Headquartered in Singapore, iStyles (www.istyles.com) produces vinyl skins and other accessories for a wide variety of consumer electronics including iPods, cell phones, gaming devices, and e-book readers. The company works with designers and manufacturers in Europe, Asia, and the United States to create its accessories and sells its 30,000 unique products online, allowing iStyles to reach customers almost anywhere in the world.

Challenge: Secure Online Sales and Help Ensure Success

iStyles is one of the world’s leading providers of accessories for consumer electronics, but that’s not how the company got its start. When it was founded in 1997, the company actually began as a web development firm that created e-commerce websites.

The firm’s technical background gave iStyles a distinct advantage when the company transitioned to selling products online. “We’ve always understood that SSL certificates are absolutely essential for any company that does business online,” says Ming Keong Kuan, Director at iStyles. “If there’s no SSL security, then there’s always the possibility that a customer’s credit card number or other sensitive data can be stolen.”

As Kuan points out, protecting customer information is particularly important for iStyles. “The vast majority of our sales are made online, so securing our website is fundamental to our business,” he says. “If customers don’t feel safe buying from us online, our company simply would not be successful.”

For Kuan, using an SSL certificate to secure the iStyles website was a given, but he wanted to find a cost-effective solution that would send a clear sign to the company’s customers that shopping at the company’s website was safe.

Solution: The Green Bar Gives Customers More Confidence to Buy Online

When iStyles implemented its first SSL certificate almost six years ago, the company selected a solution that was inexpensive but offered little name recognition. “We wanted to build customer confidence, so we decided we needed an SSL certificate that more people would recognize,” Kuan says. After exploring several options, Kuan chose GeoTrust. “Many consumers recognize the name GeoTrust, so when we reexamined our choices, we found that GeoTrust offered excellent brand name recognition at a very reasonable price.”

In 2008, iStyles decided to offer its customers even more assurance by upgrading to GeoTrust True BusinessID with EV (extended validation). “More and more, savvy buyers are starting to look for the green bar that comes along with an EV SSL Certificate,” says Kuan. “By upgrading to EV, we’ve been able to give our customers an obvious signal that it’s safe to buy from us, which sets us apart from our competition even more. It’s been a great investment for our business.”

In addition to strong customer-facing security features, Kuan found that GeoTrust offered an easy-to-manage verification process. “Applying for a GeoTrust SSL certificate was much easier than the other solutions we’ve tried,” he says. “The application process doesn’t require a lot of administrative work, yet GeoTrust certificates still provide strong validation and security. The whole process went very smoothly for us.”

Results: A Big Increase in Sales Despite Economic Conditions

After implementing GeoTrust True BusinessID with EV on its website, iStyles has experienced strong growth in sales, even in the midst of an uncertain economic climate. “In 2009, our revenue grew by 28 percent despite the global recession,” says Kuan. “We’ve taken several steps to improve the shopping experience at our site, and using GeoTrust SSL certificates has been one of the most important. It’s been a key factor in our success.”

Kuan attributes much of that success to the company’s ability to set itself apart in a competitive marketplace. “Customers can choose from hundreds of thousands of fashion accessories for consumer electronics online, so anything we can do to make iStyles stand out is vitally important,” he says. “With GeoTrust, we not only have a brand name that shoppers recognize, but the green extended validation bar gives our customers the extra confidence they need to buy from us online.”

Future: Continuing a Successful Relationship

In the future, iStyles will continue to work with GeoTrust to secure online transactions on its website. “GeoTrust SSL has become a core part of our business, and we’ve already experienced tremendous growth and success,” says Kuan. “We look forward to seeing even better results in the years to come.”


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