One of the most significant hurdles to overcome when you’re doing business online is instilling trust in shoppers. Think about it; your site is one of literally a billion out there. Straightforward people intent upon providing a valuable product or service in exchange for a fair profit operate some. People more interested in making a quick buck than building long-term relationships operate others.
Consumers have to try to sort the good from the bad to get the best deals they can for the money they have to spend. To accomplish this, one of the first things they try to determine is whether your site (actually you) can be trusted.
Here are five things they’re looking for.
When a visitor lands on your site for the first time, does it say you’ve put some effort into presenting your wares in a pleasing manner? Is your navigation scheme easy to figure out? Is your branding readily evident? Is your photography informative and appealing? Is your copy written well and free of typographical, syntax and punctuation errors? Do your logo, tagline and overall look accurately reflect the values of your key demographic? All of these are easy to accomplish with the application of a bit of concern. You can even create a free logo online.
Does your site make it easy to get in touch with you for questions, comments and most importantly—complaints and returns? Too many sites send users on a scavenger hunt to find the owner’s contact information. This tends to give users reason to believe you’re trying to hide from them. A dedicated customer service phone number, email address and instant chat function go a long way toward inspiring confidence in shoppers. Your goal should be to let them know you’ll be there if something goes sideways to do what’s required to put the situation right.
- Peer Validation
Positive reviews by prior customers can assuage concerns by shoppers regarding your veracity. Research has proven time and time again word of mouth is the single best form of advertising. When you feature testimonials (ideally accompanied by photos of the person using the product) people feel more confident they will have a similar result.
- Clear Returns Policy
Being up front about your returns policy lets individuals decide whether they want to continue with the transaction or find a seller with more favorable terms. Either way, being clear about this instills trust in the user. Now, for the record, trying to do business online with a “no returns” policy is pretty much shooting yourself in the foot. If you’re confident in your product and have done everything you can to help a shopper make an informed decision, you should have nothing to fear in that regard.
- Thorough and Accurate Product Descriptions
Here, you have to be careful to provide just enough information to satisfy questions shoppers might have, while avoiding giving them so much information they fall victim to paralysis by analysis. Pictures can be very helpful in this regard. Sharply focused, highly detailed images help buyers determine the product will fulfill their needs. Where appropriate, you should also include size information, dimensions and show every permutation of the product if it comes in different finishes, colors and the like. The more relevant information you provide, the better the customer feels about making the purchase.
These five elements are very significant when it comes to instilling trust in shoppers. Providing solid information in a format with which they feel comfortable is a great start. Going on to ensure you’re easy to reach and they know what expect from the product and the process gets you the rest of the way there. By and large, when it coms to trust, people just want to know they’ll be taken care of if something goes wrong.