Building trust on an E-commerce website is the most important aspect of the website design process. Today’s internet users are tech-savvy and price-sensitive. They usually consult various other platforms including Amazon.com to read reviews and to find out more about alternative brands before making a purchase. This so-called "customer journey" might take days, weeks and sometimes even months. During that time, the prospective client will have visited your online store and your social media sites a few times. However, unless your site quickly creates trust, your clients won’t feel comfortable placing an order by entering their personal data such as their credit card or address details. If you go through our below list of eight simple ways to build trust we can assure improved your conversion rates and consequently higher sales.
1. Webpage Design
First things first: Your webpage won’t show any good results unless you make sure you have covered the basics: an appealing web-design, well-written copy and professional photography. In terms of web-page design, we highly recommend going with one of the Ecommerce software such as Shopify, Squarespace or WooCommerce. All of them offer beautiful, free, mobile-friendly templates and help you create a webpage in no time. Having good (ideally SEO-optimized) copy is another important factor. If writing copy is not one of your strengths, just search one of the multiple freelance sites (Fiverr, Upwork, etc.) and get in touch with someone who can do the job for you. In terms of images, try to use as many authentic images as possible. However, if you are a young brand just getting started we recommend using one of the free stock photography sites. Some of the best free sites we know are Pexels and Unsplash. If you would like to stay away from free-stock images and don’t mind paying a small fee for images check out Shutterstock. They have a huge collection of unique images of all sorts of occasions. Last but not least, never forget to optimise your webpage for speed: Use free services such as Google Pagespeed, GTMextrix and Pingdom to see how well your site is performing. If you see that your website needs optimization work, some of these tools will give your concrete suggestions.
2. Contact Details
This is a no-brainer and one of the simplest way to instantly build trust: Make sure you place all of your contact information including phone number, email and physical address very prominently on your webpage. It shows visitors that you are available if they need help with any issues. Our suggestion: Include a “Contact Us” or “About Us” page to provide information. In order of importance include the following: email address, business address, phone number and chat. As a matter of fact, some of the options are even demanded by law in some countries. We would say, the more contact options you provide, the better. In terms of the phone number: Ideally, you provide a Toll-Free number for customer queries. If not possible or desired, use at least a local phone number. In terms of “Live Chat”, we’ve seen various start-ups in the past 12 months, offering great integration services with many webpages: Some of our favourites are Olark, Zendesk, Clickdesk and Chatra. These types of software can easily be installed and would be ready to go in no time.
3. Security Symbols
We live in an age of constant new cyber threats: Phishing attacks & ransomware, IOT-hacks and the likes will surely continue to be part of our vocabulary in the years to come. Reason enough to make your site is secure for your users. The easiest way to do this is to encrypt your website. Encryption is when it protects anything that site users submit through the web and it helps to prevent security threats such as man-in-the-middle attacks and eavesdropping. Encryption also replaces your site protocol "http://" with "https://" ("s" for secure). We were very happy when Shopify announced in late 2016, that all websites built with Shopify would by default be SSL-encrypted. Chapeau! In addition, you may want to install an app by McAfee, a global computer security software company, which easily integrates with your Shopify site. It shows visitors your online store is safe by displaying the McAfee SECURE trust-mark. They do this by scanning your site for malware, viruses, and other malicious activities. In short, it will help increase sales and conversions by reminding visitors that your site is part of the SECURE web.
4. Free Shipping & Returns
Return rates in particular for fashion items remains very high. And as long as no new technology is introduced the sizing problem with continue to exist as recently adequately described in this TIME magazine article. Most companies including European fashion behemoth Zalando and the world's biggest E-commerce marketplace, Amazon, have long offered free shipping and returns. And since companies such as Zalando and Amazon continue to increase their market share, customers, in particular, younger ones, get accustomed to these perks. In other words, if your online store does not offer “Free Shipping & Returns” then your store will have a disadvantage. Our recommendation: Set your SRP in such a manner so that it compensates for shipping and potential return shipping costs. The truth is that many potential clients are turned off by high shipping rates. In addition, publish a Refund Policy on your site. A Refund Policy states how many days a customer has the right to return the products and the terms for this. If you have - for example - a 30-day-money-back guarantee, say so boldly on your webpage. Remember it’s all about creating trust and providing the security to issue a full refund and a “no-questions-asked” policy will go a long way.
5. Localized webpages
As outlined in one of our other blogs, we believe it’s extremely important to create localised webpages if you plan to appeal to a global audience. Many Ecommerce studies show that by not having localised webpage you lose out on a lot of business. If you want to have a quick fix you can use translation apps such as the one offered by Langify, Panda or WeGlot which are all offered on the Shopify App Store. If you don’t mind investing a bit more time and money, we highly recommend to secure a top level domain and build a replica of your webpage. You will have a much better flexibility and will be able to adapt your webpage to local preferences such as images, language and pricing. If creating a localised Shopify web page is your goal, you might want to consider the service package Sonrisa Ventures offers.
6. Content Marketing
For those of you not familiar with the term “content marketing” it refers to a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material that does not explicitly promote a brand. It is most effective when you build authority and trust with consumers who come to your website. In his best-selling book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World”, author Gary Vaynerchuk claims that “It’s not just about developing high-quality content, but developing high-quality content perfectly adapted to specific social media platforms and mobile devices". We totally agree with his philosophy and argue that if you would like to establish a trust relationship with you clients you must give first before you receive. In other words, we highly recommend creating a company blogs which provide high value to your audience you are eventually trying to sell to. The better and more valuable your content on your web page is, the more likely it is for them to come back and over time create the mutual trust relationship you are after. It won’t happen overnight, but as we all know “Constant dripping wears away the stone.” Offering content that informs, educates, and entertains your visitors and you’ll surely create new friends.
7. Reviews, Testimonials & Social Proof
Have you ever purchased a product online without having read a single review? With all things being equal, would you purchase a product from a vendor with 100 product reviews or from one with none? The answer to both questions should be clear. We recommend to include customer testimonials and product reviews. Popular apps to add product reviews on your Shopify include Judge and Stamped. Further trust is created by including a section on your webpage labelled “as seen in”. In particular, if your brand has been featured by other (well-known) media outlets this is a very strong way to create trust. A great example of a brand displaying this strategy is Helm Boots. If you are willing to go even one step further and if your pockets are a bit deeper, look into creating an account websites such as Trustpilot or Trusted Shops. However, these sites tend to be costly, so be aware.
8. Payment Options
Last but not least, it’s extremely important to offer as many payment options on your webpage as possible. If you build your web page with Shopify it’s very easy to add payment gateways such as Shopify Payments, Stripe or Braintree. If you do so, you will be able to accept by default all major credit cards such as AMEX, Visa, Mastercard. In addition, ApplePay seems to become more popular. Needless to say, Paypal is always good to have and even Amazon Pay and Bitcoin seems to grow in popularity. A new payment option we are particularity excited about is called "Shopify Pay" (not to be confused with "Shopify Payments"). It enables you to check-out within seconds from any store build with Shopify and certainly helps to revolutionise the checkout procedure without compromising on security. We could continue with a multitude of different payment options but if you sell in the US and Europe, the above payment options will cover most potential clients.
We hope this article include a number of good tips which will help you to build trust on your website. If you need help setting up an E-commerce website and/or would like to create a localised website in another language, don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For those of you who would like to have a summary of our blog article in the form of an infographic, you can easily download it from below and share it with your friends!
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