A secure website goes a long way towards establishing consumer trust. This especially applies to the websites of building materials manufacturers.
If you’re gathering leads on your website, you’ll want to protect your consumers — as well as your company’s internal affairs and online infrastructure — from nefarious cyber attacks. A key leverage point to reinforce is your dealer locator, the place where your site visitors land when they’re ready to buy your products.
A secure dealer locator is more important than you might think.
Here, we’ll discuss the various reasons why. Then, we’ll share why Bullseye Locations, the #1 dealer locator software for building product companies, deserves a serious look when upgrading your brand’s security status online.
Why You Should Care About Locator Security
A safe web presence means great things for your business overall. Starting with shoring up your locator’s security makes sense for several reasons:
Earning Consumer Trust
Your customers will trust you more if your website and locator are secure. Online safety is top-of-mind for consumers on the web right now.
A survey of 2,500 U.S. consumers by Sophos Home found 91% are concerned about online security threats including viruses and malware, financial fraud, identity theft, and ransomware. Another study by Clear Channel and JCDecaux found that only 34% of consumers truly trusted brands they’ve bought from, and 81% view trust as key to their buying decisions.
The waters of online shopping are rife with criminal activity, and major breaches have been so well-publicized, so it would add benefit to communicate a sense of safety. That includes places where you might collect consumer information, such as your dealer locator.
Forging Stronger, More Productive Channel Partnerships
Just like the end consumers who end up receiving the ultimate benefits of your products, your local channel partners (that is, your dealers and contractors) will also benefit from a secure locator.
For one, if consumers find your website’s referral experience to be trustworthy, those experiences will transfer over to the dealers and local pros you’re pointing them to in your listings.
Second, some channel partners may care about your brand’s cybersecurity status so that they won’t be the recipient of spam, cyber attacks, or other issues as a result of having their business associated with your website…and their contact info listed in your locator.
According to Symantec, supply chain attacks were up more than 100% year-over-year in 2021. If you’re a building product company that sells through local dealers and contractors, upgrading your IT security is crucial for protecting your supply and fulfillment partnerships.
Protecting Your Brand and Whole Business Ecosystem
Finally, your locator’s security benefits your entire operations in an even more holistic way.
Once more consumers trust you and follow your links to local dealers, those dealers will benefit from the increase in referred sales. That can feed back into your dealers’ highlighting your brand on their store shelves over the competition. Your online brand earns high marks from consumers and channel partners as having a trustworthy user experience.
On the other hand, an unsecured dealer locator is not only a threat to the public perception of your brand, but to your entire business ecosystem.
If your locator collects customer information to share with dealers, and if you’re using additional software integrations on your website, the number of points at which cybercriminals or malicious software can steal data are multiplied. When consumer, channel partner, or other proprietary data is compromised at any of those points, your business can face catastrophic costs.
According to a Business Trends report by Deloitte, more and more businesses in the past decade see building ecosystems around their brand as “an opportunity for creating powerful new competitive advantage.” Any such advantage is easily threatened by weak points in a company’s cybersecurity infrastructure.
If you want to protect your building materials brand as well as every touchpoint with your customers and dealers, you’ll want to use security-conscious dealer locator software!
Unsafe Locator Solutions That Are Best Avoided
Convinced that security is important? Great! There are some traps to be aware of though.
As a building materials manufacturer, you might be tempted to save money on a secure locator solution, especially if you don’t sell your products directly online. Here are some alternatives to investing in a premium locator software, along with some reasons why they’re not the best ideas.
Building a Self-Hosted Locator Solution
If you have a great in-house IT team, creating your own locator solution might seem like the most natural way to save. A locator, after all, is relatively simple in concept.
This approach can actually end up being much more costly in the long run.
Why? Even a very competent IT team can easily miss some key security considerations for a homegrown locator solution, including:
- Safe overall data collection and handling
- Vulnerability to spyware and ransomware
- Network security breaches that can shut down your locator or your entire website, such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks
- Defenses against attacks that can steal consumer data, such as Cross-Site Scripting (CSS) attacks
All of the above issues need to be addressed for an enterprise locator solution. By building your own, you can easily be left with security holes that go unnoticed until a malicious actor finds them.
With self-hosting, there’s also the possibility of your site being shut down. If there’s a glitch that takes out your website, and along with it your whole IT security environment, your locator also goes out of commission.
Even partial shutdowns or a handful of non-functioning pages not only hurt your web user experience, but they can also act as entry points for dangerous security breaches.
