Make-or-Break Best Practices for Building Trust With Your Online Storefront
As integrated marketers grapple with the uncertainty of what the coronavirus pandemic means for business, one thing is crystal-clear: your online storefront matters more than ever. And trust is something else that matters: both to potential new customers and your regular shoppers who may be more cautious about where they spend their money. Here’s how to prove to both audiences that they should put their trust in you.
Multiple, Clear Pictures
93% of consumers say product images are essential to their purchasing decision. No matter if you’re selling your own products or you carry nationally recognized brands, you need to have high-quality photos of your listings. Many e-commerce experts recommend original photography so that you can keep your images consistent (e.g., using the same backdrop, shooting at the same scale) and distraction-free. Optimize your images: they’ll load faster, look better, and can even boost your SEO.
Authentic Customer Reviews
In online shopping, trust is the name of the game, and 88% of shoppers trust online reviews written by other customers as much as they trust recommendations from friends and family.
To solicit these valuable pieces of social proof, try sending an automated reminder email five to seven days after purchase. One way you can ‘stack in the deck’ in your favor is to identify your best customers (by either longevity, number of items purchased, or total dollars spent) and send them product surveys.
Easy-Access Customer Service
Whether you use a chatbot or live agents, your customer service should be accessible from every page in your site – it can either be a sticky icon or a phone number or link in the nav bar.
For many customers, service is just as important as prices when it comes to choosing where to spend their money. With that in mind, you can also come up with a social media service plan and promote your excellent service via other channels, such as your email blasts.
A Descriptive ‘About Us’ Page
Often overlooked and undervalued, the ‘About Us’ page is a critical trust-builders. It’s a great branding tool that reassures your customers that there’s a real person behind the business. No matter what creative approach you take, don’t forget to add a physical address.
Fix Broken Links, Stat
Broken links are the ultimate example of overpromising and under-delivering – they disappoint your customers and drag your SEO down. A regular site audit is one way to avoid this; however, if you have hundreds or thousands of SKUs, it will be much easier for you to use Google Analytics to search out broken or non-existent links. Check your CMS or e-commerce platform to see if there’s a similar tool built in – and start using it today!
Be Transparent and Honest
You can show your integrity and your commitment to doing the right thing in so many ways, including:
· Display trust seals and security certificates (e.g., VeriSign, PayPal certified)
· A clear returns and exchanges policy
· Include shipping details and let customers track their purchases
And Finally, the Biggest Way to Ensure Customer Trust
Beyond these relatively minor fixes, the best way to establish customer trust is with a professional-looking, well-designed website that functions seamlessly across all platforms. It really does make a difference, and we can help.
For the foreseeable future, online purchasing will be the norm. Experts are optimistic that logistics and shipping companies are up to the challenge of sending out millions of orders a day, and we want you to be ready to reach new customers. We aren't going anywhere: we’re here for integrated marketers, and we can help you prepare for what’s next.