Conducting business between your company and a customer or client means developing a relationship, and like any good relationship, it needs to be built on a foundation of trust.
There are many ways to build trust among potential customers online, and it is imperative for the success of your business that you learn and understand the key elements that every trustworthy ecommerce website incorporates into their design.
From the basics, such as the appearance of your site, down to the technical details, such as SSL Encryption and Accreditation Certificates, here’s everything you need to know about leveraging your website to establish trust with potential customers.
The First Impression is a Lasting Impression
When you go shopping in a physical store or visit an office to inquire about a particular service they have to offer, you expect the place to look clean and organized, and you can always tell when a good amount of effort and planning has been put into its overall aesthetic appeal.
When you’re setting up an ecommerce site, you want to have the same effect on visitors to your site. When they log on, the appearance should be clean, well-organized, and easy to navigate. This adds a level of professionalism to your site that will help build trust from the first glance.
>>> Real Life Example: https://www.rei.com/
Additionally, in this day and age of data security, it is absolutely essential that your store be securely encrypted, and you should display this information prominently in your store. This shows your customers that their personal and payment information will be safe when they purchase from your site. Google has even publicly stated that they use HTTPS (SSL Encryption) as a ranking factor, and we foresee this weight only increasing over time.
It also helps to include any badges or logos that your company may have earned from accredited organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau around your website and on your store page. Usually these logos are placed within the website’s footer area.
Seeing is Believing
When a customer is shopping for a particular product or service, they are much more likely to go through with the purchase when they can see how the product or service works. There are a few different ways that you can display the effectiveness of the product or service you’re selling to build assurance among potential customers.
One way to entice potential buyers is by including how-to videos or tutorials on your site. Users also love seeing testimonials from previous buyers, and when you include before and after photos, the testimonials become much more effective.
>>> Real Life Example: https://www.colorescience.com/science
You should always include a guarantee with the product or service you’re offering, whether you’re simply stating that customer satisfaction is guaranteed or offering a money-back guarantee. Buyers rarely utilize these guarantees, but they always offer added assurance that helps build trust.
Details are Essential
It is incredibly frustrating and disheartening when you purchase a product from a company and end up with questions or complaints and then cannot find any of their proper contact information anywhere. When setting up an ecommerce site, the more details about your company you can include, the better.
When users are able to read the company’s story, mission statement, and values clearly stated and navigable on their website, it creates a feeling of familiarity and puts the consumer at ease.
>>> Real Life Example: http://www.benjerry.com/values
Always include a contact page with various ways for customers to get in touch with you or your company’s customer service department should they have any questions or concerns. It’s best to include your company’s physical address, phone number, email address, and a form submission for people who would like to get in touch without leaving the page. Another very helpful thing to do is offer live chat services.
>>> Real Life Example: http://www.musiccityunsigned.com/contact
You must keep your information as up to date as you possibly can. If you have new products or offers, make sure you’re consistently updating your ecommerce pages to showcase new or up and coming products.
If your products are pretty consistent, you should establish a blog where you consistently publish new posts. One of the biggest turn-offs for any potential customer is when they visit a website, fall in love with a particular product or service, and find that it’s out of stock after they place the order.
Similarly, if they order a product or service from your site and then find a newer model elsewhere, this could create trust issues and prevent customers from returning. When you’re always rolling out new updates, products, and services, customers know that you’re involved in your business and are encouraged by all the new information they can find on your site.
The relationship you build between your company and your customers should be as strong as the relationships you would build between yourself and someone special in your life. Keep your site organized, secure, and consistent and potential customers will feel comfortable and secure purchasing your products.