Top 10 Ways to Build Trust for Your Online Store
Like all human relationship, Selling Online is all about TRUST
1 - Get a Good Looking Design
First impression counts, and your store design communicates trust subconsciously to the online shoppers!
So it is extremely important that your logo, design, layout, color tone are tailored to the taste and expectation of your targeted customers.
E.g. i f you sell all sorts of products without just targeting a specific niche, you might want to adopt a simple & clean design to suit the general public taste. But if you sell baby or kids products, then you might want your store to look warm, friendly and put up some cute babies photo so it's liked by all the young parents esp the mothers!
Customized Design can be a tedious and costly process. To help you save more time and money, webShaper stores comes with FREE, Ready-Made, Beautifully Designed eStore Templates which you can use and start off selling in shortest time possible!
2 - Use a Reputable Payment Gateway Service
Online shoppers will NOT tolerate risk, if they have a single doubt about the security of the payment gateways you are using to process their Credit Card or Payment details, you can almost be sure that you will lose them as a customer almost instantly. (Your competitors are just a click away, always.)
Bottom line, sign up a trusted online payment system widely recognized by your targeted customers. If you are selling Internationally, use a service recognized worldwide, eg PayPal or Worldpay. If you are selling locally, use whatever services that is well known, trustworthy and convenient in that particular country - eg Maybank2u for Malaysia, eNETS for Singapore or SagePay (previously known as Protx) for UK.
Lastly, don’t forget to put up related Payment Gateway Logo on your website! Our survey shows that more than 80% consumers feel safer seeing all these logo prominently displayed on your store. (Note: Use the logo only if your store support the payment type).
Learn more about Payment Gateways. Comparison Online Payments Provider: Paypal, iPay88, WorldPay, 2Checkout & NBePay
3 - Testimonials from your Real + Happy Customers
Nothing beats genuine testimonials from your happy customers (even better, FANS!) ! What others say about you is easily 10x more powerful and convincing than what you said about yourself. That’s a true reflection of the power of Word of Mouth (WOM) marketing which you can apply to your e-commerce store.
So, start request for testimonials from your happy clients. Get the to review the product they purchase on your store. Best if can get permission to publish their photo together with your products and nobody will doubt what you claim.
4 - Setup a Professional Blog about your business
Blog is probably one of the most interesting creation of the web. A professional blog can do wonders for building trust, especially so when the topics you write are related to the products or services you offer.
Here we give you 5 sub-reasons why you need a blog for your online store:
4.1) Dell also blog, AirAsia also Blog, & webShaper also blog
4.2) Expert commands trust and respect. Sharing in-depth know how will help you in establishing yourself as one of the perceived expert in your niche which can set you apart from the competition.
4.3) Openly communicate with customers or prospects. It lets people see how you think and act before they engage with you. Transparency build trust and it converts prospects into customers!
4.4) Adding personal, human-touch into your store, show them there are real people behind the website!
4.5) SEO! Yes, increase your link juice and annouce your newly available, Hot products whenever they are in stock! See how Woot.com practise this! And if you blog constantly with genuine content, google will love your blog so much that they will index your content almost instantly and people will find you!
So, start blogging now! Take a look at how our client like Scrap-N-Crop.com did it!
Easily setup your first blog (For Free!) using services Blogger.com or Wordpress.com. The key to it is "constant update". Try to post consistenly one post per week and let the momentum rolls! Apart from bloggin, another great way to put up a human face to your business is via having Facebook Fan Page and Twitter!
5 - Get a SSL Certificate or 3rd party Trust Mark
In reality, most consumers don’t feel completely safe when buying online, especially when buying from small online merchants that lack a strong and recognized brand, like Walmart or Amazon.com.
Let’s take a look at the stats, 93% of U.S. online shoppers say it is important for an e-commerce site to include a Trust Mark of some kind on their site. In addition, 75% of online shoppers will only make purchases through sites that include a trust mark.
Online consumers now are more security savvy than ever, they look for SSL Certificate, 3rd party logo, persuasive indicator telling them your store can be trusted. You want their business? Then grab a trust mark for your store. Below are some of the options:
- SSL Certificate - [https://] secure link that encrypts customer data
- BBBOnline - Reliability Seal
- Bizrate.com - Gathers and shows ratings of users
- Mcafee Secure - Indicating your website is FREE from Identity Theft & Phising
- Truste - Privacy Seal
Do you know you could also achieve higher trust by tapping into online marketplace feedback system - Eg Ebay.com feedback scores (International) or Lelong Member Verification System (Malaysia). People check feedback, review & rating (webShaper does this too), reputation before they buy, this will help you significantlly on the conversion (of prospect becoming a paying customer).
