HTTPS abbreviates as Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. It is the protocol through which packets of data travel through a website you visit and your browser. A website having ‘S’ in addition to the HTTP protocol means it is safe to exchange information with the website as it is marked as a secure connection.
The eCommerce industry is flourishing day by day as the ease of browsing websites and online shopping has become easier with mobile devices. The fastest internet connection and affordable handheld devices have paved the way for individuals and companies to reach a target audience, and make online sales.
The significance of HTTPS for your website
The Internet community has always been a victim of malicious attacks that not only jeopardize their privacy, but leaks a lot of valuable financial details. This makes them reluctant to share personal or bank details to the website for ordering products and services. On the other hand, the online stores expect users to share their details despite the insecure connection. Moving to HTTPS is one of the reliable solutions that encrypt the connection between a website and its user.
The benefits of SSL certificate installation are numerous. In addition to securing measures, HTTPS is significant for improving click through rate as well. The online businesses greatly depend on search engines to reach a concerned community. The users type a query in the search bar, get desired results, but clicks the link that is secure and credible. The addition of HTTPS symbolizes that the website is safe to browse and to deal with.
Though there are various factors that affect the click through rate of a website. For instance, create a compelling page title, simplify the URL, write a keyword-optimized Meta description, make ALT tags more accurate and descriptive, Use or add structured data to snippets. Webmasters can either do the optimization manually or with the help of tools like Rich Snippets Magento that allow merchants to easily add product attributes like name, price, features, reviews, etc., to be shown in the search result. This tool is specifically for Magento users, whereas the online stores that were powered by WooCommerce, PrestaShop, or any other eCommerce platform, can find an alternative solution.
In addition to improving the click-through-rate, following are some of the reasons that may compel you to enable HTTPS on your website:
1. Take a step further towards security
The addition of HTTPS turns your website a secure place for users to share personal and financial details. A study carried by CaseSecurity in 2015 revealed that 97% of online buyers tend to enter their confidential information on a website that is backed a secure connection. It clearly identifies that they refrain from placing orders as soon as they find the website is not secured by SSL certificate.
Security is a major concern for your potential buyers as they do not want their identity and bank details to be shared by intruders. So, you need to enable HTTPS to make your potential customers feel safe and enter the details without worrying for its misuse.
2. Pursue better Search Engine rankings
Google keeps on improving the algorithm to provide unmatched search experience to the users. It modifies search results with respect to a series of ranking factors. A website that is equally optimized in terms of speed, conversion, and user experience may outperform these aspects, but may fail to secure top position if the connection is not a secure one. If you want to pursue top rankings in search engines, don’t just follow what the competitors do. In fact, lead them all by moving to a secure connection.
The fact is openly discussed by Gary Illyes, a renowned Google analyst as, “If all quality signals are equal for two results, then the one that is on HTTPS would get, or may get… the extra boost that is needed to trump the other result.” So, ignoring HTTPS may cost you higher in declining traffic, users, and conversions.
3. SSL is mandatory for mobile friendly websites
The increased number of mobile devices is transforming the entire eCommerce industry into an M-commerce one. Today, the online buyers try to pay for their favorite products and services through their handheld devices, but the lack of security is stopping them from doing so. The m-commerce trend is flourishing by leaps and bounds that require the online stores to comply with the mobile friendliness as well.
The latest technology in this regard is the AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages that are facilitating the users to browse web pages at a higher speed regardless of a mobile device they use. In order to implement AMP technology to your digital store, an SSL certificate is a must-have tool.
Online users are quite in a hurry when they browse through a smart phone and they quickly cancel a tab when a website takes too long to load. This makes the implementation of AMP mandatory in order to have more users and convert more into customers. But, before you start over, take HTTPS into consideration as well.
4. HTTPS to stay permanently
Most of the merchants are not moving to HTTPS for taking it a temporary trend, but it has become a baseline for the entire eCommerce industry. The online users do not want to compromise their privacy by sharing information with a website that is not secure. A great majority of online stores and payment receiving websites are turning towards a secure connection in compliance to the safety concerns of their users.
It has become a rule of thumb for businesses to be highly careful in retaining the data provided by their customers. If you are committed to keeping the information secure, it is better to include HTTPS as a part of your ecommerce custom development process; and if you already have a website without HTTPS, get it converted to HTTPS without doing any further delay as it can be toxic for your digital presence.
5. Secure your web content
An online store spends a lot in designing an appealing landing page and tries a lot to remove any option that is distracting the user from taking an action. But, still, there are intruders who inject unsolicited ads on your web pages through public networks. And, in the result, the overall user experience of your website looks disasterous. Working on UI-UX design and impressive sales copy is fine, but neglecting the way intruders can temper the traffic is an alarming sign for your business success.
By enabling HTTPS on your website, you can encrypt the connection between your website and the users, which simply means that no one else can temper your site to inject ads or manipulate the layout. It ensures the exact display of the content as they are designed and aligned by your webmaster.
HTTPS is charged in addition to your domain and hosting plan, but the price is paid off as an additional security and other benefits to your website. Investing a bit of more on moving to a secure connection allows you to build long lasting relationship with your customers. It removes their fair and reluctance in sharing personal details and may bring in more customers by referring to your secure platform. Among the various reasons of enabling HTTPS, but the primary one is about the security of your valued customers, who are the real assets to your business.
Zeeshan Khalid is a Web Architect, an eCommerce Specialist and an Entrepreneur. He is the CEO and founder of FME Dubai, a leading e-commerce web design and development agency. Over the years, FME Extensions has successfully delivered projects in Magento, WordPress, WooCommerce, Joomla and other CMS/shopping cart platforms. You can find him on the LinkedIn.