5 Strategies to Get Customers to Trust Your Ecommerce Store

5 Strategies to Get Customers to Trust Your Ecommerce Store

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By Susan Ward

All right. You’ve got the products. You’ve got an ecommerce website with a finely tuned checkout process. But you don’t have the kind of conversion rate you would like and shopping cart abandonment is an ongoing problem. Maybe visitors to your site just don’t trust you.

While the cost of shipping and handling has long been the number one reason that people abandon shopping carts, fear also makes the list.

The increasing prevalence of phishing scams, malware, and just plain shoddy customer service makes consumers more wary with their clicks than ever before – which means that trust indicators on your website are more important than ever before. Here are five things you can do to soothe your potential customers’ fears and make them more likely to follow through and buy your products online.

1.Make it Personal

People don’t trust pages or websites. They trust people. So it’s crucial that your website has a human factor.  One way or another, you want to present your prospective customers with faces and names. Use  an about us page to present not just information about your company, but a message from your company’s Founder or President (with an accompanying photo, of course) or a Meet Our Team section (with photos and names)  - or both.

And if possible, add a personal twist to the information you provide on other sections of your website and in your marketing. Online bookseller Chapters Indigo features a Heather’s Picks section of items “specially chosen and loved” by CEO Heather Reisman. You might do a similar thing on your website or have a specific person present a deal of the day or best buy of the week. These, of course, could then be featured in your email marketing, newsletter etc.

2. Look Professional

Show that you’re a “real” company with all the things a real company would have, such as an easy way to contact the business (a fully developed contact page, not just an email form) and customer service (a fully developed customer service section on your website, including a returns policy and a FAQs section). This Future Shop Customer Support page is a great example of what a customer service section of an ecommerce website should be. I’m not saying that yours has to be this big but it does need to be as easy to navigate and present all the relevant information your customers might look for. Remember, the more complete your customer service FAQs, the more confident an online shopper will be buying one of your products.

3. Show that Others Trust You

"What others say about you and your product, service, or business is at least 1000 times more convincing than what you say, even if you are 2000 times more eloquent," says marketing guru Dan Kennedy of GKIC (Glazer-Kennedy Insider's Circle). So you want to make sure that you feature customer testimonials on your ecommerce website. Text testimonials are great but today, when YouTube reigns, video testimonials are even more powerful. Brian Tracy explains how to create video testimonials here.

Another way to “prove” that other people trust your company is by displaying the positive press about your products in an In the News section on your website. If your company has been lucky enough to be featured in some well-known media, build some immediate trustworthiness with your site visitors by displaying the logos of the media your products have been favorably mentioned in on your homepage as Shopify does. You’ll notice that the Shopify home page prominently displays customer testimonials, too, another great idea you should borrow.

4. Prove That Your Website is Secure

Today’s online shoppers are savvy people, trained to look for the additional “s” in their browser address bars, https rather than http, and padlock symbols that tells them that a website is secured – an absolute necessity for an ecommerce website.

Websites secure their servers by using secure sockets layer (SSL), a standard security protocol that encrypts data between a web server and a browser. To do this, the web server needs an SSL Certificate. Any full featured, worth-the-price ecommerce solution will provide the SSL certificate(s) you need so you can provide your customers with a secure checkout when they buy your products online. For your part, if your ecommerce solution doesn’t automatically display a notice to customers upon checkout that they are using a secure server as Shopify does, you’ll want to be sure you let your customers know your website is secure by displaying your SSL certificate symbol or a notice informing them of the fact.

5. Mitigate Customers’ Risks

Think about your ecommerce website from a potential customer’s point of view. What’s their biggest risk? That they won’t like your product – and be stuck with it and unable to get their money back. So increase the credibility of your site (and increase the chance that they’ll buy something from you) by addressing the concern up front, spelling out your shipping and returns policy. For instance, Darling Starling Gifts’ Shipping and Returns page informs customers that domestic shipping is free for orders over $50.00 and that items may be returned or exchanged within 30 days of ordering, and then goes on to explain the details of the procedure. Darling Starling also does a great job of addressing customers’ potential fears that they’re going to get slapped with high shipping charges in addition to the cost of the product(s) if they order anything. Their Shipping details state that orders $49.99 and under ship for a flat rate of $7.

And both Darling Starling’s $7.00 priority shipping and free shipping policies are visibly promoted on their home page, assuring customers of a low-risk buying experience as soon as possible.

