No matter what kind of business you have, consumer trust is essential. If people don’t trust your brand, there’s no way that you can make any money since no one will be willing to buy from you. However, trust is even more vital for e-commerce companies since customers can’t walk through a physical storefront to browse the products. Fortunately, various tools and website elements can help e-commerce brands establish trust in their visitors.
According to research, the top reasons why a customer will trust an online brand include:
- Price – 65 percent of respondents said they value price points to tell whether an e-commerce store is legitimate.
- Reviews – Over half (53 percent) of users rely on customer reviews.
- Brand Values – 43 percent of people want to shop at online stores that align with their own values.
- Company Size – As a rule, larger companies tend to fare better, but only 21 percent of respondents say that this factor affects how much they trust an online retailer.
If you’re an e-commerce store, you need to know how to utilize this data to your advantage. Since trust is a cornerstone of a high conversion rate, it’s too valuable to ignore. So, let’s break down the top seven ways to build trust in your customers.
Make a Good First Impression
As the saying goes, you don’t get a second chance at a first impression. So, when visitors come to your website, will they be impressed by what they see, or will they want to head to a competitor? When it comes to capturing your audience’s attention, be sure to invest in these components:
- Logo – Your company needs a polished and compelling logo to show customers that you’re reliable and professional, and it’s also part of establishing your brand identity. Fortunately, using an online logo generator empower you to develop a brand identity without having to shell out a ton of cash.
- Color Scheme – The colors you use can convey various emotions, so you need to ensure that they align with your brand. For example, red can symbolize passion and hunger, while blue is more calming. The colors should also match the types of products you sell to compel visitors to buy them.
- Simple Layouts – Cluttered e-commerce stores can be too overwhelming to be appealing to most customers. Make sure that your pages are streamlined and consistent across the site. You can use a heatmaps tool to see what spots visitors pay attention to the most and then adjust your layout accordingly.
Use Trust Seals and Security Certificates
A significant reason why trust matters so much for e-commerce retailers is that customers need to submit their financial information. With cyberattacks and data breaches so prevalent in the news, many consumers are wary of sites that seem insecure and prone to hackers. One easy way to alleviate these concerns is to include trust seals and security certificates on your pages.
The top three most-recognized trust badges are McAfee, PayPal, and VeriSign, but there are many other available options. When choosing a security option, make sure to research it and verify whether the brand specializes in e-commerce sales or not. You can also look at other high-profile sites to see which badges and certificates they use.
Although you should utilize trust seals across your website, they matter most on the checkout page. Before customers enter their credit card information, they want to ensure that their data will be safe. Otherwise, they’ll wind up abandoning their cart. Up to 15 percent of users don’t complete a purchase because of concerns about payment safety.
Make it Easy to Contact You
When customers walk into a storefront, they can track down an employee if they have a question. Since online retailers don’t have that luxury, they have to rely on other tools to replicate this experience. If you make it hard for customers to contact you, they won’t trust you with their money. Here are some tips on how to make it easier for visitors to get in touch:
- Chatbots – AI bots can answer simple questions with pre-programmed responses. Then, if a customer needs more information, the bot can send them to a customer service representative. Chatbots are helpful because they’re available 24/7.
- Email Submission Form – Instead of having customers copy and paste an email address, it’s often better to use a form. This way, it’s easier for users to submit a question since they don’t have to leave the site. You can also customize the form to allow customers to pick from different categories. Doing this makes it easier for your team to respond since they’ll know what it’s about before reading the message.
- Phone Number – Did you know that 60 percent of customers prefer to call a business than email it? While it can be expensive to maintain a customer service phone line, having one will build immediate trust. Be sure to utilize automated phone menus to segment callers so that you can streamline the entire process.
Add Product Reviews and Testimonials
As we mentioned, over half of all online shoppers rely on customer reviews and testimonials to determine whether or not to trust an e-commerce business. Even if you’re still new to the industry, you should solicit as many reviews as possible from all of your customers. Some of the top review sites include:
- Google Reviews – Be sure to manage your Google My Business (GMB) page so that you can respond to reviews, both positive and negative.
- Better Business Bureau – The BBB is a reputable organization that monitors how well a business addresses complaints and customer issues. If your site is in good standing, you can use the BBB logo as another trust badge.
- Trustpilot – This company allows businesses to have a bit more control over their reviews and post them as testimonials on their site. As with BBB, you can use the Trustpilot logo as a badge to show customers that you’re a reliable business.
Stay Active on Social Media
Because social media platforms are free to use, you should utilize them as much as possible. Staying active on these sites allows you to promote your business and enable customers to see behind the scenes. As users get to know your business, they’re more willing to trust it. Over time, posting and engaging on social media can also build loyalty among your audience, which will translate into a more robust bottom line.
Ideally, you can incorporate social posts into your website with an updated feed that draws from platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You can also allow customers to share their purchases on their own profiles as a way to promote your products. Social media integration makes it easier to turn customers into brand ambassadors.
Show Off Your Products
One substantial challenge of online shopping is that customers can’t inspect an item in person. So, you have to provide as many photos and product details as possible. If you only have one or two images per item, it’s hard for customers to trust that they’re buying a high-quality product. Whenever possible, be sure to include the following elements for each listing:
- In-Use Photos – Images of people using the product are much more compelling than a shot of the item itself.
- Dimensions and Scale – Highlight each item’s size with exact measurements and, when possible, show how big it is in comparison to something else.
- Product Videos – Video content is much more compelling than any still image. These clips can also show customers how to use a product more effectively.
Up to 40 percent of online shoppers will abandon their carts because of an unexpected shipping cost. So, to avoid this problem, you need to be upfront about all fees and surcharges before a customer enters their information or sets up an account. Transparency is an excellent trait for e-commerce stores because it eliminates any surprises that might derail a transaction. The principal elements to be upfront about include:
- Shipping Fees – Be sure to highlight free shipping for specific orders (e.g., all orders over $50).
- Delivery Schedule – How soon can customers expect their product(s) to arrive?
- Returns and Exchanges – What options do customers have if they don’t like what they bought?
- Product Guarantees – These guarantees can come from either your site or a manufacturer (i.e., a two-year warranty on parts).
Bonus Tip: Offer Incentives and Rewards
Since product pricing is the main factor that affects consumer trust, you can use that information to your advantage. Incentives are not only an excellent way to build confidence in your audience, but they’re also an excellent promotional tool. Some examples of e-commerce incentives can include:
- New Customer Discounts – Perhaps users can get 10 or 15 percent off their first order if it meets a specific amount (e.g., $25).
- Free Shipping – Most online shoppers prefer free shipping and will spend a little extra to avoid this fee. You might offer this incentive for order minimums or specific types of products.
- Free Extras – You can bundle accessories and other items with various purchases to make them more enticing.
As you build trust for your e-commerce business, you’ll notice a stronger, more reliable bottom line. Using these tips ensures that you can stand out from the competition and have better customer satisfaction. Happy selling!