Using Free Locator Software or a Cheap WordPress Plugin
Saving money with an inexpensive or free locator app or plugin also presents the opportunity for a big security risk.
For one, many locators unnecessarily track customer IP addresses, which reveal the web user’s location. This, along with customer names, email addresses, and phone numbers (if the locator collects those details) can be transmitted on the backend to a server that’s completely invisible to your business.
From there, untold amounts of harm can be done to your customers, such as identity theft and bank fraud, depending on how much customer info the app is secretly collecting and sending elsewhere.
According to stats collected by G2 Track, about 21% of organizations don’t have a policy around the use of new technology. If that’s true for your company, you’re leaving important security considerations on the table when you use new software tools, especially if they are free or very low-cost.
Building materials manufacturers should invest in a cloud-based locator software that’s consistently updated, properly handles consumer data, and only collects the bare minimum details for providing great customer service.
Bullseye: The #1 Secure, Cloud-Based Dealer Locator Solution
If you want peace of mind in terms of your dealer locator’s security while doing all you can to protect your customers and dealers, Bullseye is the first platform you should consider.
Why? Bullseye is a scalable cloud SaaS solution built on modern security infrastructure, and it’s constantly being updated to address the latest cyber threats.
A Bullseye-built dealer locator protects your customers, your channel partners, and your brand, because it:
Only Collects Minimal Customer Data
With Bullseye, your dealer locator will only collect the fewest identifying details needed for lead generation.
That includes names, email addresses, and phone numbers for contact purposes, as well as any other information you might ask site visitors for to help them make relevant product and service selections.
Bullseye does not collect customer IP addresses. That eliminates the chance that your customers’ identifying location info will secretly be uploaded to servers you have no control over, thus protecting customers from unnecessary risks.
Receives Regular Updates
Bullseye, as a modern enterprise-grade cloud SaaS platform, is consistently updated for functionality and performance. Security updates are a crucial part of this process.
Your locator will keep functioning without a hitch because of these updates, and will continue to be a safe and secure part of your website. If security holes arise due to new threats, they’re patched right away.
That means you won’t have to play “whack-a-mole” with your in-house locator updates every time a new threat rears its ugly head. Instead, you can relax and let professionals keep your locator running safely and smoothly, as you continue to generate leads and drive sales 24/7.
Adheres to Common Privacy Standards
Bullseye is Privacy Shield Certified, meaning the platform follows well-established safety protocols for personal data transfer between U.S. and Europe-based businesses. In addition, Bullseye complies with rules set by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
If you’re a building materials manufacturer that operates in both Europe and the U.S., this means you can rest assured that any transatlantic business communications that involve your customers’ data are safe.
In addition to sharing this with consumers, you can also inform local dealers about your certification in order to give them assurance in dealing with your brand.
Provides Secure User Access with Robust Controls
No matter if you have 100 or 1,000 employees who need to access your locator settings, Bullseye has you covered with secure user access.
Bullseye operates on the principle of “least privilege” and lets you restrict Admin panel access to just what’s needed for your staff to fulfill their roles and responsibilities. Lower-level associates can have less power to change the locator’s settings, and managers can have more. This protects your locator internally, and lets you share control only with those who should have it.
You can also allow your dealers to access and configure their own listings, or you can choose not to. Bullseye additionally lets you maintain data integrity by validating URLs submitted through the Admin panel.
Finally, with Bullseye’s built-in SAML support, your internal users will be directed to the proper identity provider and login gateway every time, to ensure that only approved personnel can log in and make changes to your locator.
Want a Safe, Secure Locator For Your Building Materials Brand? Use the Best Dealer Locator Software!
The benefits of a secure locator are enormous.
- You’ll earn the trust of today’s wary, security-savvy consumers.
- You’ll protect your dealers from malicious bots and stand out from among other suppliers for adhering to online safety standards.
- You’ll shore up your whole business ecosystem from internal and external threats, letting you focus on driving lead gen and sales, and on building your competitive edge.
To get all these benefits, it only makes sense to leverage the #1 locator software dedicated to security at the highest level: Bullseye.
Bullseye lets you continue to drive prospects to dealers without the hassles of compromised data and security breaches. You can rest assured you’re using a modern SaaS platform that’s constantly updated, compliant with respected online safety protocols, and protective of your web presence.
Ready to upgrade to a safer, more secure dealer locator? Schedule a free assessment today of your current locator setup today, and find out how Bullseye can make a difference.