The Bottom Line

When customers first encounter your ecommerce website, they do exactly the same thing they do when they walk into an unknown traditional storefront – look around, size up the place, and decide whether or not they trust the merchant enough to buy something from them. If you want them to buy something from your website, you need to do everything you can to make sure they find you trustworthy enough.

By Susan Ward, Writer at Small Business: Canada

19 comments

  • The eWAY Team
    The eWAY Team
    July 25 2012, 10:02PM

    This is an extremely handy guide – well done! Regarding Step 4, in addition to your SSL certificate, it’s a good idea to reassure your customers by letting them know who your payment processor is.

    If you use eWAY, you can generate a customisable site seal at http://eway.com.au/developers/resources.html.

    Kind regards,
    The eWAY Team

  • Carol
    Carol
    July 26 2012, 02:09PM

    This article is very informative and filled with useful tips! Thank you…

  • Tristan @ Eco Gadget Covers
    Tristan @ Eco Gadget Covers
    July 27 2012, 03:20AM

    Nice article – I just applied 2 of these to my store. Thanks for the tips!

  • Hector Rodriguez
    Hector Rodriguez
    July 27 2012, 09:43AM

    Really nice article. We apply this ideas in our stores

  • @Shopify Mark Hayes
    Mark Hayes
    July 27 2012, 10:34AM

    The eWAY Team: Thanks!! :-)

    Carol, Tristan, Hector: So glad you enjoyed the article. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Maritza Tirado
    Maritza Tirado
    July 29 2012, 12:41PM

    Great article! I’m applying them right now!

  • Elliot
    Elliot
    July 31 2012, 05:06AM

    How do you do stage 5. in Shopify? Free shipping over fixed order value.

    Thanks

  • <a href="http://www.drawsomethingcheat.eu>parvin akter</a>
    <a href="http://www.drawsomethingcheat.eu>parvin akter</a>
    August 14 2012, 04:00AM

    Thank you so much for the tips! I like how you said “Unless you for some reason work better when you have the TV or radio on, you should just turn it off before you start working.” I am one of those eccentric designers that CANNOT work unless there is music or, preferably, TV going on in the background. Silence or just the clicking of the mouse/keyboard just makes me too anxious and nervous. =)

  • Ramon
    Ramon
    December 26 2012, 01:05AM

    Thanks. What a good, concise and powerful advice. Extremely handy for us startups. The obvious seem to be the first things you tend to forget with all the rush from bureaucracy and ecommerce rush.

  • James Bony
    James Bony
    December 26 2012, 05:44AM

    Wow. Awesome post. It is so informative and useful tips for me. Because I am going to lunch some eCommerce sites. My previous site:
    http://hotbusiness.biz
    http://instalhost.com
    http://fizba.com
    http://newmusicvideo.org
    http://bagdk.com

  • suhana
    suhana
    April 09 2013, 09:05AM
    HI

    Today i came across this amazing new website named nupinch.com…i really think you guys should check it out..
    Link: http://bit.ly/XczfI3

  • Tram Tran
    Tram Tran
    November 06 2013, 10:39PM

    Since adding the “about us” page with photos and personal story on our store. I noticed that our conversion has slightly increases=)

  • Rupal Sathavara
    Rupal Sathavara
    March 06 2014, 08:51PM

    Get the to review the product they purchase on your store,Best if can get permission to publish their photo together with your products and nobody will doubt what you claim.Openly communicate with customers or prospects. It lets people see how you think and act before they engage with you.

  • Magento Expert
    Magento Expert
    March 21 2014, 04:00AM

    Nice one !! According to me if you sell all sorts of products without just targeting a specific niche, you might want to adopt a simple & clean design to suit the general public taste. But if you sell baby or kids products, then you might want your store to look warm, friendly and put up some cute babies photo so it’s liked by all the young parents esp the mothers!

  • ical
    ical
    April 21 2014, 10:19AM

    Great! Thank you

  • Julia Mikuta
    Julia Mikuta
    June 03 2014, 11:01AM

    Thank you for the tips, will definitely apply them to my new online store http://manknowswhy.com/
    I really want to earn trust and achieve a point of “comfortable shopping” for my customers.

  • Bianca
    Bianca
    June 26 2014, 03:16AM

    Very nice article! We applied these ideas in our new online store
    Www.evo-prod.com

  • manish
    manish
    September 17 2014, 04:53AM

    The article is really very much helpful, It provides all the details that one want. thanks

  • Usman
    Usman
    September 17 2014, 05:25AM

    i found this website really chic www.vecfashion.com
    they are using a third party payment system which looks secure. is it also a correct practice?

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