Ecommerce sites can be extremely lucrative and beneficial if you get them right. However, even if you do rank your site well, you need people to trust that the goods will be delivered before they make a purchase. Here are 5 tips that can create trust.
1. Make it Personal
Some people don't trust websites or pages. They only trust people. That's why it's important to have a website with a human factor. In some way, you must present your potential customers with names and faces.
You can use your about page to present more than just information about your company. You can include a message from your company's President or Founder, with an accompanying photo. Or, you can include a Meet Our Team section, with names and photos.
If possible, you can add a personal twist to the personal information provided on the other website sections and your marketing material. Chapters Indigo, an online bookseller features items CEO Heather Reisman specifically chose for a section called Heather's Picks.
You can do something like this on your website. You can also have a person from your company present the best buy of the week or the deal of the day. These can be featured in your newsletter or as part of an email marketing campaign.
2. Look Professional
You want to show potential customers that you're a "real" company by showing that you have the things a real company should have. You can start by including contact information in the form of a fully-developed contact page instead of an email form. It may also include a fully developed customer service section including a FAQ section, and a returns policy statement.
Your customer support content needs to present all of the relevant information to the customer on an easy-to-navigate page.
It's important to remember that the more complete a FAQs page is, the more confidence an online shopper will feel when buying a product. Having someone to take calls can also help. If you can't afford someone then perhaps hiring a quality virtual receptionist service can help.
3. Show them That Others Trust You
According to marketing guru Dan Kennedy of Glazer-Kennedy Insider's Circle (GKIC), what other people say about your business, service, or product is 1,000 times more convincing than anything you say about it, even if what you say is 2,000 times more eloquent.
Make sure you feature customer testimonials on your website. While text testimonials are great, video testimonials are more powerful and believable.
Another way to "prove" that you've earned the trust of other people is by displaying positive press about your services or products. You can create an In the News section on your website. If your company has been featured in any well-known media, you can instantly build credibility and gain the trust of site visitors by displaying the company logos of the media companies that have favorably mentioned your product.
4. Prove Your Website is Secure
Online shoppers are savvy people. They are trained to look for the "s" at the end of the HTTP in their browser address bar. They know that the https and the padlock symbol mean that the website they're on is secure. That's a must for an e-commerce site.
Web sites are secured by using secure socket layer (SSL), which is the standard security protocol for servers. SSL encrypts data between the browser and web server. In order to do this, the server needs to have an SSL certificate.
BannerView.com provides the ability to use a shared certificate, can install third party certificates or register a SSL certificate on your behalf. A fully-featured e-commerce solution means having your own SSL certificate. While still secure, it's recommended to have your own SSL certificate versus using the provided shared certificate to build additional trust with customers. This allows you to provide a secure and professionally branded checkout experience to your customers when they buy your products online.
Additional trust can be added by displaying a notice informing them that they are on a secure server or by displaying the SSL certificate symbol. Many times, certificate issuers will provide an official looking symbol to display.
5. Mitigate Customers' Risks
When creating your e-commerce site, you should look at it from your potential customer's point of view. What is their biggest risk? For many people, it's being stuck with a product they don't want and not being able to get their money back.
You can increase your site's credibility and improve the possibility of a person buying something by addressing their concerns up front. Spell out your shipping and returns policy within your customer service section or have a dedicated shipping and returns page.
Darling Starling Gifts has a Shipping and Returns page where they inform customers of their shipping policies. They explain the details of their special shipping policy which offers free domestic shipping on orders over $50. They also tell potential customers that they can exchange or return an item within 30 days of ordering. The page provides details about each policy item.
Darling Starling does a great job of addressing their potential customers' fears. A person ordering from them knows they won't get slapped with a hefty shipping charge if they place an order. The page explains to them that if their order is under $50, there is a flat rate shipping charge of $7. This leaves no room for confusion.
Darling Starling does not just list their shopping policy on the Shipping and Returns page. The $7 priority shipping and free shipping offers are promoted on the site's homepage. This assures customers know this is a low-risk buying experience.
The Bottom Line
When a customer comes across your e-commerce site, they do the same thing they do when they encounter an unknown storefront. They may look around to size up the place. If they like what they see they may decide to trust the merchant and buy something. If you want a customer to buy things from your website, you need to make sure you're doing everything possible to make sure they find you and your business trustworthy.
Cormac Reynolds is director of My Online Marketer and has written for a variety of tech, business and marketing blogs in his time. He has worked full time in the marketing industry since 2011 and in that time has worked with a variety of great companies of all sizes.
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