What do you think makes e-commerce sites trustworthy?Having amazing loading speeds, excellent usability and a fantastic product is something we all strive for; however, your site visitors will rarely convert to customers if your site lacks trustworthiness.
As consumers gain online safety awareness and as concerns continue to grow about identity theft, it’s important to ensure that your site shows a level of security and trustworthiness so that you can have success with your online sales. Unless you are a well-known company with a strong reputation, you are going to have to convince your customers that you can be trusted. Thankfully, there are ways to add elements of trustworthiness to your site.
7 Things That Make Your e-commerce Site Trustworthy
- Security Badges
- Social Proof
- Fame and Recognition
- Brand Consistency
- Contact Information
- SSL Certificate
- An About Us Page
Security BadgesOne of the most obvious ways of adding trustworthiness to a site is to display your website’s security badges. By displaying some common, well-known security badges in easy to see places on your site, you affiliate your company with their reputation. Some highly trusted security logos include PayPay, Verisign, McAfee, and BBB.
Social ProofAnother way to build trust is to show visitors to your website some indication of the number of customers or accounts that have been served in the form of social proof. If you are looking to gather and display social proof you may want to start by asking for relevant testimonials and reviews from past customers. Most people want to know what others have thought of a product or business before parting with their money. Check out this video to see why social proof is so important to sales!
Fame and RecognitionThis one should be a no-brainer. If you’ve been mentioned by or gotten reviews from a well-known company, person or industry expert, make sure to quote them on your site. Any praise and acknowledgment from a known source, be it local, national or international, will help you to establish a reputation. The same is true of any awards that you may have received. These awards or mentions can easily be used by the customer to further research your company and can give your products additional value to that customer. To display your fame and recognition, you should be displaying the logos of the publications on your home page, so customers know you are legit!
Brand consistencySarah from ShopHarmot notes that brand consistency is key when trying to build trust online. Your brand should come through in "language and tone, ease of user experience, navigation, seeing the 'faces' behind the brand and content about the business." She also says you should not forget "social proof and community involvement'! Having all these things be in harmony with your brand will show customers that you are consistent and you can be trusted.
Contact InformationThis is a big one. Have you ever found yourself frustrated, clicking all over a website just trying to contact someone in a company when you’ve had a question or complaint? It sometimes seems like many companies have removed all relevant phone numbers from their sites. So do your customers, and yourself a favor and ensure that you have a clear and concise means of contact listed in at least one place on your site. If you want people to purchase your product, you need to give them the peace of mind of knowing that if they have a problem with their purchase, they will have a quick and efficient means of connecting with you to get the situation resolved.
Also, while a physical address is not a necessity, it does help in establishing your trustworthiness. A physical address shows people that there is an actual location where your business exists. If you run your business entirely from your home, and you don’t really want to provide your home address on your site, consider renting a P.O box from the post office, or get an address from your local UPS store. Making sure that your customers have a fast and easy way to contact you to build trust with your customers, as well as providing good customer service, which goes a long way to building a good reputation in general.
SSL CertificateSSL certificates encrypt a customer’s data so that it is more difficult for web criminals to steal. A lack of an SSL certificate doesn’t just put your customer and their data at risk; it can also put you, the business owner, at risk. Industry guidelines state that all online credit card transactions must be encrypted. This is especially important when it comes to e-commerce transactions. If a company is ever caught sending credit card information without the SSL certificate, they can be subject to fines, penalized, and even have their payment processes revoked. You don't want that to happen to you.
An About Us page
An easy, and sometimes fun way to build consumer trust is to create a page that specifically tells consumers about the people that work for and run your company, as well as your company’s story. Show pictures, talk about any interesting hobbies, relevant background, interests and awards. This is no different from how you would connect with someone in person if you were a shop owner and had a customer walk into your store. You want to connect with them so that they are more willing to spend their money with you.
Summing It UpShannon from EcommGuys sums it up perfectly, to make your e-commerce store trustworthy, you need "a professional design, great branding assets, and a well built & designed store. This instantly lets visitors know that your business is legitimate, and you care about your *own* appearance. After this, social proof (testimonials and reviews), guarantees for the visitor (return policy, how easy it is to contact your company, etc)" will all help build trustworthiness. Think of the type of website that you would want to buy from. It would likely include all of the things we talked about, and maybe even a few more.
Building a good site that functions well and communicates your message is a must, but gaining a consumer’s trust will go just as far as increasing your conversion rates.