Shopify announced this week that its merchants now have free access to SSL encryption.
The Canadian e-commerce platform provider said that once merchants activate the certificate, all traffic will be redirected from HTTP to encrypted HTTPS, which are adorned with a little padlock icon before the URL.
SSL certificates help ensure that the connection between a web server and a browser is secure and that no data can be intercepted. Shopify says it plans to join Facebook, Mozilla and Google to sponsor Let's Encrypt, an initiative pushing for HTTPS standards on all websites.
"When a shopper visits your store for the first time, they look for cues that tell them it's safe to buy from you," says Shopify's David Cornu. "The most powerful indicator that they can trust you is the padlock icon that appears when your online store is fully encrypted, and they look for it whether they're on your checkout or not."
Beyond security, Shopify also notes the SEO benefits of encryption, referring to Google's decision to adjust its indexing system to look for more HTTPS pages, essentially placing more value on an SSL certified connection.
Amazon made a similar move in January when it started giving away digital certificates to developers using AWS cloud resources.