Customer Trust = Sales
You have a great product, well packaged, well promoted, and that's going to get people to click and buy like mad, right? Not necessarily. Your business, especially if it's a new venture, may not have garnered trust yet. Trust is a vital aspect of having a successful ecommerce business.
According to surveys, like this one done by Salesforce Research, 95% of customers are loyal to a company they trust, and 92% say they would buy additional products or services from a company they trust. Simply put, trust is imperative if you want to grow your ecommerce business. With that in mind, here are five ways you can engender trust for your business.
Utilize Trust Signals
There are signals you can give your potential customers that will make them feel safer with you and get you closer to gaining their trust. Here are a few that you should be using right away.
Customer reviews. Display the good reviews on your website. Make sure you curate them so that there aren't a billion. Several well written, detailed, positive reviews will land harder than a ton of 'meh' reviews.
Also, don't be afraid to include a few "bad" or poor reviews. We all know that sometimes, people aren't happy. If you show just the good ones, people will think you're hiding something, which will chip away at your trustworthiness.
Notable testimonials. These should come from celebrities or experts. People with a lot of eyes on them and whose opinions are heeded and trusted. A short blurb from someone famous or a known expert will go a long way to build trust. They have established their credibility and are already trusted. You will essentially be borrowing their established trust and using it to promote your store and bolster public confidence for yourself.
Publicity logo farm. Have you been featured, written about, or even mentioned in a popualr newspaper or magazine? Display that periodical's logo on your site and let people know that there is a trust for you in the community. If the NY Times is speaking well of you, that will go a long way.
Awards lists. Awards are a tricky thing. Many of them are just pay to play, but there are some legit, prestigious awards out there; if you’ve been the recipient of one, then display it, write about it, and get it out there. Display and talk about your awards; the phrase "award-winning" has an effect on people's perception in a positive way.
How's Your Return Policy
Returns are a nightmare for customers, and you can quickly lose customers if your return policy sucks or is nonexistent. Having a good, transparent return policy is going to go a long way to get people to trust you.
Have a good return policy and link to it from the product detail page. This will help increase your conversion rate. Also, by being straight forward, and transparent you eliminate the scam feeling factor that can come from having to search for a return policy or if there is no return policy at all. Clear, detailed, and transparent return policy will help customers feel safer with you.
Clear Product Images or Videos
Especially online, people will react more to a visual image than extensive copy descriptions. Spend the money to have good pictures of your product and put them in their proposed action. For example, If you're selling running gear, a picture of the gear sitting on someone's bed is not going to be as impactful as someone in full action in your action gear.
If you're selling diamond engagement rings, have images of the rings on the finger, so you give them a real size image. If someone buys a diamond from your site and doesn't have anything to compare it to in size, they will be disappointed when they receive a smaller diamond than they expected. They will feel cheated, and there goes your trust.
Accuracy in color, size, shape, and use of your selling products will go a long way to building trust. Make sure what they see is exactly what they get, which is what they want.
Accurate Shipping Time Estimates
If you think that a 7-14 day shipping window is acceptable, you may need to close up shop and look for a new line of work. Online shoppers are demanding and getting next day delivery and, in some cases, even same-day delivery. The days of getting a house delivered from Sears & Robuck in six months are over. Although ordering a house from a catalog seems pretty cool.
Make sure your delivery times are accurate. Do not promise what you cannot deliver when it comes to...delivery. Use zip code and carrier integrations to estimate shipping times accurately. Again, we all want the customer to be satisfied, but it will backfire if you think you can pull one over on them. Be transparent, be accurate.
Be Engaged & Reachable
There's something about going into a shop or a restaurant and being greeted by name or having them know your order. It shows that they are paying attention and engaging on a deeper level with their customers. This is an excellent model to follow in your ecommerce business.
Use social media to engage with customers, offer them special benefits, respond to critics or users with issues. But, be consistent. Don't flood social media one week and then let it lapse for months on end. Consistency speaks to trustworthiness.
Provide your contact information, customer support line, or email clearly on your site in a prominent place. Don't hide it; that will lead to frustration. Customers, especially those who are upset, are very determined. They will find ways to contact you, or; they will trash you on social media. Give them a straightforward way to reach you and register their complaint or need. It's better to connect directly with your customers and to make them hunt you down.
Trust is vital for your ecommerce business, and it's also a fragile thing. You can work for months, even years to gain someone's trust but, it takes a half-second to lose it. Once you've lost a customer's trust, it will take some severe acrobatics to get it back. Treat it well when you get it, nurture it, and trust will stay with you forever.