When was the last time you purchased a product from a website? If you’re like most people, you probably placed some kind of online order relatively recently.
Now here’s the million dollar question: Did you buy from a store you were already familiar with, or from a retailer you’d never purchased from before?
If a customer has already had a successful transaction with a brand, they’re far more likely to make additional purchases in the future.
Trust is a key element of any successful online business. Business owners and internet marketers need to work together to create an online store where customers feel confident sharing personal and payment information.
Let’s take a how building trust with customers leads to increased brand loyalty and sales.
Types of Trust
No matter what type of product or service you provide, customer trust can be grouped into three categories:
Potential customers want to know you are who you say you are. Whether your store is entirely virtual or tied to a physical location, customers are reassured when they see a verifiable physical address.
The strategy here is to optimize your location pages. Many of the strategies used to optimize a location page also optimize that page for local search. This is great news because optimizing a site for local search is a great way to increase your rank in the search results.
Customers want to get what they pay for. Online users aren’t able to physically look at a product before they order online.
There are two methods used here. First, the copy on your site needs to be very descriptive. Users should be able to read a wealth of info on a product including size, materials used, features and so on.
Also, users want reassurances for after the purchase. According to customer psychology expert Kit Yarrow, a hassle-free refund policy is a must for an online business. Frequent returners are also frequent buyers.
Your Site’s Security
Before that sale is finalized, however, online stores have another common obstacle to overcome. People are wary about handing over personal financial info like bank account and credit card numbers. Roughly 18% of shoppers will abandon a cart during checkout because they don’t trust the site with their financial info. That’s not even counting shoppers who abandon their cart earlier for the same reason.
Identify fraud is on the rise (over $16 billion just two years ago). People are understandably wary about online purchases.
If you’re a smaller business, people might not know your brand very well, so they might be reluctant to trust you. But large brands like Target also have security risks for customers. No matter what size your business is, you need to take proper security precautions.
Also, don’t be shy about showcasing those security efforts, either. Customers want to know buying from you is safe. Here are a few features potential shoppers often consider:
The Look of the Site
People are wary of sites which just don’t look right. You want a professional, logical design to your site regardless of what products or services you sell.
The Loading Speed
A quick loading site also helps increase customer confidence. When pages fail to load quickly and properly, visitors become suspicious about the technical aspects of the business. After all, if a site doesn’t even load pages properly, what’s to say their payment processing system is any better?
Testimonials from regular people often carry a ton of weight among potential customers. Up to 88% of shoppers say they trust an online review as much as a review from someone they know personally. You’ll want to highlight real testimonials from satisfied customers.
These are verification seals from trusted security companies and other online services. You’ve likely seen these seals yourself on various checkout pages. Some seals which are commonly trusted include McAfee, PayPal and the Google Trusted Store.
Each seal has a slightly different application process. Visit the site for more details. Usually, you’ll have to pass an application process and then add the seal to your site. An internet marketing pro can also help you with this.
Establishing trust with your customers is an important part of creating success for your business. Initially gaining trust involves some work. But after someone has successfully purchased from you once, they’ll feel far more comfortable making additional purchases in the future.
Build trust by creating a professional site with solid security, clear communication and a professional site architecture. Post a comment or send me a message if you have any questions about improving the trustworthiness of your site. A site which is trusted is often also a site which is profitable and successful.