Consumers need to feel secure with each commerce transaction they conduct on Facebook, or retailers might as well forget about building storefronts on the social site. Adgregate Markets, which provides transactions through ShopFans, and security software maker Symantec, plan to announce a partnership Tuesday relying on Symantec's VeriSign Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificates.
Symantec, which acquired 50% of VeriSign's business authentication about six months ago, supports ecommerce transactions through SSL. Tim Callan, head of Trust Services Product Marketing at Symantec, says Adgregate Markets will build the off-the-shelf product into storefronts. It gives any company the ability for customers to make secure transaction by encrypting the bits and bytes in credit-card information as the numbers are transmitted from one server to another.
Without SSL, the bots sitting on the edge can capture and steal credit-card information in transit. "If you don't want your credit card number stolen, then you need SSL in place to secure the transaction," Callan says. "It's exciting to see the move by commerce into places where people interact."
Could one of those places become organic search results as Google builds in more social signals? "We have had a couple of people ask us that in the past, but it's not our focus today," says Henry Wong, Adgregate Markets CEO, adding that it could happen in the future. "It revolves around the notion of putting the storefront in front of the consumers, whether that means Facebook or Google's organic search results."
Wong admits not having "deep enough discussions" with search engines to determine whether it's realistic, but technically speaking, it can be run as a flash widget in a search listing.
Adgregate Markets transacts business for about 25 storefronts, but that number continues to build. In the past two weeks, Wong has seen up to two businesses per week take the leap on Facebook. The deal with Symantec now gives merchants an option -- Symantec or McAfee -- to secure ecommerce transactions on Facebook storefronts. Typically, merchants choose the same company that secures transactions on their Web site.
Not the first company to build SSL into Facebook storefronts, Adgregate Markets competitor Milyoni announced a deal with Symantec the week of Feb. 14. The deals make Facebook a more secure place for commerce transactions.