TRUSTe Offers First Ever Online Privacy Solution for Small Businesses

New Privacy Services help Small Businesses Enhance Customer Trust and Boost Sales

San Francisco, Calif. – September 9, 2009 - In today’s challenging economic climate, e-commerce businesses are finding that online reputation is more critical than ever to attract and serve customers. When it comes to sharing information with smaller Websites, consumer confidence is shaky. A recent Marketing Sherpa study found that fifty-three percent of consumers worry about sharing personal information. To combat consumer fear, TRUSTe, the most widely recognized privacy seal on the Internet, today announced the launch of TRUSTe Privacy Services for Small and Medium Businesses. The new offering allows small businesses the chance to attract more customers and secure more sales by giving their customers a safe online experience.

Establishing clear policies and disclosures relating to information privacy is key to establishing customer trust. Yet, in a recent survey, TRUSTe found that 56 percent of small business owners with websites have no privacy policy and one-third “cut and paste” their privacy policy from another site. With TRUSTe Privacy Services, small businesses can now get an affordable and professional privacy policy and the TRUSTe Verified seal tailored to their specific business needs. Utilizing TRUSTe’s advanced technology to scan for privacy and security threats, TRUSTe is now able to offer automated privacy services to small businesses.

Importantly, Consumers benefit from being able to rely on TRUSTe to let them know the small businesses are legitimate and responsible with their personal information and can call on TRUSTe’s long-standing consumer dispute resolution services to address privacy concerns.

TRUSTe Privacy Services include:

  • TRUSTe Privacy Service provides Small and Medium Businesses a privacy policy that fits the business’ needs and practices as well as meets TRUSTe’s industry standard privacy requirements. Once the business passes web-based privacy and security scans, the business is awarded the TRUSTe Verified Seal. TRUSTe also offers A/B testing to measure the level of transactional improvements from displaying the trustmark. Other benefits include regular updates on privacy issues, account portal, and effective consumer dispute resolution services. Pricing starts at $49.00 per month.
  • Basic Privacy Policy allows a small business owner to obtain an accurate and compliant privacy policy based on their business practices through TRUSTe’s proprietary Privacy Policy Generator, Pricing starts at $249.00 for the one-time service and does not include the TRUSTe seal.

SMB’s with more demanding privacy programs can continue to apply for TRUSTe’s flagship web privacy certification program where they receive one-on-one privacy consultations from trained online privacy specialists, customization assistance for privacy disclosures and practices, unlimited display of TRUSTe’s well-established TRUSTed Websites seal, consumer dispute resolution services and more. Pricing starts at $849.00 per year.

“Few entrepreneurs give enough attention to Website privacy and security, nor do they understand the risks associated,” said Fran Maier, CEO of TRUSTe. “As e-commerce sales rise and small businesses migrate to online models, TRUSTe is making affordable, easy-to-use privacy services accessible to companies of all size and type. This inexpensive solution will help small businesses build their brand reputation in order to address the needs and concerns of online customers, leading to greater trust and increased sales conversion rates.”

"The retail industry has changed dramatically within the last 10 years, and credibility is paramount to compete. Privacy services from TRUSTe are a perfect solution for us--for everyone starting out--because it's easy to lose business when a website does not look secure to a potential customer, said Wesley Cutlip, CEO of StoneRose Productions. “As an entrepreneur with a limited budget, improved standards in consultation dealing with any aspect of business is key in making my dollar work for me. TRUSTe’s SMB privacy services are simple to integrate because they’re so easy to understand, and using their services allows more time for me to concentrate on my customers."

For more information on TRUSTe site services, go to www.truste.com . To learn more about the importance of privacy for small businesses and get some useful tips, go to /smb/web_site_tips.html

About TRUSTe
TRUSTe is the leading global Data Privacy Management (DPM) company and powers trust in the data economy by enabling businesses to safely collect and use customer data across their customer, employee, and vendor channels. Our SaaS-based DPM Platform gives users control over all phases of data privacy management from conducting assessments and implementing compliance controls to managing ongoing monitoring. Our DPM Services, including assessments and certifications, are delivered by an expert team of privacy professionals. Thousands of companies worldwide rely on TRUSTe to minimize compliance risk and protect their brand.

TRUSTe Official Blog: www.truste.com/blog
TRUSTe on Twitter http://twitter.com/TRUSTesmallBiz

Additional Testimonials from TRUSTe Small Business Customers

Sasha Givency, WorldDanceShop.com
“In the retail industry, most of our sales come through online channels, so our website is critical. I’ve been looking for different ways to build credibility for my own Website, and I’m thrilled that TRUSTe is offering this service. Finally there is a solution that takes the legalese out of privacy and makes it simple so that entrepreneurs like me can understand.”

Justin Severidt, DiscountFlea.com
“I’m looking for ways to get ahead of the competition and increase sales, and one of the ways I’m doing that is by managing my Website’s reputation. TRUSTe is a great option for me – as an entrepreneur with a limited budget, I’ve never had an IT consultant or an in-house lawyer – they walked me through what I needed to do to make my Website in compliance and my customers safe.”

Peter Ellinwood, GreenPoma.com
“When we were preparing to re-launch our website last month, our search engine marketing firm advised us to add a privacy seal to instill visitor confidence and boost conversion rates, says Peter Ellinwood, owner of GreenPoma.com. He adds, “Our due diligence showed TRUSTe to be the best-in-class product for a small business like ours and we’re pleased with the advantage the seal brings to our online business.”