In the world of e-commerce, we are always looking for ways to improve our revenues. Often times, a big issue for shoppers is completing a purchase on an unknown website. If consumers don’t feel secure on your page, you can forget about converting them. In today’s blog, we’ll have a look at what online shop owners can do to build trust and make a trustworthy shop!
One thing that the digital world and the physical world have in common is that there are small businesses and big ones. Although it’s not impossible, it can be difficult to compete with the big boys out there. These bigger shops often sell their products at cheaper prices and have bigger marketing budgets. They also benefit from their reputation, which in the world of shopping equates to being a trustworthy shop.
The beauty of owning a digital shop is that we can always look for ways to optimize our processes and improve our performance. We can look at many statistics, analyze the numbers, hypothesize, and test our ideas out, often without having to commit to anything permanent (like a huge shop renovation in the physical world).
What does this all mean for trust? It means that we can improve our website’s trustworthiness in many ways. You can choose to implement some or all of the following ideas, with each one likely to lead to a boost in your conversion rates. Now, let's get down to business and see how to make your website more trustworthy.
7 Tips on How to Make Your Online Shop More Trustworthy
Trustworthy Shop Rule #1: Make the best first impression with web design
The expression goes “you can only make one first impression”. This is hardly debatable. It holds true for people, but it’s also true for your website.
Just to be clear, you don’t need to have fancy gimmicks or unnecessary effects on your website. However, you do want it to look “clean” and relatively modern. If your website is scattered and looks “messy”, this makes an impression that your online shop is out of date and automatically makes shoppers feel less “safe”.
Make sure your website’s pages have enough “white space” or breathing room. Don’t crowd up your pages with too many distracting elements. Make sure texts are easy to read and that images are high quality. These are some basic design rules. For a look at some of the upcoming website design trends for 2020, check out this article from 99designs.
Sure, a complete redesign isn’t necessarily an easy change to implement, but it could very well pay off.
It can be useful to get an outsider’s perspective on your current site. Ask friends and family to see what their honest opinions about the site are. Be sure they give you real feedback and don’t just tell you what you want to hear. If you can afford it, you might even want to run a small focus group.
Design is very important, but keep in mind that usability counts, too. Is the site easy to navigate or is it confusing to find your way around? These are also a part of first impressions.
Trustworthy Shop Rule #2: Mobile responsiveness
While we’re on the topic of design, I can’t stress enough how important having a mobile-responsive page is.
What does mobile responsiveness mean?
In short, it means that your website has to look good and function well on smartphones. Although experts predict that mobile commerce will overtake desktop sales globally by 2023, in developed e-commerce markets (like the UK), this has already been a necessity for a few years. Basically, all the research results agree: if your website doesn’t look and work flawlessly on mobile devices, your conversion rate will suffer!
Trustworthy Shop Rule #3: Show more product images
The headline really says it all- show more product images on your product pages.
As an avid online shopper, it can be really frustrating to do a Google search, find a product and price that you like in the search results, visit the website, and there are only one or two product images to look at.
From the consumer’s perspective, it can come across as if you have something to hide. As a general rule of thumb, remember that it’s always better to have “too many” photos than not enough.
Images should be of high quality – pixelated images are not trustworthy. A good product page will have images that also let users zoom in and see some of the finer details. It’s all about transparency. If you sell great products, let users have a closer look!
Trustworthy Shop Rule #4: Customer reviews
We live in a world where we see literally thousands of ads per day. As a society, we have developed mechanisms to ignore these ads. In the digital world, this is often referred to as “banner blindness”. Our brains can often recognise an ad before we even really look at it.
Considering this, as business owners, we have to recognise that the commercial landscape looks very different. Sure, classic and digital ad formats can still be effective. However, consumers have access to a lot more information these days. A diligent shopper can do their research without leaving their home and see if a product is indeed “as advertised”.
Obviously, customer reviews are a big part of this. However, as much as it might seem like a great tool for consumers, the truth is that customer reviews can be a great tool for shop owners as well.
Remember, customer reviews are divided into two main types: shop reviews (ratings of the shop’s delivery, customer service, etc.) and product reviews (ratings for the quality of the product). By collecting and displaying reviews, you can build more trust with your shop’s visitors without them having to leave your website to research your products or your reputation.
On top of that, customer reviews can help you build trust before anyone even clicks on your website. How? If your reviews provider is a Google-partner, then adding your star-ratings (aka Seller Ratings) in your Google Ads is very easy (see the image below).
[caption id="attachment_19765" align="aligncenter" width="616"] The star-ratings in this ad for tennis-point.co.uk can build trust for users before they even visit the website.[/caption]
Those little orange stars can really attract attention and boost your ads’ click-through rates (CTRs), which in turn makes your ads cheaper. In fact, according to Google, ads with Seller Ratings get a 17% higher CTR than the same ads without the ratings displayed.
Note: To avoid getting fake reviews, use a closed-system reviews platform so only verified customers have the ability to give you feedback.
Trustworthy Shop Rule #5: Create an About Us page
It might sound unnecessary, but if an online shop is unknown to a shopper, it’s not uncommon for users to have a look at the About Us page.
This is a nice opportunity for you, as a shop owner, to give users some insights into who you are and why you started this company. If you don’t really have a special story as to why you founded your business, then consider giving a behind-the-scenes look of your workplace by sharing some images of your team and giving a small bio for each of your employees.
Either way, the idea is to build a story and show your human side. Whether it’s your passionate hobby or your amazing team, putting a face(s) to your company can really build trust with a potential customer.
Trustworthy Shop Rule #6: Get a certification
Displaying a reputable certification can really do wonders for building trust. Similar to customer reviews, customers can see an impartial third-party endorsing your business. For starters, data security might be very important to your target audience, so having an SSL certificate is a good start!
The McAfee SECURE Trustmark is a kind of antivirus for online shops. It tells users that there are no malicious links on this site.
The Trusted Shops Trustmark, for example, offers customers a 30-day money-back guarantee to ensure that the user will get their product or get their money back if something goes wrong. In order to get the Trusted Shops Trustmark, the online shop goes through an audit that makes sure the website is transparent and shares all the necessary legal documents that are required by EU and national laws.
The Trusted Shops Trustmark has a big impact on the perceived trustworthiness of an online shop. In fact, a UK consumer survey conducted by Statista revealed that many shoppers view the Trustmark as indispensable.
Trustworthy Shop Rule #7: Post-purchase communication
This advice assumes that you were able to convince a user to shop with you. However, as you probably know, it’s easier (and cheaper!) to sell to a previous customer than to a new one. Therefore, maintaining trust in your existing relationships is also an element of your business not to be overlooked.
The idea is quite simple. If a customer has opted in to receive updates from you (i.e. newsletters or special offers), then make sure you don’t overdo it. Nurture your users with interesting information and don’t spam them with irrelevant offers. Segmenting your customer groups can be helpful for ensuring this. This way you don’t end up promoting an offer for girl’s sneakers to your adult men customers.
Nothing can turn a shopper off more than getting “useless” promotions in their mailbox. If you want a recipe for unsubscribers, sending out useless emails would be one of the most important ingredients!
However, this doesn’t mean you should be scared to send promotional emails. Just keep it to relevant information at a reasonable frequency.
How To Make A True Trustworthy Store - Conclusion
As you can see, there are many things you can do to build trust with your target audience. Trust can always be improved and it begins before they visit your website and continues after they’ve purchased something from your shop. In the end, the trust could be your best conversion tool!
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.