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Since Black Friday and Cyber Monday can make a retailer's year, small business retailers need to do everything they can to keep their operations up and running during those times. While brick and mortar retailers might need to hire security guards, hire extra sales staff, or extend store hours, for online retailers the concerns are a bit different.
To prepare for the biggest online shopping days of the year, business owners need to ensure that their site's security, and digital emergency plan, are in place, and that they have an adequate disclaimer to warn customers in case of high volumes of orders. In addition to the web-related concerns, retailers should be aware of the various false advertising laws.
Online security is just as important as security for a brick and mortar store. The same way that a police incident could shut down an entire brick and mortar store, a cyber-attack can shut down an online retailer. If you depend on online sales, having an online security strategy and digital emergency plan could be critical in case of a cyber attack.
As an online retailer, customer security is also important. While you need not worry about physical security, hackers target retailers sometimes just to steal customer credit card information. Making sure your site is secure for accepting payments is important for maintaining consumer confidence, and turning a first time customer into a repeat customer. Also, know that you could face liability for a cyber-breach, and that small businesses are routinely targeted for data theft.
Truth in Advertising
It's very important to make sure that your advertisements are not deceptive or misleading. This past year, the FTC and BBB announced revised guidelines for truth in advertising. If you are advertising specific products and prices, especially doorbuster-type deals, making sure to have adequate supply is likely impossible. In order to not run-afoul, you may want to add a disclaimer to an advertisement stating that there are limited quantities, or that the price is valid only while supplies last.