Consumer worries over security, privacy and fraud from security breaches at major companies, such as Target and Neiman Marcus, are presenting opportunities for small businesses in online sales.

A study shows 69 percent of consumers were worried about the breaches as they started their 2014 holiday shopping. The survey was conducted by Group, Inc.

Sixty-five percent of respondents are more likely to shop at small business Web sites.

“Small businesses have an opportunity to think even more strategically about their online and digital presence through the lens of what value they can bring their customers – whether in the form of money, efficiency or security,” said David Brown, chairman and CEO of

Mr. Brown’s recommendation is not surprising.

“In order to gain consumer confidence, small business owners have become more thoughtful and serious about managing their online presence and making the necessary security measures to keep their customers’ data safe,” he added.

Key findings:

— Persistent security breaches at “big box” retailers and large banks are motivating consumers to look to small businesses as a more likely destination this year.

— Small businesses are learning from the challenges that “big box” retailers are facing and taking steps to meet consumer demand for tighter online security and privacy controls this holiday season.

— Consumers desire more “wireless, mobile apps and services” from small businesses, and SBs are taking substantial steps to address these demands and increasingly focusing their attention on mobile marketing opportunities.

Small businesses that meet consumers’ expectations for online and mobile capabilities have a significant opportunity to drive consumers to their business, thereby improving their bottom line.

— SBs’ attitude and approach to doing business in digital channels is becoming more “professionalized.” Small businesses are beginning to invest in more sophisticated digital capabilities as well as in top notch security measures needed to deliver on what customers want and need today. recommends small businesses assess their online, social and mobile activities and security: 

  1. Amp up direct customer communications with messages to reassure them that the security of your website/digital assets is a top priority: it’s well-maintained and monitored.
  1. Find a way to leverage the business assets of the physical world and translate them to the digital world.
  1. Take steps to become more accessible to your customers, as well as more professional and sophisticated with how your business offers products/services via the web and mobile.
  1. Hone your focus on mobile opportunities – consumers see the greatest value in the ‘local’ benefit combined with mobile accessibility and flexibility.
  1. As your business evolves, seek counsel and help from proven resources that can propel your business down the path of growth and success.

From the Coach’s Corner, related Biz Coach tips:

4 Strategies for CEOs to Win Their Cyber Security Tug of War — The cyber security tug of war is never ending even though chief executive officers and board members now get the importance of protecting their companies’ information assets. They’ve learned to fear cyber-security threats because they could lose their jobs. If this is all true, why then are there incessant, worldwide cyber attacks?

8 Basic Tips for Selecting the Right Web Hosting Company — If you want to grow or have plans for a complex Web site, hiring the right Web hosting company can be daunting. How do you find a hosting firm that’s reliable and is responsive to your needs? Don’t take the selection process for granted. You can suffer from any one of many unforeseen challenges.

Tips For Internet Security to Prepare you for New Cyber Attacks — Do you need more evidence to be diligent in using best practices for security on the Internet? According to a Web security study in 2013, Internet attacks have been impacting businesses, with the majority of them reporting significant effects in the form of increased help desk time, reduced employee productivity and disruption of business activities.

Don’t Wait for Cyber Security Legislation that Affects Your Business — Not likely to pass, a data-breach bill has been re-introduced in the U.S. Senate that would regulate how businesses behave – informing customers when their personal information has been stolen. Passage or not, businesses should act on their own. It’s the right thing to do.

5 Strategies to Sell More from Your Web Site — Yes, Internet sales can be challenging. To paraphrase a line from the movie, “Field of Dreams,” it’s not always true that if you build it, they will come. There are many salient elements to keep in mind. Naturally, you need to attract visitors, convert them into customers, continually study your site’s visitors’ data, and keep fine-tuning your approach.

Tips to Avoid Advertising Scams Tricking You to Ask for Tech Support — Advertising scams that prey on Internet consumers have prompted four Internet companies to band together to fight the abuse. The scams use harmless-looking ads to trick consumers into using phony tech support that actually enable cybercriminals to invade the unsuspecting owners’ devices.

A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.