Cybercrime has been growing exponentially over the past twenty years. Since 2000, the Internet Crime Complaint Center has observed annual financial losses from cybercrimes rise from $17.8 million to $4.2 billion. This concerning trend increases distrust amongst consumers, who become wary of paying for goods online from brands they are unfamiliar with. One of the most effective ways for merchants to combat this is through ecommerce store optimisation.
In essence, this strategy is about using clear trust signals to demonstrate your store’s honesty and integrity. If done correctly, it is an effective way of building confidence in your brand. This will encourage consumers to patronize your store, thus improving your conversion rates.
The following article highlights steps you can take to build trust among your customers.
Get an SSL Certificate for Your Website
One of the most impactful ways of signalling your site’s trustworthiness is having a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. This is a digital certificate which authenticates the website and enables secure, encrypted communication with site visitors. Importantly, websites with SSL certificates have the HTTPS prefix to their URL. They also have a padlock icon next to their website’s address, indicating robust security.
Additionally, Google Chrome displays a “Not Secure” message on websites that don’t have SSL certificates, which can be extremely damaging to your efforts of building customer trust with customers.
Adhere to Usability & Accessibility Principles
A more complex, but no less important, way of signalling trust relates to how you approach ecommerce website design. Crucially, this must be done according to the principles of usability and accessibility. The first of these is that consumers will only trust what they can understand. So, it’s important to offer translation features, use understandable language, and undertake comprehensive user research.
The second principle is to provide clear messaging. For instance, ensure that your pricing and policies are clearly stated and prominently placed. As you build your website, stay abreast of best practice with regards to principles of usability and use these to guide your site’s development.
Develop a Professional, Visually Appealing Website
Sticking with the topic of ecommerce web design, it’s also wise to give your site a professional and attractive look. Research has found that around 46% of consumers feel that a site’s credibility is directly linked to how appealing and professional it looks.
In short, high quality, attractive web design conveys authenticity and legitimacy. Conversely, cheap, unprofessional looking websites are likely to have potential customers turning away.
Provide Social Proof Through Customer Reviews
User reviews are extremely potent signals of trustworthiness and ecommerce website authority. A recent survey found that 94% of respondents were more likely to use a business if it had positive reviews. These are so effective because they provide consumers with social proof of your products’ quality.
To gain the most out of social proofing, place reviews on your product pages, category pages, homepage, and checkout. Every ecommerce platform will have apps available that can help you with this.
Clearly Display Trust Badges & Certificates
When a restaurant displays a hygiene certificate, it increases the chances that you’ll eat there. Likewise, when you display awards that your business has won, it instils confidence amongst prospective customers.
If you have gained any certificates or badges from third parties, they should be strategically displayed on your website. It is a powerful way of signalling your trustworthiness and highlighting the quality of your products or services.
Write Precise, Enticing Product Information
By providing your customers with precise and detailed product descriptions, you’ll be empowering them to make informed decisions. Images can only convey so much information about a product. Customers need to know things like a product’s dimensions and materials, which might not be apparent in a picture.
Offering these details will answer any questions that customers might have. This not only helps to deliver a better user experience, it also builds trust in your brand.
Present Clear Contact Information and a Physical Address
Another simple way of building trust in an ecommerce store is by making it easy for customers to contact you. Doing so sends a clear signal that a customer can speak to an actual person if they want to. It humanises your business, reassuring customers that they’re not dealing with the standard automated online store that wants to limit interactions to save costs.
The addition of a physical address demonstrates that you genuinely exist in the real world and aren’t part of a growing crop of scam websites.
Offer Post-Sale Support
Offering customers post-sale support is a great way for ecommerce websites to build both trust and customer loyalty. You should consider making a sale to be the start of a relationship with a customer rather than the end.
To achieve this, use ongoing communication such as product tracking, email or SMS notifications, and delivery confirmations. It’s also important to enable customers to ask any post-sale questions they might have about purchases.
In addition to this, implement a reasonable and comprehensive returns policy. If customers have any issues with their product, make sure that their money or a replacement is provided expeditiously. Great customer service in this regard is an effective way of building trust and loyalty.
Be Consistent with Brand Values & Communications
Whether you’re a small, medium-sized or large business, it’s important to develop clear brand values. Also, spend some time developing internal communications around these values so that the entire team understands what your organisation stands for.
In so doing, you’ll empower employees to consistently represent your values internally and when dealing with all other external company stakeholders. In the long run, this consistency is what will lead to the kind of trust that facilitates business growth.
Building trust should be an eCommerce merchant’s chief principle when trying to improve conversion rates. Potential customers who doubt your credibility are highly unlikely to buy through your website. Similarly, existing customers whose level of trust starts to diminish because of bad experiences will likely turn to your competitors to meet their needs.
Work hard to present a trustworthy brand and will be well on your way to instilling confidence and developing long-lasting customer relationships. It’s important to note, however, that trust is not a one-time or short-term process. You need to constantly work on nurturing it for as long as you want customers to buy your products.
For peace of mind that you’re approaching this process correctly, speak to the eCommerce development experts at Vsourz. Our team of specialists has years of experience in building trust for eCommerce brands. Get in touch today to discuss your needs.