From previous research we already learned that 50% of the consumers with online internet access to do shop online due to a lack of trust. Webshops can therefor not underestimate the importance of building trust on their online store.
Consumers base their trust on several elements. Below you can find an overview of all the elements which can help you increase consumer trust.
Consumers increasingly do not only buy products and services for the features and price alone. They also look at what the company stands for. A few examples:
We also notice that the mission of the Ecommerce Foundation, to foster global digital trade, is helping connect easier with our customers (you). In short, have a mission which not only emphasis what you do but also how to make the world a better place.
“Under promise and over deliver” is when you strive for excellent customer service and satisfaction by doing more than you say. In short exceed customer expectations. There is a lot of debate going on of this strategy works or not. We all know you should not make promisses you cannot keep. But why not simply deliver what you promise?
In our view a little bit of surpricing the customer never hurts. You can do it in simple ways. In adding a small gift or card to the order, writing a personal email to the customer about what you learned by interacting with him before the sale, or simply be a little bit careful in your delivery times (better a day to early than a day to late).
Gustave Flaubert already knew the importance of being boring. If you deliver the right product or service at the right time in the right way, always, you become a reliable partner for your customers. It does not mean that your product or service has to be boring of course. But if you stick to your promisses and always fulfil them in the same way you can excell in other areas.
Being boring to a large extend has made food restaurant chains a success. You always know what to expect from a McDonalds or Starbucks, independent of if it is based on New York or Hong Kong. You get the same experience and as a result you become reliable.
A great way to build trust is by being personal. Giving people the feeling that there is are people behind your webshop gives them a feeling of control. They can contact you with questions, they know it is not a scam.
It starts with showing your contact details, but why not also show your team and a chat box? Coolblue is a company whose CEO has become the personal touch of the company. His face is not only shown in business publications but also on TV commercials, new product videos and on the thank you page after each other.
Next to being a great organization, there are several ways in which you can build trust on your own website.
It always make sense to show partners whose brands inspire trust.
Even more important than showing your partners is showing your clients. You can do this in several ways:
Consumer reviews will be discussed more in depth in the next chapter about Review Sites. What is however crucial is that you link to these sites and show you are reliable. Many review sites offer several ways to integrate their ratings into your site. Safe.Shop also offers several variants and options:
In short, show your score clearly on all pages.
Testimonials and customer cases are comparable with consumer reviews but offer more room for the customer to explain why he loves to buy from your company. There are many ways to show testimonials. You can show small testimonials on your home page, on the side on your product page and maybe even create a page with all your testimonials as part of your navigation.
Depending on your business testimonials may be more or less important. If your products and services are more expensive or have a major impact, the buyer will spend more time researching your company. Considering video testimonials, at least one for each persona you define becomes very valueble in this case.
Do not underestimate the value of social media. Many consumers check your social media channels before they buy. Adding links to your social media accounts from the footer of your website is only a first step. Why not integrate the different social media into your site? Adding social media feeds from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to your home page not only shows that you are legit, it also creates a more lively home page. Websites like Curator.io even allow you to integrate several feeds into one great overview.
First impressions do count. The visual below shows it all. Would you buy at Bath Magic? Looks a little bit scammy don't you think? Take time to invest a good design and interaction experience. Nowadays all major ecommerce platforms offer hundreds if not thousand of webshop templates which help you look professional. You can also make a decision to hire a designer to tweak the template towards your branding needs. Several freelance websites like Upworks and Freelancer allow you to find an experienced designer for your platform quickly.
In addition do not forget about content. Spelling and grammar mistakes do have an impact on the reliability of your website. Google Translate is not yet sufficient to be trusted to translate your website unfortunately so higher a professional if you really want people from other countries to buy your products and services. Also websites like Scamadviser.com will rate your website lower if the quality of your translations is insufficient.
Before people hand over their credit card or bank details they want to make sure they can contact you in case of problems. Many websites (including Amazon) hide their contact details. It costs time, money (and often frustration) to answer questions from consumers.
Companies like Zappos and Coolblue however have understand that it also creates opportunities to learn, improve and sell more! So, make it easy for consumers and show your phone number in the header of your website, add links to your email contact form and social media in your footer and maybe even support a chatbox.
You can even take an example of Baxshop which invites its customers regularly for store and warehouse visits as well as demo's and trainings.
SSL certificates used to be a great way to gain consumer trust. However since several levels of SSL certification have been introduced their value has diminished. As you now can get an SSL certificate for a few bucks without any checking if the company actually exist the perceived value has dropped. SSL certificates have more and more become hygiene factor. Consumers know that they are essential to keep communication safe but they do not tell you anything about the company.
This is where trust seals come in. Of course Safe.Shop is in the trust seal business, so we have to discuss trust seals in this article. However trust seals have proven to be a great way for consumers to check if you are reliable and to what extend your service is up to standard. Cases like HobbyGigant have prove that trust seals are an easy way to boost conversion.
In our experience it is wise to show your trust seal, together with your consumer review rating at the following positions:
Terms and Conditions, Disclaimers, Privacy Statement, Cookie pop-ups. Nobody actually likes them but you have to have them. For online store owners they are essential to set the rules of the transaction although, according to a study done by Deloitte, only 9% of the consumers actually read them.... until there is an issue. To make things worse if you sell in multilple countries you have to offer seperate documents for each country you are active in the right languages and according to the national legal frameworks.
To alleviate your headache, Safe.Shop offers a large set of legal documents at low cost in our legal document store. Many webstores also use the Global Ecommerce Code of Conduct as the basis for their legal documents. The Global Code of Conduct has been designed to give consumers an overview of their consumer rights in seconds, increasing consumer trust.
We already discussed that showing links to your social media accounts is important. However do not forget that people also search social media to check the reliability of your website. When did you look up your own online store for the last time on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? Oeps... Make sure you use a social media monitoring tool to keep ahead of how consumers are discussing your brand. Sprout Social and Hootsuite are some of the tools you could consider.
Apart from Safe.Shop and Scamadviser, there are many other consumer review sites where people can rate your company. Safe.Shop allows you to reply to consumer complaints for free while others may charge a fee for this. It is wise to keep an eye on the following most popular review sites:
We hope the list above will help you build consumer trust on your online store. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to contact us.
Source image: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-shaking-hands-862734/
''We started in the Netherlands, expanded to Belgium and Germany and now also sell in China. Ecommerce is becoming global, faster than we think. A global trustmark belongs to global expansion.''- GeertJan Smits, Managing Director Flinders