6 - Tell in details on how you conduct business
When it comes to online purchase, customers have a lot of questions in mind - Is it safe to buy from you? When will the goods arrive? Is the product genuine? How are you going to ship the products? Do you provide product warranty? How are you going to guard their personal data?
Without detailed information on how you conduct your business, please don't expect them to easily checkout the cart and press the pay now button! Below are some of the must-have contents for your store.
- About Us - Who’s behind the team? What’s your business philosophy? What's your story?
- Shipping Policy - Do you ship to my country? What are the shipping rates?
- Return & Refund Policy - Can I refund my goods if i’m not happy with the products within 30 days?
- FAQs - Anything your online shoppers would want to know or probably will ask about what you sell.
- Contact Details - Where are you physically located? How do they get in touch with you?
By making all these details available and easily accessible, you are doing your customer (and yourself) a big favor - cutting down uncessary emails asking repetitive questions too! Apart from the Trust it helps communicates, it saves you money and tremendous time in handling the customer enquiry, it’s definitely a win-win situation.
Don't have time to write? We have prepared some useful e-commerce document templates you could use right away with your webShaper stores.
7 - Get your store listed on high quality, human-reviewed directory
Getting your e-commerce store listed in high quality, human-reviewed directory (not spammy link sites) is another good way to boost confident of online shoppers in your business. People trust the directory because they know that the website has gone through a certain review process before they were placed in the related categories.
Some of the International directories worth considering are Yahoo Directory, Botw.org, Business.com and Open Directory. For local directories, try out MalaysiaOnlineStore.com, HotFrog and Malaysia Central
8 - Build a Quality Store that confronts to GYM webmaster guidelines
Search Engines likes high quality websites that provide Fresh, Quality and Unique Contents, same rules apply to e-commerce store. GYB (stands for Google, Yahoo, Bing - the big 3 Godzillas of Search) have a set of quality guideline for website. Just follow the guidelines when it comes to preparing contents for your products or your online marketing efforst (eg link building) for your store.
Do it right, and GYM will drive Free, Organic and Highly Targeted traffic (as they are searching for keywords related to your products) to your online stores which will mean extra leads and extra profit.
- Google Webmaster Guideline (New store? Submit your store to Google)
- Yahoo Webmaster Guideline (New store? Submit your store to Yahoo)
- MSN Live Search Webmaster Guideline (New store? Submit your store to Bing)
Do you know that webShaper stores are Search Engine Optimized for E-commerce? We call this SEO for E-commerce, meaning it does more than just Search Engine Friendly, it actually helps Search Engines to understand that you are actually selling goods which people can buy online! All you need to do is decribe your products properly and webShaper Stores will take care of the rest.
9 - Tell your clients where your address and contact details
It’s amazing to learn that a lot of online stores don’t list their postal addresses and contacts. Ask yourself, if you were the first time buyer, would you bother to buy from an online store which you cannot find the contact details? What if something goes wrong? If your prospects don’t know how to get in touch with you (other than email or enquiry form), they will just turn away and place their orders elsewhere.
So please don’t waste their time guessing - Give them the assurance that they can trust you, show them where you run your business and how you can be reached!
Take a look at our contact us page - We even show you how to get to our office using nice Google Map mashup.
- Google Local Business Centre (US, Australia, Canada, UK, Malaysia, Singapore and more!)
- Yahoo Local Basic Listing (US Only)
- Bing.com Local Business Listing (US Only)
10 - Reply ALL Your Email Enquiries.
You will be surprised how companies treat emails. My very own experience, I contacted 5 vendors (all with websites & emails, obtained from Google and Yellow Pages) for a price quote on the banner stands we are buying for offline exhibition, guess what, only 1 bother taking time to reply, and of course they get our business. The other 4 we never heard of them until today.
Email is an important tool and we need to use it wisely, especially for e-commerce business as we use email extensively (from purchase confirmation until the email newsletter) to communicate with the customers. The speed of you responding to the customer matters, don’t forget to remind them to put your email (eg yourstore.com) in their email whitelist (approved list) so your email won’t accidentally blocked by SPAM filter.
Remember, how fast you reply genuine customer email (if you ever reply at all) makes a huge different on how “trustworthy” you are.