In 2015, 77% of UK internet users made a purchase online. Considering there are nearly 60 million people using the internet in the UK, that’s a lot of purchases. And chances are, they made more than one purchase (I’m not sure about you, but I’m definitely susceptible to the odd email campaign offering 20% off ASOS).
The world of e-commerce offers huge potential to businesses, but each website has a responsibility to protect their customer data. In non-encrypted web browsing, the link between someone sitting in their living room browsing the internet and a website isn’t secure. In other words, if someone wants to intercept the transmission of data between the computer and the server the website is stored on, they could access all of the data you’re sending. The tools are readily available; just google ‘packet sniffers’
The answer is encryption via an SSL certificate. Encryption has been used for many years now, and it scrambles the data you send and receive, making it gibberish if someone was to intercept it. Traditionally used for financial and account-related sites, Google are ramping up their efforts to close the loopholes in the internet by incentivising site owners to use encryption
Stat : only 10% of the crawled and discovered URLs on the web are HTTPS URLs - Gary Illyes
As of the start of this year (but increasingly becoming more noticeable), if someone visits a site that requires user entry to login or makes a purchase and it isn’t secure, a new icon will be displayed in Chrome.
The ramifications of your website being labelled as ‘Not Secure’ could potentially be huge, especially if you rely on your website for sales. Visitors will be actively warned that their details aren’t secure, leading us to the ask the question: who is going to buy from an insecure site?
The good news is that it really isn’t that difficult to migrate your site to HTTPS, and can usually be relatively easy to retro-fit.
One of the main reasons many companies are migrating to HTTPS, however, is the ranking boost that Google have acknowledged for sites that are secure. It’s a relatively small update, affecting less than 1% of global searches, but Google’s webmaster blog states:
“Over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web”.
For anyone creating a new website, this is a new standard. There’s no reason not to build on HTTPS.
For existing sites, migrating seems a lot more complex than it actually is. You need help from a developer/web agency and your hosting company, who will be able to manage the entire process.
We’ve already migrated clients to secure sites, such as EcoLogic (https://www.ecologic.uk.net/) & created sites from scratch using HTTPS, such as World of Wool (see our case study about their ecommerce platform here).
If you're looking into HTTPS for your website and would like more information surrounding the process, feel free to get in touch with our MD Steve.