With Black Friday weekend within reaching distance, we wanted to close out our holiday series with a final piece on how to ensure that your website instils trust in your website.

The success of an eCommerce business depends on trust. Specifically, whether or not visitors to your site believe in the authenticity and trustworthiness of your business.

Online consumers don’t get to interact with you in the same tangible way as they do with a traditional bricks and mortar retailer, and this can be problematic. While more and more consumers are switching to online shopping, online retailers face an uphill battle to make their websites trusted.

The prevalence of phishing scams, malware and poor customer service have made customers warier than ever before. This means you have to work hard to turn visits into converts.

With the big weekend looming, we’ve accumulated the best strategies to instil trust in your online customers. To do this, we’ve worked through every touch-point your customers experience in the buying journey and showcased the most impactful trust signals that will influence a purchase decision.

When they first hear about you (Touch-point 1)

Your advertising campaigns are one way to improve trustworthiness. Take a look at the campaigns you are running. Do the ads you’re displaying appear trustworthy? An ad can help your customers to better trust your brand before they ever arrive on your site. Check that you have included the following trust signals:

  • A solid domain name
  • Contact details
  • Details of accepted payment methods
  • Shipping details including cost
  • How many customers you have served
  • Testimonials or customer reviews

When they arrive on your website (Touch-point 2)

When customers land on your site (on whatever page that might be) you need to work on reassuring visitors that they can trust your site. You should ensure that you have included the following elements:

  • High quality imagery: Display large, high quality images with multiple angles and viewpoints
  • Product features: Provide pertinent information that’s relevant to the product including measurements, description and materials
  • Reviews: Display customer reviews of each product clearly. It’s a leap of faith buying a product online, showing visitors that previous buyers were happy with what they received can ease doubts.
  • Contact details: Your contact information should be clearly signposted at every step of the buyer’s journey.
  • Returns policy: Make your returns policy visible on every webpage so that customers feel more comfortable buying from you
  • About: People trust people not companies. Include photos of your staff, information about how, when and why your company got started. Don’t be afraid to show your personality!

When they add to shopping cart (Touch-point 3)trust-badges

Once customers have added items to their shopping cart, they’re close to putting in their card details and becoming a customer. But even at this point, there’s so much that can cause them to lose faith in their decision…and in you. Display these trust signals at this stage:

  • Show a delivery date: Tell them when they can expect to receive their items
  • Summarise their order: Show them how many items they’ve ordered and ideally include a photo list of what they’ve chosen
  • SSL Cert: Get an SSL certificate to make sure you have https and reassure customers with that coveted green lock
  • Display security badges: Trust badges like Verisign and McAfee increase buyer’s confidence in your site.
  • Change the title of your checkout to read “Secure checkout”: In a very subtle way this will remind your customers
  • Display logos of trusted payment partners: Customers know and trust Visa and MasterCard
  • Display security badges: Trust badges like Verisign and McAfee increase buyer’s confidence in your site.

When they reach the payment stage (Touch-point 4)

The payment stage might be one of the last pieces of the puzzle but it’s also the journey stage that represents the greatest risk. Prospective customers must now hand over their personal details in addition to their hard-earned cash. Understanding how you can make this less of a risk and more of a positive experience can mean the difference between an abandoned cart and a completed shopping cart.

Realex Payments helps your business remain trustworthy and secure throughout the payment process by:

  • Accepting all major and recognisable payment methods; displaying Visa & MasterCard icons instils trust in customers
  • A payment page that’s completely customisable; no noticeable redirect or no change in branding which could potentially confuse or cause concern for customers
  • 3D Secure enabled: While much has been said about 3D secure, it is an important trust signal and security feature, particularly for high value orders. Customers know it, and they trust it.
  • PCI DSS Compliance: We can’t stress this one enough, proving to your customers that you’re compliant with the latest PCI DSS standards is not only a requirement if you handle card transactions but it’s also crucial to your overall security strategy. Clearly displaying that you’re PCI DSS compliant to the latest standard signals to a potential buyer, that they can trust you with their sensitive details.

Aftermailbox-trust-blog they’ve ordered (Touch-point 5)

If you want your customers to return again and again, you can’t neglect any stage of the buyer’s journey. This includes the all-important stage just after they’ve ordered. At this stage:

  • Let them know it’s on the way: In addition to sending them an email saying that you have received their order, send them an email when their order has been dispatched.
  • Give them a tracking order: The ability to track an order means that your customers won’t have to worry about where their order is and when it should arrive.
  • Don’t neglect customer service: This is not the stage to neglect your customers. If you want customers to become loyal advocates, now is the time to nurture them. Be upfront about how they can get in touch and answer any questions they might have.

This isn’t a finite list. There’s a myriad of ways to establish and build trust with your online customer base. However, looking at the various touch-points of the buyer’s journey is a good place to start. If you can showcase your authenticity and reliability as a business at each stage, you stand a very good chance of success!

Our team of experts have accumulated a lot of insider knowledge over the years and wanted to find an engaging way to share it with our audience. With this in mind, we have created our eCommerce best practice site, Checkout Hero. With regular updates and lots of practical tips, it’s a must for any eCommerce merchant.

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