With countless virtual businesses, shoppers now have a global storefront and can shop in the store of their choice at any time. While this definitely is convenient, many shoppers worry about whether they can trust the online store.
How does a shopper develop trust with a new store? What can stores do to instill this trust in their customers? Most savvy storefronts realize that customer trust is the foundation of their businesses, so what do they do to earn that trust?
1. The First Impression
When websites are simply and beautifully designed, and easy to navigate, these elements build trust with the online shopper. Sites must be welcoming, and the look and feel of the site should match your product offering. Shoppers notice design and layout, particularly the first time they visit your site. And this instills trust in your shoppers.
You know your business is trustworthy, but now your job is to communicate that to your customers.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and shoppers are looking for high-quality images or graphics. They are also looking for polished and professional content that is devoid of errors.
Keep your design simple, clean, and uncluttered and make sure that the navigation is also simple and straightforward. People shop on multiple devices, so make sure that your site looks good whether viewed from a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone.
If your store has an international audience, make sure that the site is translated into the shopper’s language. Don’t forget to calculate prices in the local currency! The function should follow form, so make sure your web hosting platform ensures pages that load quickly.
2. Share Your Story
Shoppers love a good story, so be sure to tell yours on your site. What motivated you to have an online shop? How and why did you start your business? How did you settle on this particular business? What are your values? Why do you sell the items that you sell?
Without a unique story, your site is just like any other nameless, faceless online e-commerce store. Set yourself apart. Share a little. Nothing reassures shoppers more than to resonate with a meaningful story.
Shoppers today are just as interested in your mission and purpose as they are in your products. Most consumers will read the About Us page before making a purchase. People are interested in your values and how those values affect the way you run your business and source your products.
3. How To Contact Your Store
Shoppers view scant contact information as well, sketchy at best. Make sure to provide customers with essential information. People want to know where your business is located. Tell shoppers your location. Maybe even post a few pictures of your town.
Put as much contact information as you can, otherwise, shoppers will be suspicious and that means fewer or possibly no sales. Shoppers want stores that are real and authentic. List your phone number, address, and email address, making sure your email address is a business address like email@example.com.
4. Product Reviews
Definitely consider collecting and posting product reviews. New customers gravitate towards these reviews to see how real people have rated the product. There are so many products on the global market that customers need social reassurance that you are who you say you are and that your products arrive and work as advertised. There’s no better way to get this reassurance from customers who have purchased the products.
Your goal is to make a connection with the customer who has made a purchase, wanting the previous purchase to resonate with the new customer who recognizes the previous customer as someone “just like me.”
Shop owners should also strongly consider external reviews on social media and other consumer sites to provide buyers with an objective viewpoint. The community sentiment regarding how the collective group of buyers feels about your products and your marketplace is very important; in fact, this factor alone can make or break a sale.
5. Transparent Transactions
Consumers want easy, transparent transactions. Prices, shipping costs, and taxes should be very clear. Make sure that taxes are correctly calculated for shipping across state or national borders. There should be no surprises on the final payment screen.
Be sure to include all applicable fees and make sure that customers can easily apply offered discounts by entering a coupon code on the payment screen.
Make payment options very clear, too; these should be familiar options like payment by credit card or Paypal. Make it easy for customers to change their minds at the very end by adding or deleting cart items.
Test your website regularly to ensure that all of these payment options properly function. Whatever you do, you don’t want to create any customer doubt whatsoever during the payment transaction.
Reap The Rewards
Remember that customers are loyal to businesses they trust. Customers return to reward trusted businesses time and time again. Every new customer can become a loyal long-time valued customer by implementing these tried-and-true business practices.
Whether your business is newly formed or established, you never want to find yourself in the customer’s blind spot. Be open and transparent, and above all, fulfill your promises. Remember that trust is largely based on perception, so put your best foot forward. Over time, your good reputation will precede you, and that will translate into higher sales and a loyal customer base.