We recently sat down with McAfee Secure and worked on a case study to see how the McAfee Secure trademark has benefited sales.

Background
CEO Mike Duncan, a self-described “punk rock skater kid,” founded Warehouse Skateboards with one goal in mind—to be the kind of store where people like him would want to shop. You might say it was designed by skate fanatics for skate fanatics. Celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2009, the site offers the latest, most innovative boards, gear, and accessories from up-and-coming producers and top brands.

Challenge
Duncan always knew security would be important for his site. “Many of our customers are moms and grandparents who are buying skateboards as gifts,” Duncan explains. When it comes to making an online purchase, many of these purchasers are not as confident as the young kids who use Warehouse Skateboards’ products. So early on, Warehouse decided to beef up site security by using a vulnerability scanner from a McAfee competitor. Over time, though, Duncan noticed how often he saw the McAfee SECURE™ trustmark appearing on other retailers’ sites. When McAfee called to offer a free A/B test, Warehouse Skateboards decided it was time to see if it could do better.

“With the volume of orders our website receives, it’s imperative that we have a security partner like McAfee who we can trust to protect the transactional data.”
—Mike Duncan, CEO, Warehouseskateboards.com

Solution
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 tests to look for practices that, if not corrected, can lead to bad publicity and lost customer confidence. For example, McAfee SECURE vulnerability testing checks for unintentional links to malicious websites, the hidden presence of browser exploit code, and the accidental sharing of customer e-mail data with spammers. Once certified to the McAfee SECURE standard, sites can then display the McAfee SECURE trustmark on the sites and indicate their certification in search engines annotated by McAfee SiteAdvisor® software. Consumers who see the trustmark when browsing or searching Google, Microsoft Bing, and Yahoo! (as well as 19 other search engines) see sites certified by McAfee SECURE services as safer, and more secure places to shop than sites that don’t undergo daily testing. McAfee and/or other noted McAfee related products contained herein are registered trademarks or trademarks of McAfee, Inc., and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and/or other countries. McAfee Red in connection with security is distinctive of McAfee brand products. Any other non-McAfee related products, registered and/or unregistered trademarks contained herein is only by reference and are the sole property of their respective owners.

Implementation
The first part of a McAfee SECURE implementation involves a site perimeter scan and application testing. Warehouse Skateboards was still a customer with another vendor when the McAfee SECURE service testing began. “McAfee has been very professional and easy to work with. Implementation of services went very smoothly.”
—Mike Duncan, CEO

The McAfee SECURE scan found a number of vulnerabilities that the previous vendor missed. However, the corrections, while important, were easy to make, and Warehouse Skateboards was happy to say “yes” to improved security. “The remediation process was very easy. There were a few things I needed to do to button up the server. When I needed extra help from McAfee, I spoke to a real person. The help is there when you need it.”
—Brandon Rowlett, Systems Administrator

Results and ROI
E-tailers often become customers of the McAfee SECURE service for its ability to impact revenue in a measurable, positive direction. CEO Mike Duncan certainly liked what he saw in that regard. The 30-day A/B test showed a 5.61 percent increase in sales conversions for the group that was exposed to the McAfee SECURE trustmark. In the down economy of 2009, any increase is welcome. Five percent or more is like a skater landing a perfect jump. But for Warehouse Skateboards, the switch to McAfee SECURE services was about more than dollars and cents. “Our business is based on exceptional customer service. So when I had a problem with our previous vendor and I had to wait a day for a call back, it rubbed me the wrong way. Now when I have a security question, I send out an e-mail. Ten minutes later, I’m on the phone with McAfee Support.“
—Brandon Rowlett, Systems Administrator

Moving Forward
When the A/B trial was over, Warehouse Skateboards quickly signed on to become a McAfee SECURE service customer. For Duncan, there’s no turning back. “The McAfee SECURE trustmark logo increases the level of confidence our customers have that their transactions will be safe. And for a business like mine, that’s huge.”
—Mike Duncan, CEO

-The Full Case Study can be found at www.McAfeeSecure.com

© 2009 McAfee, Inc. All rights reserved.