Industry Eye: Case Study - In Perfect Symphony
Problem: Virtual Sheet Music, an online retailer of traditional and classical sheet music, needed a security seal on its website to ensure consumers that it was a legitimate and reputable business.
Solution: Contracted an internet infrastructure and security services provider to place a security seal on its site.
Results: Sales have increased 31 percent in the two-plus years the security seal has been displayed, including a 67 percent increase in membership renewals. Virtual Sheet Music reports a 7,440 percent return on investment from incremental sales as a result of security enhancements to its site.
Operating in a niche marketplace since its founding 10 years ago, Virtual Sheet Music was challenged by credibility issues. Not only was it a startup, pure-play online retailer — in a marketplace that at the time bore little resemblance to the e-commerce marketplace of today — it also didn't ship tangible products to its customers.
Virtual Sheet Music operates electronically, downloading or emailing traditional and classical sheet music, as well as audio MIDI and MP3, files directly to customers' computers. Gaining the trust necessary for consumers to hand their credit card information to such an outfit was no small task.
To ease shoppers' worries, the Laguna Niguel, Calif.-based company signed a deal to display VeriSign's Secured Seal as part of another vendor's service. But in late 2006, due to contractual issues with that vendor, Virtual Sheet Music was forced to remove the VeriSign seal. Within a matter of weeks, its sales dropped 30 percent.
Proving Seal's Value
Concerned by the precipitous drop in sales, Virtual Sheet Music founder/owner Fabrizio Ferrari sought to fix the problem. This time he went directly to the source, contracting with VeriSign to restore the Secured Seal to Virtual Sheet Music's website. In fact, Virtual Sheet Music upgraded its security level to include the Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificate as well.