Before buying from your business, potential customers need to feel confident that they are buying from a legitimate business that will not deceive or defraud them.
Since it’s easy for anyone to set up a website and sell directly to customers, you need to work hard to reassure potential customers that your business is genuine.
If your business website has a low conversion rate of visitors to customers or a large number of abandoned shopping carts, it’s time to increase trust in your business’s website.
Here are some ways of inspiring trust so that website visitors feel confident enough to contact your business to discuss working with you and/or make purchases directly from your website.
Display as Many Contact Details as Possible
If potential customers see that they can contact your business in as many different ways as possible, they will be more likely to believe that it is a legitimate business that is easy to contact.
As a minimum include:
- A telephone number, preferably a toll-free number, and specify the hours and time zone when calls are answered by a human being.
- An email address dedicated to customer services.
- A physical address that is not a PO Box. Set up a virtual office address if you run a business from home and don’t want to disclose your home addresss.
Include links to your business’s Facebook page, Twitter account, and LinkedIn profile, as well as any other social media accounts your business has.
Customers will be wary if the only way of contacting your business is by email, because online scammers and others who are seeking to deceive often operate in this manner.
Showcase Feedback, Testimonials and Press Coverage
It’s important to showcase feedback and testimonials from satisfied customers on your website. However, some potential customers may be skeptical of such feedback, especially if there are no neutral or negative comments whatsoever.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to join an independent feedback and reviews website, such as Feefo or eKomi. Membership of such a website will reassure potential customers that the feedback supplied by past customers is genuine.
If your business has been featured in a newspaper, magazine or other publication, mention this on your website and include links to the articles if they are online or display scanned copies of the articles if they are in print publications.
Give Your Website a Personal Touch
Include an About Us page on which you tell the story behind your business.
Why did you set it up? Do you run your business from your home office? What are the best things about being an online entrepreneur?
Include a photograph of yourself. If your business employs other people, include photographs of each person and describe their roles.
The aim of the About Us section is to give your business a human face and capture the interest of potential customers.
Keep the section short and to-the-point and invite readers to contact you if they would like to know more about your business.
Update Your Business Blog Regularly
A blog that is updated regularly can help inspire trust in your business. It shows website visitors that the business owner is 100% committed to the business.
Sometimes, information given in blog articles can encourage people to make purchases.
Even if they don’t buy anything, visitors will be more likely to remember your business and return to your website if your blog is interesting to read and provides valuable information.
Use a Well-Known, Secure Payment System
If potential customers are not 100 per cent certain that your payment system is secure, they won’t make an online purchase.
In addition, potential customers may be reluctant to supply their credit or debit card details to an unfamiliar website, even if they are very tempted to make a purchase.
To overcome these potential drawbacks, choose a well-known and secure online payment service provider.
PayPal, for example, is a good choice because consumers don’t need to input their credit or debit card details on your website. This could provide extra reassurance that your online store is a genuine business.
Other widely-used and secure online payment systems include Amazon Payments and Google Wallet.
Include a Returns Policy
Most online consumers like to be sure that they can return goods for a full refund if they are not completely happy with their purchase.
This is especially the case if they are buying clothing, footwear or other items that are usually tried on before purchase. In these cases, it’s also a good idea to give a detailed sizing guide in order to minimize returns of products that are the wrong size.
Clearly display your returns policy on your website. Clearly describe the period during which items can be returned, such as within 30 days from the date of purchase.
Make it as easy as possible for consumers to return items and offer several options for reimbursing returned items, such as:
- a cash refund, paid directly through the online payment method used by the customer
- credit to spend in your online store
- exchanging for an item of the same price.
Building Trust Takes Time
It can take some time to build trust in your business. Potential customers need to be reassured that they are dealing with a legitimate business.
Adding as many personal touches to your website as possible, including photographs, interesting articles, and testimonials, will help to increase trust in your business and assure potential customers that they will have positive experience if they purchase something or decide to work with you.