chapter 47

Demonstrate Trust and Security

A major hurdle all small online retail businesses have to face when they are just starting out is getting consumers to trust doing business with them.

Demonstrating trust and security doesn't even apply just to small and medium sized ecommerce stores, but in fact impacts retailers as big as Target, whose information got hacked and resulted in compromised credit card information for over 40 million consumers. Generally, here are some common questions (based in terms of fears) consumers have with unknown online retailers:

  • Is the site secure for credit card transactions?
  • Will my data get hacked and will my personal information be in the hands of criminals?
  • Will they charge my card for more than what I agreed?
  • Will I ever see my items?
  • What if I get the wrong color, size or items? What happens then?

Generally, by stomping out these common fears you can increase your sales and build a loyal customer base. Here’s how:

Display Your SSL Certificate Badge

In this day and age it’s nearly impossible to do online commerce transactions without the use of SSL (Secure Socket Layer). SSL means that your customer’s online experience is encrypted and safe from hackers while they are shopping online. However, SSL doesn’t protect the customer’s data that you store in your website database – that’s an issue for another day. 

You can easily see if your online commerce site is using SSL by making sure that you see “https” in the URL bar during checkout.

To take full advantage of your SSL, you should display your SSL provider’s badge on your website. Simply find out what company is providing your website with SSL and look for the website badge they offer. There are various SSL and third party services that are in the business or authenticating that online stores are safe. Below are some common badges from these services, in addition to other trust companies like Norton and the Better Business Bureau:

You can test placing the SSL badge around your website to see if it increases sales. Try putting it in the checkout region of your website, or just put it somewhere visible on every page of your website.

A lot of professionals who specialize in CRO (conversion rate optimization) will perform tests where the only thing they change is the location of the SSL badge on an ecommerce website and measure the effects it has on sales. You can also perform the same test, just carefully measure your results – it’s a great habit to get into.

Provide an Awesome Return Policy

Nothing builds trust better than an awesome return policy. Zappos is the king of awesome return policies. They introduced the “Free Shipping & Free 365 Day Returns” guarantee early on in their rise to internet stardom.

Having a return policy like Zappos says to potential customers: “We believe in our service so confidently, that we know you’ll love doing business with us.” By giving your customers no reason to say no to your service, how can you not make that first sale.


Guarantees are another great way to build trust with new customers. Especially if you’re selling your own line of products. You can test making your guarantee big, bold and highly visible on your website to see if it has an effect on sales.  

Just make sure you actually honor your guarantees and that you have a solid system in place to respond to guarantee inquires.

Show Your Reviews from Review Sites

If you’re already known for stellar service and great online shopping experiences, chances are some of your customers have written positive reviews for you. 

One tactic is to place these positive reviews throughout your site to help instill trust with customers along the way. It might be the little nudge that gets customers to complete checkout more often.

Next chapter

48. Target Different Languages and Countries

3 min

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