an “abandoned” status. All of your marketing time and money flushed down the drain over something outside of your control.
Our Drift Marketing tool allows you to create campaigns to email your customers at designated time intervals after the cart is abandoned – due to burning ribs or otherwise.
Maybe you want to send an email with the entire content of their cart as a reminder they still need to complete the order. Perhaps you want to follow up 6 hours later with a discount code for 5%, 10% or 15% off their entire order. These marketing initiatives can all be accomplished through our new Drift Marketing system.
Just another innovative way we are helping our customers increase their sales using Pinnacle Cart.
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Pinnacle Cart 3.7 has been certified “most search-engine-friendly cart” by International SEO firm CyberMark International
We have worked extensively with one of the world most respected search engine optimization firms, Cybermark International, to ensure Pinnacle Cart is properly designed for the most optimized ranking on all popular search sites including Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com, MSN, AOL, Mamma.com and more. With features like; SEO friendly URL’s, custom URL’s ( for sites that are already indexed) SEO friendly hyperlinks, compliant header tags, complete meta tag control, product-based keywords, strict CSS / XHTML / tableless coding, WC3 compliant pages , robots.txt file and more! Pinnacle Cart will generate free, organic traffic for your website.
CyberMark International CEO Kimberly Judd-Pennie had this to say about the SEO friendly features in Pinnacle Cart:
“We have worked with many different ecommerce applications over the past 15 years and the features found in Pinnacle Cart are light years ahead of anything found on the market today. Almost every ecommerce application on the market says they are search engine optimized, but most are far from it. The Pinnacle Cart platform has been fundamentally designed to help merchants get indexed properly and get the best possible rankings. This leads to greater exposure, more traffic and ultimately, increased sales.”
“We went to the experts in the field of SEO Marketing to learn how to better serve our customer base.” says Mike Auger, President of Pinnacle Cart “The results are off the charts and our customers are already seeing the sales results by using the new features. We look forward to long-term relationship with Cybermark.”Posted on: No Comments
Craig Fox, our Founder and VP of Product Development was recently invited to provide some insight into PA-DSS / PCI compliance and it’s effects in the ecommerce industry for The Web Host Industry Review, better known as The WHIR . Here are some snippets from the article:
“We’ve completed that compliance ring – what we call the remediation process – with our QSA,” says Craig Fox, VP of product development at e-commerce software firm Pinnacle Cart. “Everything seems to be coming clean.” According to Fox, the total initial cost associated with certification for Pinnacle Cart is likely to be in the range of $20,000 to $30,000 – a manageable cost of doing business, and not something the company intends to pass on to its customers in the form of a price increase, but by no means an insignificant sum of money.No Comments