Have you ever been to a website or online store where you wanted to purchase something, but you were second guessing whether the site was legit or not? This is the absolute worth thing an online business or brand can be associated with — not having the full trust and confidence from their audience. Not only will this destroy your conversions and sales, it’s also just bad for business and the overall brand and reputation of your business.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to improve a would-be customer’s experience on your site and allow them to complete their purchase with ease. Some of the most common ways to accomplish this are, to have a fast loading website, display trust badges through your site, have a short and sweet checkout process and also using customer reviews and testimonials to further gain trust from your audience.
Today we are going to walk through the many steps of what it takes to build a trustworthy e-commerce site, while also gaining business from your site audience. To make this a much easier to follow and visual process, we are going to use the “Road Map for a Trustworthy E-Commerce Website” infographic (shown below) from KissMetrics. Along the way, I’ll also be sharing plenty of additional ideas and reference links as well to help with this process.
Let’s get started!
Road Map for a Trustworthy E-Commerce Website
Every time a visitor comes to your website or online store, it’s a new opportunity for a sale or transaction to take place. Without the proper introduction or content in place, the relationship won’t be able to move forward. Some of the most obvious things that need to take place during this initial visit are a professional looking site design, SSL certificates in place, trusted payment methods, and also having FAQs and contact information readily available on your site. This is all key, as more than half of the world’s shopping and purchase made are now done online.
If you came across this article in the search results because you are looking for guidance on building an ecommerce site, good news, as there are plenty of options to choose from. Website and ecommerce solutions like Shopify make the process of going live with an online store quite easy. While more customized solutions like WordPress also offer the tools, themes, and integrations to get started as well. No matter what option you choose, just be sure to implement each of the trustworthy tips and methods we are about to discuss below.
Now for all of this to actually happen, you must have a checklist of actions to take, and the follow-through to act on them. This resource guide and infographic below will help walk you through all of these steps, while also keeping your focus on point at all times.
1 – When They First Hear About You
As mentioned earlier, the most important time to gain the trust of your audience is when they fist hit your site. Most people will be hesitant to buy online in the first place, so you want to make the process as easy and trusting for them as possible. Here are a few quick tips for how to best accomplish this.
- Mention the total number of orders shipped from your site. Include customer service hours on all pages.
- List the best phone numbers for contact and support. Mention how many customers your site has served.
- Use a solid and professional domain name. Include “Trusted since XXXX” in your logo or design.
- If you’re a verified seller of a brand, include this fact.
- If you take Paypal as a payment, be sure to mention it throughout your site.
- If you’ve been quoted or featured on a credible publication, show it to your audience.
- If you’re on Stella Service, mention your ranking and a link to your profile page.
Not all of these methods will apply to every business, brand or e-commerce, however, adding the ones that do can greatly improve trust, engagement and overall conversions for your online store.
1 – When They Enter and Browse Your Website
Most site visitors aren’t going to make a purchase they first time they visit your site. However, they will remember the experience and price of purchase for when they are ready to complete the transaction. Here are a few useful tips to help gain the trust of your audience, by making their time on your site the most enjoyable as possible.
- IMAGERY – Use only the highest of quality images on your e-commerce site.
- REVIEWS – Highlight reviews from other people that have shopped on your site.
- TESTIMONIALS – If you are going to use customer testimonials, be sure to provide a real photo with it. Also get creative by adding Twitter and social media updates from shopping on their experience while at your site.
- CONTACT – Make your contact info clear and easy to find. No one wants to purchase from a site that hides their contact or support information.
- POLICIES – If your site has a specific return policy, make sure it’s visible to all audiences.
- THOUGHT LEADER – Offer additional value and customer experience by adding a blog to your site.
- ABOUT / STAFF – Seeing the real people behind an online store or brand is important. Also be sure to include real photos and the story behind each individual.
- CREDIBILITY – If you’re a member of the BBB post your grade on your website for all to see. This is a huge trust factor contributor.
- LIVE CHAT – Build a relationship and gain trust with your audience by adding a live chat feature to your site.
The actual site experience your site visitors will have, is one of the most important factors in gaining trust and also resulting in further sales. Not all of these design options might fit within your e-commerce budget, but be sure to fit in as many as you can.
1 – When They Put the Items in the Cart
It’s not enough to get your audience to add items to the shopping cart, they also need to complete and pay for their purchase as well. Shopping cart abandonment is something many of the largest e-tailers in the world continually struggle with. Be sure to implement these tips to help improve the checkout process.
- Get an SSL certificate to make sure you have the trusted HTTPS at the begging of your site URL
- List the contact and support phone numbers at the top of the page
- Mention the number of items currently in the visitors shopping cart
- Show where your shipping facility is, as some people like to know where products are from
- Show a delivery date and not just the shipping date
- Security badges like McAfee Secure or Verisign and big trust indicators
Of all the components on your e-commerce site, the checkout page and process is definitely the most important. Be sure to implement each of these methods into your site and watch conversion soar across the board.
If you already have an existing online store or ecommerce business, we sure to check out these holiday sales tips and also where e-commerce and online shopping is headed in the coming years. Each of these resources will provide you with the necessary tools and resources for the coming months and years ahead.