Developing consumer trust in your product is one of the hardest parts of establishing an e-commerce brand. The internet is filled with products for sale, and to say the least, it’s a mixed bag. E-commerce sites range from great products with excellent service to poor-quality, misleading products or even outright scams.
New brands must be mindful that many customers have been burnt before and are naturally suspicious when shopping on a new site. You don’t have the advantage of brick-and-mortar stores where people can visit in person, hold the product in their hands, and talk to actual people.
Instead, you have to find ways to develop trust through your online presence alone. Listed below are five tips to help.
1. Creating a safe and secure payment process
The goal of gaining customer trust is to convert site visitors into sales, and that requires people to provide their payment details. Therefore, you must make the payment process safe, secure, and trustworthy for new customers visiting your site.
While they may be willing to risk receiving a poor-quality product and going through a returns process, they will run away fast if they think there’s a chance of their personal data or credit card information getting stolen.
You can create customer trust in your payment process by using a popular and known payment service provider (PSP) or shopping cart software. These typically come with multiple payment options and trust seals or guarantees to enhance customer trust.
Multiple payment options help show you’re a legitimate operation, with the added bonus of allowing customers to pay using their preferred method.
While we are focusing on improving customer trust, gaining trust from your vendors and suppliers is also essential. Modern companies typically use a comprehensive bill payment platform to stay on top of their accounts payable. These offer a simple and secure way of automating bill payments and often come with additional features to combine or split payments, helping you optimize your cash flow.
2. Professional web design
Poorly designed websites increase distrust among consumers. This includes the look and feel of the site as well as the following:
Your site needs to be well-organized and easy to use. Visitors who struggle to navigate your site and find what they’re looking for may not take your company seriously. E-commerce brands need to create the best user experience possible, presenting products in a well-organized manner with accurate and up-to-date information.
Out-of-date information, broken links, slow loading times, poorly written copy, and low-resolution images all give the impression that a site is not cared for or run by a serious business. Running a website is a constant process. You must continually optimize the site, ensuring it performs at a high level.
Your website needs to be safe for customers to use. At a bare minimum, this should include a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate indicated by the “s” in “https” at the start of the URL and the padlock icon next to the URL. SSL certification authenticates a website’s identity and lets users know any communication or data passed from their browser to the website’s server is encrypted. Even if most people using the web don’t know the specifics of what an SSL certificate is, if they visit your website and their browser warns them the site is not secure, they are unlikely to want to spend money there.
3. Get customers to see the people, not just the brand
Customers trust people before brands. An excellent way to increase consumer trust is to reveal the people behind your business. You can do this with a detailed “about us” page showing you and your employees. Customers will trust you more if they have faces and names to refer to rather than just a characterless corporate entity.
You can also provide clear links to your company’s social media accounts, adding more legitimacy to your business. Additionally, you should show visitors any positive reviews from previous customers on your site or, even better, on your social media channels. Great word of mouth on social media helps customers see feedback from real people rather than just a name on a website or an anonymous 5-star review.
Finally, use direct human language rather than corporate sales speak when interacting with your customers. Try to personalize every interaction rather than providing copy-and-paste responses to each inquiry.
4. Put time and effort into your customer service
This brings us to another vital factor for boosting trust in your company – great customer service. Nothing shows customers they can trust you more than going above and beyond on service.
While technology is being integrated further into customer service with the use of automated chatbots and email responses, many people prefer speaking to a real person. A great way to increase consumer trust is by giving them a real person to talk to or chat with when they have questions or want to clear up any issues.
While you can’t recreate the in-person experience online, you can try your best to give them someone polite and knowledgeable to talk to if they need help.
5. Highlight your returns policy
Returns are crucial to customer trust, especially for newer brands that don’t have the recognition or reputation of established names. Someone thinking about trying your products for the first time is more likely to purchase if they know you offer returns. They can always get their money back if they aren’t happy with the product.
Position your returns policies clearly on your site to let people know they can try your products risk-free.
Trust is fundamental to sales conversions
When starting out, you need to work hard to differentiate yourself from the bad actors and find ways to develop customer trust. First impressions are critical; you only get to launch your product once. So take the time to consider consumer trust and how you will prove your company’s legitimacy to new customers.