If no one trusts you, you won’t sell anything.
Making sure your customers have faith in you is paramount if you are going to be successful in any business. Trust is important when attracting new customers, but also, for loyal repeat-buyers too.
But achieving trust online can be even more difficult than gaining trust on person, since you will not have the opportunity to reassure the person face-to-face. And when it comes to trust online, there is nothing that is more important.
However, following a few simple steps on how to build trust for eCommerce websites will help to cover all bases and do wonders for the integrity of your company in the eyes of your customers.
1. Invest in Usability and Design
A website visitor will usually decide whether to stay on your website or leave within the first 15 seconds
Therefore, make your website shine. By this, I mean that your website must look and feel professional and reliable in every way. This includes having great visuals, great content, links that actually work and reasonable loading times between pages.
If you fail on any single one of the above, then the customer will more than likely take their business elsewhere
2. Deliver Great Customer Service
Aside from responding to each and every email, tweet and inquiry you receive, you should also make sure that the customer feels satisfied that your company is trustworthy. This can be achieved by clearly outlining your refund and return policy, and detailed instructions of how to return a purchase.
If the customer feels reassured that they can collect a full refund if they are happy with their purchase, then they will likely look at the purchase as a risk.
An easy way to get started in delivering great customer service is to create web forms on your site that when completed by a customer are delivered to a central support mailbox. You can then send an auto-response to the customer that acknowledges that the form details have been received.
3. Clearly Display Contact information
Don’t be afraid to share as much as possible about who you are and what you want to achieve. This way, the customer will feel there is an actual person behind the website. Don’t use cheesy stock photos, and instead include a picture of yourself and your team, with a short bio for each of them, which allows customers to connect a name and face when they communicate with your brand.
And just as important, make it easy for website visitors to find contact information such as phone number, email and social media profiles so they can talk to anyone in case of any questions.
E-consultancy found that along with eCommerce trust marks, clear contact information is the number one indicator in whether or not a new visitor trusts your brand when they first visit your website.
4. Personally Respond to Emails and Inquiries
It’s no fun for the customer if you provide an email address but do not take the time to respond. And while an automated response, assuring the person that their message has been received is generally recommended, the most important factor is the human touch.
Try not to allow any inquiry to go unanswered for more than 24 hours and the sooner you can respond, the better. And if you can reply within the hour, it creates an unbeatable impression. Also, remember to include your name and contact details within the email so that the reader can always refer to the person they have communicated with.
5. Provide Security for your Transactions
Security is imperative for any e-commerce website so first and foremost, any transaction on your eCommerce store must be 100% risk free. You can make it secure by using a credible payment provider, such as PayPal, Digital River or Stripe.
For additional trust, obtain an SSL certificate (secure sockets layer), which encrypts customer data and secures it. If you’re looking for guidance as to which vendor to choose when looking to build trust, research by Baymard found that most web users feel secure when they see the Norton trust badge.
6. Respect your Customer’s Privacy
Do not share sensitive customer information with third parties, and when asking if the customer would like to receive notifications, newsletters or promotions, do not force them to un-check a box to opt out.
Instead, have the option to opt in to your email marketing and promotional, which will mean that you won’t be flooding mail boxes with spam for those who don’t want it. And by taking this approach and allowing the customer to opt in, your customer will be more inclined to trust you.
7. Be up Front about Pricing
According to Business Insider, $4 trillion will be lost this year due to abandoned shopping carts. And the number one reason for customers to leave a shopping cart?
It’s hidden costs.
At the first opportunity, make your pricing clear and have a visible price breakdown so the customer knows exactly what they are being charged for. If you do try to include any hidden costs at the last moment, the customer will feel deceived and less included to complete the transaction.
8. Create Great Content through Blogging
Do not underestimate the power of blogging!
In addition to linking to content on your website, you can also use blog posts to link to reputable companies. And if you establish good relationships with companies that are already seen as trustworthy, their authority and trust will most likely rub off on you too.
Furthermore, you can use your own expertise within the industry to write knowledge blog posts and FAQs, which can help cement you as a source for thought leadership in the ,minds of your customers.
9. Provide User Reviews and Testimonials
If you already have a base of happy customers, you should let your potential customers know!
It does not matter how persuasive you are in your own copy, a testimonial from someone else is more reliable and valuable. In fact, Marketing Charts found that the top 3 types of trust in online advertising are from testimonials and reviews.
In order to increase the number of testimonials on your website, send an email to your existing customers with a link to an online survey and ask if they have any comments or feedback on their recent product. Then simply take some of the best responses and display them on your website.
Not all testimonials have to be from customers. If a media outlet has written about your business, do not let that go to waste. And another way to build credibility and trust is to use celebrity endorsements – However, this will cost you a lot more than using customer testimonials.
10. Use Social Proofing and Social Media Integration
In addition to blogging, linking to Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites can really help to boost the profile of your company and increase your trustworthiness in the eyes of your target market.
If you have a Facebook page with hundreds of thousands of ‘likes’ or a a huge following on Twitter, people will be more inclined to trust your services. 20,000 people can’t be wrong, right?
They are also an excellent way to display feedback and increase testimonials.
Now it’s your turn
Customers do exactly the same thing they do when in the offline world as they do in the online world – They view different products, compare prices and then based on their initial experience; they will decide to either leave or buy something.
Cover all of these bases, and in no time your customer base will feel more comfortable and more secure in dealing with you.
What’s your best tip to build trust for eCommerce websites? Let us know below.
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