Is your e-commerce store trustworthy?
No matter how good your products, services or price is, no customer is going to purchase from your online store if they don’t trust you.
With big e-commerce giants out there like Amazon and Google Shopping it can be hard for smaller companies to compete. This is why it is super important to evoke a feeling of trust in your customers when they visit your page and move through your checkout process.
Developing trust, especially online can be a tricky business, but we have all the framework you need to help create a trustworthy and confident experience for your customers.
Trust Building Tip #1
It all starts with a good, clean, practical and modern website design that looks like it is regularly updated. This way, customers can not only easily navigate through your site but they can also be sure that there is a regular team working and attending to the backend of the site.
This includes ensuring that your site offers-
- Multiple high quality images that actually reflect the true nature of the product
- Reliable and accurate written descriptions, measurements and other necessary facts about the product
- Reviews, testimonials or social proof from other customers
- Proof of certification with a bureau or recognised organisation such as the Better Business Bureau
- Merchant processing with reputable brands such as Paypal, Visa, Mastercard etc.
- Information on any awards, achievements or recent press or publicity
- Case studies that prove your success working with other businesses or customers
- A domain name that reflects what you are selling or offering and preferably ends in .com.au/.com
- The colour blue on your website has been shown to help evoke the feeling of trust
- A mobile friendly page that allows customers to browse and checkout from portable devices
Your website is really the foundation to your e-commerce business, so take a moment to critically view your site and ensure that it is easy to navigate, professional looking and offers enough relevant information to customers.
Trust Building Tip #2
Building a personable presence on your website allows customers to feel that they are actually communicating with a real human being. This helps them to feel more confident about purchasing from your site and it also allows them to get a better understanding of your voice and your brand.
Ways that you can build a personal relationship with your potential customers include-
- Having a blog that highlights your companies skills, talents and vision for the company so customers can get used to your style and philosophy
- Including an ‘About’ section that has photos of your team and a short biography for each team member, plus a link to their social media page
- Being present and commenting back on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
- Offering customers email support, a live chat feature or a customer support number that is properly equipped
- Giving away a freebie such as an ebook or .mp3 file, that helps customers to get to know you and what you have to offer
- Reaching out to other websites in your industry to do guest posts or to get reviews from reputable bloggers
- Hosting webinars, podcasts, YouTube videos etc. that help showcase your experience and credibility
- Replying personally to all customer emails within just a few days
Trust Building Tip #3
Your purchase policy should be made clear and obvious for your customers to see, read and understand. Are they purchasing a re-bill subscription? Are additional fees involved in their purchase? Are you charging extra for shipping?
Being transparent about what type of purchase your customers are making helps to build trust and also makes them more likely to continue on with their transaction.
You should also clearly highlight your return policy or cancellation policy so customers know exactly what to do if they want to exchange their product or get a refund.
Being upfront about your payments, terms and conditions not only builds trust with customers but it also helps establish your credibility as a business. No one likes to feel that they are getting ripped off or tricked into purchasing something.
Trust Building Tip #4
Ensuring that your merchant processing is up to date and secure is not only crucial for your business but it can also help ease the mind of customers who are afraid of getting hacked or ripped off.
Using reputable services like Paypal and Apple Pay is a good place to start but you should also ensure that your website has an SSL certificate so you can allow users to checkout on a secure connection.
If your site is registered with security firm such as VeriSign, also make it a point to include this on the checkout page so customers can be assured their information is going to be kept private and secure.
You can even highlight to customers that your company will never share or give out their personal information. Just be mindful to use your wording correctly, as you don’t want your assurances to have the opposite effect.
Trust Building Tip #5
Showing a delivery date, the shipping facility and providing a tracking number is a great way to help your customers feel certain and sure about the product they are buying.
Providing this information allows them to know when they can expect their product and also allows them to know where they are receiving their product from. Providing a tracking number is also a great way to let customers follow their package and takes out any guess work on when they will receive it.
You can also set up emails to go out to your customers that let them know their product has been shipped and to confirm when it is going to arrive.
Trust Building Tip #6
Bad reviews and negative press can happen so if you do see something negative written about your online store, make it a point to reach out to that person and very politely ask if there is something you can do to make it better.
This comes back to that old saying- “the customer is always right”, and while those who work in the retail space may not agree, it definitely shows good customer service if you are able to find a solid solution that makes your customer happy. You may not ever receive business from that customer again, but other people looking at the negative comment will see that you replied and were open and friendly to making amends, and that can say a lot!
Remember, you are never going to please all of the people all of the time, but showing that you care can go a long way in building trust.
Trust Building Tip #7
Having a following on social media sites helps to show that you are proud and accountable for your business and it also allows potential customers to see that other people have also used and followed your site.
Today, it is important to have a profile not just on Facebook but also on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Depending on your market you may even consider branching out to sites like Tumblr, YouTube, Vine and Pinterest.
When it comes to establishing your social media presence here are some tips that can instantly boost customer confidence in your company –
- Include images of your office, employees or even yourself- this helps customers to put a face to your company
- Update your social profiles regularly and post a combination of images, articles, text and links- remember you do not want your social media accounts to be spammed with links telling your followers to ‘buy, buy, buy’
- Reply to all comments and engage in the community- retweet others and comment on or share others posts
- Keep your social media postings light and fun, people like to read positive things
- Offer promotional codes, coupons and discounts to your followers to make them feel part of the community
- Update your followers on the ‘behind the scenes’ action such as upcoming product launches, design ideas etc.
- Show that you stand for something by liking, sharing and joining relevant groups (“I love dogs” is always an easy one!)
Trust Building Tip #8
We already mentioned that it was important to offer customers access to customer support numbers and emails, but we just thought it was necessary to stress this again. Why?
Statistics show that customers are 46% more likely to trust an e-commerce store they have never heard of before if the site clearly states a customer contact number and address details.
Having contact information is a great start but also consider including the location of your head office, or if you do not have a physical address consider getting a PO Box.
Of course, having all these customer support services is one thing, but ensuring that there is someone on the other end who is knowledgeable, friendly and quick to reply is really the most important thing.
Either take the time to hire or outsource a customer support team or reply to your customer emails yourself. Most customers usually won’t even use the support services, but having the resource there can definitely bring peace of mind.
Even though you are not face to face with your customers there are plenty of ways that you can build and evoke the feeling of trust. It all starts with a professional looking website design, creating a personal connection and allowing your customers to know that they are going to be looked after.
Trust is definitely key when it comes to making consumers feel confident in your products and brands, so take a moment to look through your site and see if you can implement any of these changes.