With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, businesses are doing everything they can to optimize promotions and drive sales. One often overlooked way in which retailers can see huge increases in conversion rates is by building customers’ trust.
The impact of customer trust is tremendous. Virtually all consumers say they would either reduce or terminate their relationship with a company that fails to build trust. A study asked online consumers what the most important feature in determining where you will make a purchase is, and the prevailing response was (you guessed it) trust.
What is so difficult is that trust can be hard to gain and easy to lose, so how you can you earn your customer’s trust? Here are three proven strategies.
1. Show Some Personality
Conversion optimization wisdom says that people don’t buy from webpages, they buy from people. People also don’t trust webpages, they trust people. So show some personality.
An ‘About Us’ page is a great place for you to show customers another, more personable side of your business. Let people know what you stand for and what makes you unique, perhaps even introduce them to the team with a photo. About pages are a great place for you to share the company’s story and add humanizing elements. One ecommerce entrepreneur increased online conversions by 300%, simply by telling his story.
ShoeDazzle’s ‘About Us’ page shows a more personable side by putting a small blurb on the company’s history combined with a message from their Chief Stylist.
As well as on your website, be personable on social media. Social networks are a great channel to tell your company’s story, share opinions, and respond to comments. All of which helps to personify the brand and build trust.
2. Use a Clean and Professional Design
Every online shopper understands the importance of a professional design. Ever seen a website that is obviously made by someone that doesn’t know what they are doing? Did you trust that website with your payment information? Me neither.
If you aren’t convinced that website quality has much of an impact, these statistics may sway you:
- 40% of people will abandon a webpage that takes more than three seconds to load
- 48% of users say that if a business’ mobile site doesn’t work well, they take it as an signal that the business doesn’t care
- A study on the trustworthiness of health-sites found that design played a larger role than content
High definition images, quick load times, user friendly navigation, and the absence of broken links will all help to create this professional design and leave customers with a great first impression. First impressions are important in any business, but especially ecommerce, because most customers decide whether to stay or leave your website within the first 15 seconds.
3. Promote Trust Signals
Telling people that they should trust you tends to be less effective than showing them why they should trust you. That is where trust signals come in.
Trust signals refer to merits of your website that encourage customers to trust it. One common example is to include customer reviews. This approach capitalizes on the benefits of social proof and is an effective tool for increasing sales. Watch-maker, Seiko, tested the impact of including customer reviews on their product pages, which actually generated a 58% increase in sales.
A second common strategy is to promote third-party verification of your website. One example is SSL, or secure sockets layer, which is a security standard used to encrypt sensitive information. The Better Business Bureau is another common third party endorsement, which signals the use of ethical business practices. Econsultancy found that the two factors impacting customer trust the most are third party endorsements and clear contact information.
Prove to customers that you’re a legitimate business by having clear and easily found contact information. The most basic information to include is an email, as well as perhaps a phone number and address. But if that still feels a little generic, then having social media links nearby allows customers to contact you in a more candid manner and ultimately creates even more trust.
They Trust Me, They Really Trust Me
Customers need to trust you before they’ll buy from you. Some experts note that people are even willing to pay a premium to shop on sites they trust. With these three strategies you can start to build the necessary trust and grow your business.
Now that you understand the role of trust in ecommerce, consider how you can employ these strategies to soothe your customer’s anxiety, build trust, and increase sales.