It’s not just tech companies that get started in garages. In 1979, three southern California siblings would gather in their parent’s garage to frame posters that they would then sell out of a Sherman Oaks storefront during the day. Thirty years later, Z Gallerie - a unique lifestyle retailer of furniture, artwork, lighting, and accessories - has grown to 55 retail locations in 18 states and a thriving online showroom.
Z Gallerie knew that the Web was becoming an increasingly important channel – even for the home furnishings market – and launched its fi rst website in 2002. By 2007, the Web had grown to become Z Gallerie’s dominant channel. Steven Kartstein has run Z Gallerie’s online operations since 2003:
“McAfee SECURE service is worth the money from a security standpoint, to say nothing of the sales improvement.”Steven Kartstein
Internet Operations Manager, Z Gallerie
“I knew people were worried about credit card and identity theft. But it didn’t click with me how we could communicate with our customers that their Z Gallerie shopping experience was safe. Then I downloaded a McAfee white paper and I started thinking about this in a different way.”
For thousands of retailers, the McAfee SECURE trustmark has proven highly effective at reassuring site visitors that their personal information will be safer and more secure at participating retailers. The technical foundation of the McAfee SECURE service rests on daily, comprehensive site scanning that tests the retailer’s website for more than 10,000 vulnerabilities. In addition to this daily hacker testing, sites that earn the McAfee SECURE trustmark also undergo a series of periodic tests for accidental practices that can lead to bad publicity and lost customer confi dence. For example, McAfee SECURE testing includes checks for unwitting linking to malicious websites, the hidden presence of browser exploit code, and the accidental sharing of customer e-mail data with spammers.
“Adding the McAfee SECURE trustmark was just one part of the McAfee relationship. We got a security alert from McAfee just last week. It was timely, precise and actionable and we fixed it. No one was watching our back the way the McAfee guys do.”
Once certified to the McAfee SECURE data security standard, sites can then display the McAfee SECURE trustmark on the sites as well as in search engines annotated by McAfee SiteAdvisor® software. Consumers who see the trustmark when browsing or searching Google, Microsoft Live and Yahoo! (and 19 other search engines) see certifi ed McAfee SECURE sites as safer, and more secure places to shop than sites that don’t undergo daily testing.
Z Gallerie took advantage of an A/B test in which 50% of visitors were shown the McAfee SECURE trustmark, while the other half (the control group) were not. After the fi rst week’s results were in, Kartstein had a one word reaction:
“Disbelief. I had done the reading. I knew about security concerns. But I was honestly surprised to see that big of a difference. I fi gured, let’s wait and see. Maybe this is a blip. But we ran the test for three weeks and the improved closure rates continued.”
Results and ROI
Z Gallerie saw a 12.9% improvement in its closure rate (the percent of shopping carts that complete a sale). One reason they saw such strong improvement was their decision to deploy the trustmark not just on the check out page but throughout the shopping experience. These placements reassured customers that their personal information was safer during each step of the e-commerce process.
“McAfee SECURE service is worth the money from a security standpoint, to say nothing of the sales improvement.”
To other retailers that remain skeptical about the usefulness of implementing – and advertising – a site’s improved security, Kartstein offers a blunt assessment:
“Based on my experience, you’re costing yourself sales by not doing it. You’re driving customers to your competitors. Using McAfee SECURE service is a no brainer”